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Extended Audio Sample The Cypress House, by Michael Koryta Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,480 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Koryta Narrator: Robert Petkoff Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A journey to Florida’s coast becomes an inescapable nightmare in this 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 nineteen-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.

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. However, 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).

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Cypress House is a unique and entertaining blend of noir and paranormal suspense, with a tightly controlled supernatural thread a as believable as the gunplay. Mr. Koryta is at the start of what will surely be a great career. He’s now on my must-read list.”

    Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “The last scenes in the novel, just as eerie, verify Koryta’s knack for putting a supernatural spin on the angst depicted in classic noir fiction.”

    New York Times 

  • "A deliciously dark tale. Koryta is a fantastic storyteller.”

    Scott Smith, New York Times bestselling author

  • The Cypress House is a dazzling blend of suspense, the supernatural, and superb storytelling. What a gifted writer. Michael Koryta is the real deal.”

    Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author

  • The Cypress House builds to a seriously tense and twisted final act.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “When it comes to plot and suspense, Koryta knows what he’s doing. He paces the novel masterfully.”

    Columbus Dispatch

  • The Cypress House begins with pulse-racing promise [and] sprints to a filmic, white-knuckled finish.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “In Michael Koryta’s The Cypress House…he makes this curious mix of supernatural prescience and gothic noir work with a seamless atmospheric certainty.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Michael Koryta is mining Stephen King territory and carving out a spot all his own.”

    Women’s World

  • “Koryta’s masterful follow-up to So Cold the River effectively combines supernatural terror with the suffocating fatalism of classic American noir…Koryta excels at describing both scenery and his characters’ inner landscapes. It’s hard to think of another book with equal appeal to Stephen King and Cornell Woolrich fans.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Koryta masterfully weaves together disparate threads (organized crime; drifters; a haunted, beautiful woman; powerful men; an isolated boardinghouse; the great hurricane of 1935) in a story where every decision can cause your death—or help you escape it. Verdict: Koryta’s second attempt at supernatural suspense after So Cold the River offers a much richer experience with better developed characters and more polished storytelling. Murder mystery and ghost story fans will want first crack at this new title. Highly recommended for all public libraries.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “The eerie but fascinating tale follows the efforts of the two men, along with Rebecca Cady...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... Highly recommended.”

    Midwest Book Review

  • “Following up his acclaimed gothic, So Cold the River, Koryta blends gritty noir and ghostly visions...the novel builds to a richly satisfying climax...A commanding performance.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Robert Petkoff knows just how to manipulate his voice to send shivers down listeners’ spines in this ever-so-slightly supernatural story of corruption and death in Depression-era Florida. Arlen has the gift—or curse—of being able to see when another person is approaching death. In this otherwise straightforward novel of suspense, Arlen’s paranormal ability might be a hard sell, but Petkoff conveys his emotions so convincingly that listeners will never question the plot device. The Cypress House is a creepy tale that will keep listeners wondering what the next twist will bring. A 2012 Audies finalist.”


  • Finalist for the 2012 Audie Award for Paranormal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ctroskoph | 2/19/2014

    " I recently read the lastest Dennis Lehane novel and was disappointed. It lacked everything that I loved about Mystic River and Shutter Island. The Cypress House filled that void. This is a great mystery with great characters and that supernatural element that takes it beyond the "normal" mystery novel. I will definitely continue to read Koryta's books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Sarah | 2/12/2014

    " An atmostpheric, historical setting saves this suspense novel. Koryta delivers a tale of smuggling and corruption with a slight supernatural twist. The middle gets bogged down under some repetitive courses of action/conversations, but it picks up again as the climax draws near. For fans of the kind of weird or suspense fans looking for something out of the ordinary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Megan | 1/31/2014

    " Supernatural-ish thriller from Kortya, who seems to be carving out a niche for the noir and the spooky. While I thought his previous book So Cold the River was better, both books suffer from slightly too sluggish pacing to be called real page-turners. But for The Cypress House, the imagery of the smoke-filled eyes heralding imminent death was really effective. I also enjoyed the remote house in the bayou, the sad-eyed woman in over her head, the violence on the doorsteps: all such great film noir elements. The similarities to Key Largo can't all be accidental. The opening of the book was just fantastic, but when the gangster plot takes over, the supernatural elements all but disappear, only making a strong appearance at the very end. That was a little disappointing, as it felt like he could have done more with Arlen's gift. I can't wait to see what Kortya does next, though, as even with these criticisms, this was a fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Joyce Adams | 1/28/2014

    " Extremely violent but a page turner that kept me hooked. Also drawn in by the local color of Florida. "

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