THE CYPRESS HOUSE – Michael Koryta (Review by Ted Feit)

Death and corruption haunt this tale about a World War I veteran
during the Depression who has a unique ability to see whether a person
faces an imminent demise because of a trace of smoke in his/her eyes.
Arlen Wagner in the late 30’s was a supervisor at a Civilian
Conservation Corps (“CCC”) camp and was transferred to another in the
Florida Keys along with several others from his detachment.  On the
train he saw the sign of death in his fellow passengers and tried to
warn them of impending danger, but only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill
listened to him.

The two abandoned the train and found themselves at an isolated inn on
the Gulf Coast, The Cypress House (a euphemism for a casket).  There
they discovered a different kind of danger: a corrupt judge and a
sheriff who ruled the area by sheer terror, allowing drugs to be
imported from Cuba at a boat landing located near the inn.

The eerie but fascinating tale follows the efforts of the two men,
along with Rebecca Cady, who runs the inn, to survive not only the
massive 1935 hurricane which caused severe death and destruction, but
the human forces that ruled the area.  Written with an excellent eye
for describing life during the Great Depression, the novel also
exhibits a deep view of human emotions, as Arlen, while wishing to
depart as fast as he can, refuses to abandon Rebecca or Paul.

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1 Response to THE CYPRESS HOUSE – Michael Koryta (Review by Ted Feit)

  1. Pingback: AUTHORS I – M | MURDER by TYPE

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