Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. Feel free to grab the button & join in!
This week’s Frightful Friday selection is The Ridge by Michael Kortya:
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 8, 2011)
In a lone stretch of land lies a lighthouse, owned by the local drunk, Wyatt French. The lighthouse has never really served a purpose other than to serve as a local landmark.
When French’s dead body is discovered by deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble, he also uncovers a long hidden town history as well. Dozens of car accidents have occurred on the desolate road near the site of the lighthouse, known as the Ridge. Countless people have died, deaths that go back generations. Somehow all these deaths, spanning decades, are tied together.
Audrey Clark owns a big-cat sanctuary and is in the process of moving it to the land across from the lighthouse. Her husband, the founder, died before the move and Audrey is desperate to follow through with her husband’s dreams.
French’s death is just the beginning of the strange occurrences to take place at the Ridge: the cats grow restless at night, frightened by something out in the darkness. There’s an evil that exists in the night. Sheriff Kimble and a former newspaper reporter must find the source of this darkness, digging through decades of the town’s history to find the answers.
Kimble has his own share of secrets; he continues to visit a woman in prison…a woman who shot him. He’s obsessed with her, can’t get her out of his mind. She’s tied to all of this strange activity somehow. This connection makes Kimble strive even further to find the truth.
Let me start out by saying Koryta is one talented author: he combines the thriller and supernatural genres into one terrifically written package. It’s got ghost stories, mysteries, love..and somehow he succeeds to get it all to blend together so eloquently!
Since reading his previous “supernatural thrillers” So Cold The River and Cypress House, my appreciation of Koryta’s writing has done nothing but increase. While So Cold The River is my favorite of the three, The Ridge has something the others don’t: magic. Not magic in the sense of pulling rabbits out of hats, but the magic found within powerful, majestic creatures. The amount of research and observation Koryta must have done to be able to detail this power so eloquently has to have been tremendous. This hard work pays off, however. The detailed description of the cats, the way they moved, the way they reacted to their new surroundings, literally sent chills down my spine. Koryta made them seem as though they were mythical beings, themselves. All in all, this unique characteristic really added to the supernatural feel of the book.
Another difference, in my opinion, is the spook factor. Koryta’s previous two books were pretty spooky. While The Ridge definitely has a supernatural flavor, in my opinion the spook factor has decreased. This isn’t a flaw; I actually think more readers would be apt to read this book for that reason.
So, if tend to scare easy (you know who you are!) don’t be afraid to pick up this book. There are a few scenes of an “other worldly” nature, but definitely nothing excessive.