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Hachette Book Group
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The Cypress House Kindle Edition
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|Length: 426 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The problem with this power is that sometimes it works, sometimes not which tends to complicate things as the story continues of a small town ruled by a corrupt judge and sheriff. Well plotted and interesting story if a bit strong in places. I was surprised to discover how many books Koryta has published so may have to try a couple of more. Great book for spring break!
This book is exactly what it says it is, and does a very good job at it. The writing is tight, the plotting is excellent, and I cared enough about the characters to make the storyline gripping.
The supernatural elements are an integral part of this story but never overwhelm it. Imagine a Jack Reacher novel where Jack Reacher has that ability and you pretty much have this book. Well - without the overtones of indestructible superman that can creep into some of the Jack Reacher novels. (Don't get me wrong - love the Reacher books. But "so well muscled the bullet did not kill him" was a bit much to swallow. Yes, I get that it was also the calibre of the bullet, and the type of hand gun - but it was still a bit too "super hero".) Arlen Wagner is a very believable character - rather strange when you realise he can see who is going to die by looking in their eyes. It sounds peculiar, doesn't it? The man with the psychic power being a little more believable than a character like Jack Reacher, and yet that is the effect. Kudos to Koryta for managing this.
How does Koryta do it? Well - no amazing physical abilities. Wagner is a tough guy, but not physically indestructible. And then there is his personality - he makes the occasional mistake, both in his personal interactions with others and in his action role. Nothing that cannot be remedied or worked around, but he makes mistakes. And then there is his attitude towards his ability - he resists it and it causes him problems - very believable. Add to this that Arlen is very likeable, even admirable.
So the main character is a gem. What about the other main characters? There is the damsel in distress, Rebecca Cady. Is she completely innocent, is she complicit (even if only partially complicit), can she be trusted? Rebecca is tough without being over the top, vulnerable without being a weakling, alluring without being a caricature. In short - a great character. Then there is Paul, the young man that Arlen is with from the beginning. Another character that rings one hundred per cent true - he is young, with the virtues and faults that come with his youth and lack of experience. None of Koryta's characters are motivated by the plot - they are three dimensional people, each with their unique flaws, strengths and aims. Even the bad guys rise above cliche nasty to be actual people. And what these people do, try to do and avoid doing make the plot sizzle. It all just WORKS so well.
They situation itself is slowly revealed, and then we get into the fun part - what is Arlen going to do about it? This is another strong section of the book - Arlen makes good decisions, has the occasional falter, and manages a satisfying conclusion that is neither too pat nor too easy.
In short - Korytas can write, and he has a great handle on story. He is good with dialogue, good with characterisation, good at creating a gripping plot that builds naturally out of his initial scenes, and good at finishing it off with an ending that satisfies on every level. The man is just plain GOOD.
I, naturally, raced out and bought several Koryta novels, barely bothering to read the blurbs. Which I am working my way through reading, and thoroughly enjoying. Don't you just LOVE it when you find a writer who knows exactly what he/she is doing, and delivers?