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The Cypress House by Michael Koryta
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The Cypress House

by Michael Koryta

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This is a richly atmospheric, supernatural-tinged thriller set in depression-era Florida. Arlan Wagner has the ability to see smoke in the eyes of people who will die soon, so when he sees it in the eyes of his fellow passengers on a Southbound train, he decides he must get off the train, bringing along his young friend, Paul Brickhill. When they end up at The Cypress House, where unexpected events lead them to stay to help the beautiful but mysterious owner, Rebecca Cady. The local sheriff makes it clear that he does not want them here, but a hurricane is coming and, against their better judgment, Arlan and Paul choose to stay and battle the evil that has Rebecca so afraid. A compelling read.

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  vnesting | Oct 26, 2014 |
Arlen Wagner is riding the train with dozens of other veterans headed to the Florida Keys for work building a bridge. As the train approaches a rest stop, Arlen has a premonition that every man on the train will die. He tries to get them all to stay at the stop and avoid death, but the men deride him and continue their journey, except for Paul Brickhill, the youngest and only non-vet on the trip.

The pair is taking the long walk to the only place with rooms for rent, when they are offered a ride. Arlen is suspicious of this Good Samaritan when he takes them on a detour and it's obvious he's up to no good. But then the Samaritan is killed and he and Paul are trapped in this isolated roadhouse during a major hurricane. What exactly is going on at Cypress House and will Arlen and Paul be able to get away?

Robert Petkoff does a good job with narration. ( )
  bohemiangirl35 | Feb 15, 2014 |
Excerpt from Linus's Blanket Koryta manages to balance chills and tension-filled suspense throughout this story of a man who has spent his life on the run, afraid of not only what he can do, but also of the barely contained guilt he feels over the death of his father. Overcoming his demons have serious ramifications in his attempts helping the love smitten Paul come to the aid of cool, collected Rebecca. Strong characterizations, rich sense of place, a balanced and integrated plot with a hint of an uneasy love triangle makes The Cypress House one of my near perfect reads of 2011. Highly Recommended. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 25, 2013 |
This is a wildly inconsistent read. I almost abandoned it about 2/3 of the way through because the plot just wasn't doing it for me (an over-the-top corrupt Southern lawmen, a beautiful damsel in distress, a guy with special visions, can you spell C-H-E-E-S-E?) Still, I decided to finish and oh boy, am I ever glad I did- the last 100 or so pages are pretty darn amazing. I understand this author is very young, so I'm hoping he gets more consistent because there's a lot of potential here. ( )
  MashaK99 | Jun 11, 2013 |
Synopsis:
Arlen Wagner has seen it in men before--a trace of smoke in their eyes that promises imminent death. He is never wrong. When Arlen awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he tries to warn them. Only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill believes him, and the two abandon the train, hoping to escape certain death. They continue south, but soon are stranded at the Cypress House--an isolated Gulf Coast boarding house run by the beautiful Rebecca Cady--directly in the path of an approaching hurricane. The storm isn't the only approaching danger, though. A much deadlier force controls the county and everyone living in it, and Arlen wants out--fast. But Paul refuses to abandon Rebecca to face the threats alone, even though Arlen's eerie gift warns that if they stay too long they may never leave.

Michael Koryta does American Gothic very, very well and The Cypress Tree is no exception with its dazzling blend of noir ingredients - small-town corruption, lies, deceit and the Great Depression. The whole blend is shot through an atmosphere that drips with menace and fatalism, impending doom and just a touch of supernatural shenanigans.

Strong characterisations, rich sense of time and place, a well written plot and the hint of a tragic love triangle make this a steamy, southern slow burner to savour. Loved it!
( )
  jan.fleming | May 2, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316053724, Hardcover)

A journey to Florida's coast becomes an inescapable nightmare in the newest supernatural thriller from international bestseller Michael Koryta.

Arlen Wagner has seen it in men before--a trace of smoke in their eyes that promises imminent death. He is never wrong.

When Arlen awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he tries to warn them. Only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill believes him, and the two abandon the train, hoping to escape certain death. They continue south, but soon are stranded at the Cypress House--an isolated Gulf Coast boarding house run by the beautiful Rebecca Cady--directly in the path of an approaching hurricane.

The storm isn't the only approaching danger, though. A much deadlier force controls the county and everyone living in it, and Arlen wants out--fast. But Paul refuses to abandon Rebecca to face the threats alone, even though Arlen's eerie gift warns that if they stay too long they may never leave. From its chilling beginning to terrifying end, The Cypress House is a story of relentless suspense from "one of the best of the best" (Michael Connelly).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When Arlen Wagner awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he tries to warn them. Only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill believes him, and the two abandon the train, hoping to escape certain death. They continue south, but are soon stranded at the Cypress House--an isolated Gulf Coast boarding house run by the beautiful Rebecca Cady--directly in the path of an approaching hurricane. But the storm isn't the only approaching danger.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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