The Ridge Review
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Wandering through the aisles at your favorite bookstore, you can find loads of generic books by authors who sound just like everyone else. Every once in a while, though, you might be lucky enough to find an author whose voice is so distinctive that you’d never mistake it for another author’s work. Finding that kind of author is like finding a new best friend—someone who’s different but dependable.

Michael Koryta is one of those dependable, distinctive authors. His supernatural thrillers (like So Cold the River and The Cypress House) are the kind that will pull you in from the very first page and haunt you long after the last. And his latest, The Ridge is Koryta’s best yet.

Deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble is on his way to the women’s prison, to pay a visit to the woman he loves—the woman who shot him more than five years ago—when he gets a strange call from the town drunk, Wyatt French. Soon after, reporter Roy Darmus gets a similar call as he’s cleaning out his office following the closing of the Sawyer County Sentinel. Then, after making the cryptic phone calls, Wyatt French climbs up to the top of his lighthouse—a strange lighthouse that illuminates nothing but the woods of Blade Ridge and the river that runs through it—and commits suicide.

Kimble and Darmus meet at the lighthouse, where they find notes and pictures that suggest that there’s more to Wyatt’s death than just the suicide of a lonely drunk. As they begin to dig deeper, the clues lead them to some unbelievable stories about mysterious—and deadly—happenings on the ridge.

Like Koryta’s earlier thrillers, The Ridge is an eerie and agonizingly suspenseful story. It builds gradually, taunting you with clues and revealing information in small, delectable morsels that will keep you hungry for more. The more you know about this dark and mysterious region of small-town Kentucky and its horrifying secrets, the more you’ll want to know.

The characters, meanwhile, manage to keep the story grounded. Kimble is a hard-working cop who’s found one bright spot in his lonely small-town existence—but she just happens to be in prison. He’s desperate to clear her name, but he definitely isn’t expecting the story that she has to tell him.

Darmus, too, is just a normal, likeable guy. But he’s devoted his life to his career—and now that it’s ended, he finds himself lost. So when French offers him one last big tip, he’s eager to delve into another investigation—no matter how strange it may be.

Both characters are lonely, hard-working men who are simply doing what they do best: searching for answers. But the answers aren’t as simple—or as logical—as they might have hoped.

The Ridge is a riveting supernatural mystery with plenty of unusual characters and unexpected twists popping up along the way. It’s the perfect summer read. After all, when you’ve got a copy nearby, there’s no need to crank up the air-conditioning—because the story will give you chills on the hottest summer day.

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