Michael Koryta

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Michael Koryta
Michael Koryta
Born Michael Koryta
(1982-09-20) September 20, 1982 (age 32)
Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Occupation Novelist
Alma mater Indiana University
Genre Crime, Supernatural

Michael Koryta (pronounced ko-ree-ta) is an American author of contemporary crime and supernatural fiction. His novels have appeared on the The New York Times Best Seller list and received praise from Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane. Koryta's novel, The Ridge, was called "A freshly imagined and elegantly constructed variation on the dead-of-night ghost story," by the New York Times and "a chilling supernatural thriller by a rising literary star," by the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, his novel Envy the Night was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice.

In 2008, Koryta was honored with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award by Indiana University.


Michael Koryta began writing at a very early age: "Michael Koryta does not fool around. At the age of 8, he began corresponding with his favorite writers. At 16, he decided he wanted to be a crime novelist—and later in high school started interning with a private investigator. When his crime novel "Tonight I Said Goodbye" won the St. Martin's Press/PWA Best First Novel prize, he had yet to reach legal drinking age."[1]

During Koryta's time as a journalist at the Herald Times (Bloomington, Indiana) he also received numerous journalism awards including First Place for Non-Deadline Reporting (the youngest reporter ever to receive the award)[citation needed] and First Place for Environmental Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Personal life[edit]

He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.


The Lincoln Perry Series:

Tonight I Said Goodbye (2004)

Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel (WINNER)
Great Lakes Book Award, Best Mystery (WINNER)
Edgar Award, Best First Novel (NOMINEE)

Sorrow's Anthem (2006)

A Welcome Grave (2007)

Shamus Award, Best P.I. Novel (NOMINEE)
Quill Award, Best Mystery/Suspense/Thriller (NOMINEE)

The Silent Hour (2009)

Shamus Award, Best Hardcover Novel (NOMINEE)

Other Novels:

Envy The Night (2008)

Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Best Mystery/Thriller (WINNER)
Barry Award, Best Novel (NOMINEE)
Selected as Reader's Digest Condensed Book

So Cold the River (2010)

A New York Times Notable Book of 2010
"Best of 2010" by Amazon
Optioned for film by New Regency

The Cypress House (2011)

A New York Times Notable Book of 2011
Good Reads, Best Horror (FINALIST)
Optioned for film by 1492 Pictures, Script by Chris Columbus

The Ridge (2011)

A New York Times Notable Book of 2011

The Prophet (2012)

National Bestseller

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2014)


Tonight I Said Goodbye

"A pair of PIs investigate the murder of one of their own in Koryta's sharp, fast-paced debut...21-year-old Koryta delivers well-crafted scenes and genuinely surprising plot twists. This riveting detective novel should delight fans looking for new talent." - Publishers Weekly

Sorrow's Anthem

"A gripping tale of high level political corruption, crooked cops and long-held secrets that put Perry's life at risk. Another winner from one of America's top young mystery writers." - The Toronto Sun

A Welcome Grave

"Edgar-finalist Koryta stakes a claim as one of today's pre-eminent crafters of contemporary hard-boiled mysteries with his third Lincoln Perry whodunit, which finds the cops trying to pin murder charges on the Cleveland PI. Formerly a detective with the Cleveland PD, Perry was forced out of the department when he assaulted a rich lawyer, Alex Jefferson, who had married Perry's still beloved ex, Karen. When Jefferson's brutalized corpse is discovered in a field, suspicion soon focuses on Perry, and the gumshoe only makes more trouble for himself by accepting Karen's commission to find the dead man's estranged son, Matt, who has inherited millions from his father. But no sooner does Perry locate Matt in Indiana than the unwitting heir commits suicide in Perry's presence, another death the authorities find suspicious. Despite Koryta's youth (his 2004 debut, Tonight I Said Goodbye was published when he was 21), his haunting writing and logical, sophisticated plotting rival that of established stalwarts like Loren Estleman." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A Welcome Grave...is proof that after only three novels it is possible to become a 'must read' in crime fiction...one of the best P.I. against the world books I've read in a long, long time. Koryta's dialogue remains vivid and his characters sharp as a diamond drill bit." - Crimespree Magazine

Envy the Night

"Contract killer or not, Frank Temple II was at heart a teacher—and his son had excelled at the lessons," Koryta notes, in tones so reasonable that all the horrific violence in this dynamic thriller seems perfectly justified. Following the lesson plan, young Frank heads for the family hunting lodge,on a remote island in a lake in Wisconsin, when he learns Matteson is headed for the same destination. As good as he is at depicting violence, Koryta puts even more muscle into scenes of killers tracking one another in the great outdoors—a talent that doesn't get enough of a workout in the novels featuring his P.I. Lincoln Perry but is demonstrated here with brutal artistry." — The New York Times
"Superb writing and storytelling from Michael Koryta...Envy the Night represents his best work to date." — New York Times bestselling author George Pelecanos
"This diabolical novel, laid out in simple but eloquent prose and pitch-perfect dialogue, heralds a changing of the guard. I have seen the future of 'The Best Mystery Writer in America' and its name is Michael Koryta." — New York Times bestselling author Ridley Pearson
"One of the best of the best, plain and simple." — #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly

