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Tonight I Said Goodbye

When investigator Wayne Weston is found dead of an apparent suicide in his home in an upscale Cleveland suburb, his wife and five-year-old daughter missing, Lincoln Perry and his partner Joe Pritchard are hired by Weston’s father to bring some resolution to the high-profile case. The investigators quickly discover there is much more to the situation than has been described in the prevalent media reports: rumors of gambling debts and extortion, a millionaire real estate tycoon, and a group of Russians with ties to organized crime who don’t appreciate being investigated—a point they make clear with baseball bats.

Just when the investigators feel they are closing in on a possible source of answers, another murder forces them to change directions in the case. Perry travels to a resort town in South Carolina to follow a lead involving a very dangerous ex-Marine. There he finds more than one game is being played, and all of them are deadly. The stakes quickly become personal for Perry, and it’s clear that there will be no walking away from this case.

Tonight I Said Goodbye is the first book featuring investigator Lincoln Perry.

Winner of the annual SMP/PWA Prize for Best First PI Novel and nominated for an Edgar award for the Best First Novel!


"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

"The hard-boiled cliche works beautifully here as these two men find themselves chasing Russian Mafiya, a real estate mogul, and an ex-Marine while dodging bullets, cops, and the FBI. The Cleveland setting is a nice change from the usual East Coast/West Coast locales, and the 21-year-old author excels at building characters and story, making this one of the best mystery debuts this year. Winner of the 2003 SMP/PWA Prize for Best First PI Novel, this is highly recommended."

—Library Journal Starred Review

"A gracefully written, straight-ahead detective story with a welcome 11th-hour surprise."

—Kirkus Reviews

"An author's age -- no matter how young or old—doesn't matter as much as the quality of the novel. Tonight I Said Goodbye is a terrific debut, an old-fashioned private eye novel that has a timeless feel but features contemporary issues...Tonight I Said Goodbye also touches on family bonds, fresh starts and loyalty...Koryta fills his debut with intelligent twists that continue to surprise as the plot briskly moves along. The realistic banter and wry humor between Lincoln and Joe gives insight to their characters. The author's vivid view of Cleveland just provides a bonus. Tonight I Said Goodbye deftly keeps the traditions of the private eye novel. And at Koryta's age, we expect even more from him in the future."

—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Michael Koryta is only 21 and still in college, but his debut crime novel is polished and exciting."

—Toronto Sun

"Tonight I Said Goodbye is a really good debut...Michael Koryta is an already accomplished writer with the potential for a long and amazing career."

—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Tonight I Said Goodbye has all the requisite components of a good detective novel...(and) raises an absorbing ethical dilemma that reaches past the confines of the book...Koryta casts this alluring fishing line and then deftly reels in the readers as he pulls them into his story. It's a book to be read with appreciation for what it is, and great anticipation for what those that follow may become. All in all, a pretty snazzy debut and one that launches a future series with the all the panache of a champagne christening."

—The Agony Column

"Tonight I Said Goodbye marks the splendid beginning for a very talented writer."

—Crescent Blues

"A winner in every way. Koryta is only 21, but he writes with the style of a seasoned vet, and his major character, Lincoln Perry, is terrific...Koryta pays homage to everyone from Hammett to Ross Macdonald, while making every touch his own. This is a writer to watch."

—Toronto Globe and Mail

"(Koryta) has produced what few thought possible—an incredibly fresh private investigator novel...(that) scores points by never underestimating the reader's ability to guess ahead and all plot points, though unexpected, are never far-fetched."

—Baltimore Sun

"Intelligent prose, appealing characters (good guys and bad) and an excellent balance of plot twists and story development."

—Chicago Tribune

"Remarkable. Tonight I Said Goodbye should be a hit among readers of mysteries and thrillers. There's always room for more series heroes provided they are as convincing as Lincoln Perry."

—Halifax Chronicle-Herald

"Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta is a powerful, poignant, and personal view of Cleveland with deep roots in the true meaning of suspense. The characters are honest and real and the settings evocative, a major player in a tale rich with a sense of place. Koryta's writing is rich and mature, far beyond his years, but obviously not beyond his experience. The story begins with a grinding of gears and moves quickly into the high performance silken purr of a juggernaut. The journey ends with the very surprising and believable face-to-face encounter with the nature of love and honor and duty."

—The Celebrity Cafe Entertainment Magazine