Sunday, March 2, 2014

Envy the NightEnvy the Night by Michael Koryta
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Michael Koryta's "Envy the Night" is a very good revenge novel and a very good thriller. The characters of Frank Temple III, Ezra Ballard, and some others are well drawn. Frank is a highly skilled warrior with a grudge and Ezra is a real killing machine. No wonder they remind me of Robert Crais' Elvis Cole and the ultimate killer, Joe Pike.

The reader gets the whole picture of what is going on by about one-third of the book, and from then the plot moves speedily towards a long and explosive conclusion (about one hundred pages of pure action - not my favorite, but it is well done). The plot is not entirely believable, but do we really care about it? The novel is quite formulaic and Hollywood-styled; perhaps it was written with a hope to become a movie script?

The novel is written competently, if a little bit overwrought. I much prefer Cole/Pike to Temple/Ballard, mainly because of economy of Mr. Crais' writing style. But I have to admit "Envy the Night" has a very high entertainment value. And to make it clear, there is nothing else there but entertainment, no depth of any kind. If I liked to read books for entertainment only, this one would get at least four stars. But since I like to look for more than just fun in books that I read my rating is

Three stars.

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