Rise The Dark

Rise The DarkRise the Dark by Michael Koryta
Series: Mark Novac Series
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Published by Little Brown & Co on August 16, 2016
Pages: 400
Also by this author: Last Words

 

About Rise the Dark (from the back cover):
Mark Novak’s greatest mystery may be his own…

Rise the dark. These were the last words written in Lauren Novak’s notebook before she was murdered in a strange Florida village. They’ve never meant anything to the police or to her husband, investigator Markus Novak. Now the man he believes killed her is out of prison, and draws Markus to the place he’s avoided for so long: the lonely road where his wife was shot to death beneath the cypress trees and Spanish moss in a town called Cassadaga.

In Red Lodge, Montana, a senseless act of vandalism shuts the lights off in the town where Sabrina Baldwin is still trying to adjust to a new home and mourning the loss of her brother, who was a high voltage linesman just like her husband, Jay. As the spring’s final snowstorm calls Jay deeper into the mountains, chasing the destruction on the electrical grid, Sabrina is abducted by Garland Webb, the man Markus Novak believes killed his wife. Drawing them all together is a messianic villain who understands that you can never outpace your past. You can only rise against the future.

I look forward to this time each year when Michael Koryta’s new book will be released.  I’m always searching for fun, suspenseful mysteries, with great characters and a strong attention to detail.  Michael’s books perfectly match this criteria and is the reason they are some of my favorites.  Rise the Dark continues Markus Novak’s story which was started in Last Words.  Both are mostly standalone and can be read without having knowledge of the other.  But why would you not want to read both books?  They’re excellent! 😀

I’m always searching for fun, suspenseful mysteries, with great characters and a strong attention to detail.  Michael’s books perfectly match this criteria and is the reason they are some of my favorites.

Last Words alluded to Mark’s past, but left it largely unexplored.  Rise the Dark corrects this issue and reveals much of the history that Mark would have liked to have remained buried.  However, there are a few pieces still missing and since it looks like there will be another book in this series, I look forward to hearing the rest of his story.

There is a certain genius to this book that I appreciate.

There is a certain genius to this book that I appreciate.  The writing is such that though the reader knows more than Mark, the focus still remains fairly narrow.  From the beginning, it is obvious that this book is dealing with more than Mark avenging his wife’s death.  While the details are not revealed until later in the story, it’s obvious that Eli Pate is planning something devastating.  But as I read, I found myself with the same narrow focus as Mark.  He’s interested in Garland Webb, not the larger conspiracy.  But his search for Webb draws him into the events that Pate is planning.  The way this book is written and the strong connection to Mark’s characters, provides a slightly different reading experience than other conspiracy type novels.

While Mark is the main character in Rise the Dark, there is also a great supporting cast.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Mark’s Uncle Larry.  He’s exactly as I would have imagined him to be and I liked him a lot.  Jay impressed me as well.  His conflict felt real and I love how it gave Mark somewhat of an opportunity at redemption.  As I’ve come to expect from Michael’s books, the villains are quite formidable and multidimensional.  I didn’t quite get Eli’s motivation and reasoning as much as I would have liked; it was somewhat muddled.  Regardless, I did find him a chilling and clever genius.

In most of Michael’s books, the setting is a character in and of itself.  Whether it’s the mountains, a big cat refuge, or a cave, the setting is a living, breathing character.  In this book, it isn’t just the location, but electricity as well.  Without weighing the book down, there are some immersive details that helps the reader catch a glimpse of how electricity flows and how the electrical grid operates.  As the story approaches its climax, what starts as a minor part of the story, becomes a live component, resulting in tense moments and strong suspense.

As I was approaching the end of Rise the Dark, I faced a familiar dilemma–do I race through to see how it ends or do I take my time and savor every moment.

As I was approaching the end of Rise the Dark, I faced a familiar dilemma; the same one I face each year when reading Michael Koryta’s latest book.  Do I race through to see how it ends or do I take my time and savor every moment since it’ll be another year before his next book is out?  As usual, self-control lost and I ended up reading the fourth part, “Flash Zone” in a single setting.  I don’t feel too much shame at my lack of self-control as by the time the reader reaches this part of the book, pieces are fitting together, momentum is full force, and the pacing is perfectly building amazing tension.  It’s virtually impossible to put this book down by this point.  Unfortunately, the book does end and well, it’s a long wait until next summer, because Rise the Dark is a cliff hanger.

Note:  This is a general market novel and does contain some strong language and minor sexual content.  Both are within reason for the story being told.

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