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The Cypress House by Michael Koryta


Reviewed by Patricia Reid

The Cypress House by Michael KorytaReviewed by Patricia Reid

Imagine looking at a whole group of people and seeing a trace of smoke in all their eyes and knowing that that they will all be dead soon. This is what Arlen Wagner experienced one night on a Florida train. This was not the first time Arlen had premonitions of death and it wouldn’t be the last time. Arlen was unable to convince the other men to leave the train but nineteen-year-old Paul Brickhill respected Arlen and agreed to abandon the train. Arlen and Paul were headed for the Florida Keys to help build a bridge. Arlen had met Paul when he went to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps. Paul was a boy from Jersey and Arlen got the feeling that Paul was something special.

Paul and Arlen are stuck at the train station with no hope of a train until the next day so they decide to walk five miles to the nearest boarding house to spend the night. A new car comes by and stops to pick up the two but Arlen is hesitant to accept a ride. Paul, impressed with the car, insists so the two get in the car with a man who introduces himself as Walt Sorenson. This chance meeting ends up with the three arriving at The Cypress House, an isolated
Gulf Coast boardinghouse. Rebecca Cady is a beautiful woman and runs The Cypress House. A hurricane is on the way and Arlen wants to move on but as Sorenson leaves to move his car, the car explodes leaving Sorenson dead and Paul and Arlen stranded.

The two stay to help Rebecca through the hurricane but nothing is right at The Cypress House. Arlen feels that danger lurks in The Cypress House but Paul refuses to leave. Paul has a young man’s crush on Rebecca and is determined not to abandon her. Arlen also is attracted to Rebecca but his instincts tell him that he must get Paul to leave or the boy will meet with death.

An intriguing book with a bit of the supernatural. The Cypress House will keep you guessing and turning the pages to reveal the entire story behind The Cypress House and why Rebecca insists on staying even though she is in grave danger.

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