The Silent Hour

"Edgar-finalist Koryta spins a dark tale of broken dreams and second chances in his stunning fourth mystery to feature Cleveland, Ohio, PI Lincoln Perry (after 2008's A Welcome Grave). When Perry starts receiving letters from convicted murder Parker Harrison, he ignores them until the man shows up in his office. Twelve years earlier, the then recently paroled Harrison worked for Alexandra and Joshua Cantrell, a couple who ran a rehabilitation program for violent offenders. Then they disappeared, and Harrison wants Perry's help in tracking down Alexandra. Suspicious why Harrison waited so long, Perry discovers that Joshua's bones were recently unearthed in Pennsylvania. Ken Merriman, a Pittsburgh PI, soon arrives in Cleveland, asking Perry for help finding out who killed Joshua. That Alexandria's brother heads one of Cleveland's most notorious mob families complicates matters. Perry has to reconsider everything he thought he knew about right, wrong and everything in between."— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Prophet

"Friday Night Lights meets In Cold Blood in this powerful tale...It's a brilliantly paced thriller that keeps its villains at a tantalizing distance, a compelling family portrait, a study in morality that goes beyond the usual black-and-white judgments, and an entertaining spin on classic football fiction. A flawless performance."— Kirkus (starred review)
"Thriller Award-finalist Koryta (The Ridge) triumphantly returns to crime fiction with this multi-layered exploration of guilt and redemption....Like Laura Lippman, Koryta has a gift for melding a suspenseful, twisty plot with a probing, unflinching look at his protagonists' weaknesses."— Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
"The Prophet is a relentless, heart-in-your-throat thriller about ordinary people caught in the middle of an extraordinary nightmare."—Dennis Lehane
"Edgar-nominated mystery wunderkind Koryta (he turns 30 this year) has earned kudos from veteran thriller writers Stephen King and Dean Koontz. He proves plenty worthy of praise in this vivid portrayal of a small Midwestern town and the evils that befall it....With its crisp writing and steady suspense, this is a must-read for his fans both old and new."— Booklist (starred review)

Those Who Wish Me Dead

"Warning: Michael Koryta's wonderful, riveting, and harrowing Those Who Wish Me Dead may just move you to tears. Enjoy at your own risk."— Harlan Coben, #1 bestselling author of Missing You and Six Years
"Outstanding in every way, and a guaranteed thriller-of-the-year...Stephen King would be proud of the set up, Cormac McCarthy would be proud of the writing, and I would be proud of the action. Don't you dare miss it."— Lee Child, #1 bestselling author of Never Go Back
"Koryta, a widely praised veteran of cross-genre tales, has upped his game with this stand-alone’s seamless blend of western-wilderness thriller and mainstream crime fiction, with a prickly dab of horror. Ethan Serbin, an elite survival-skills instructor during his Air Force career, now runs a similar program for troubled teens in the Montana wilderness. Without warning, a former student reappears, pleading with Ethan to take on a special student. Jace Wilson witnessed the terrifyingly calculating Blackwell brothers committing murder, and he’s in hiding until he can testify. In Ethan’s camp, the former student reasons, Jace will be off the grid and protected by one of the few men certain to help him survive. Ethan agrees, and once the teens arrive that summer with Jace hidden among them, it’s not long before the brothers come for him, flaunting their mystifying ability to manipulate the authorities attempting to keep Jace’s location secret. Unmatched in weapons and brutality, Jace; Ethan; his wife, Allison; and a young fire watcher named Hannah Faber battle to survive a raging wildfire and the murderous intent of a creepy pair of killers rivaling the deadly preacher in The Night of the Hunter. A must-read for fans of C. J. Box and Nevada Barr. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Combine Koryta’s existing fan base, the current vogue for wilderness thrillers, and an aggressive marketing campaign, and you get a novel certain to attract a whole lot of eager readers." Booklist (starred review)
"Wow! An absolutely first rate novel. More than just an edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-fueled story of life and death and survival in the Montana wilderness. Those Who Wish Me Dead is what every reader hopes for each time they start a book. A smart, surprising, and emotionally engaging experience that simply does not let up. Ever!"— Christopher Reich, author of Rules of Deception


So Cold The River
The Cypress House
The Ridge
Those Who Wish Me Dead

Informal, Three Part Interview with Michael Koryta (June 19, 2010 – Oakmont, PA)



  1. ^ Mechling, Lauren (2010-05-27). "Wall Street Journal, Books & Ideas". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 

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