THE CYPRESS HOUSE, by Michael Koryta

This is a beautifully-plotted novel set in the 1920's, with a creepily compelling talent the book's hero, Belleau Wood veteran Arlen Wagner, possesses: he can see when someone is going to die. If you enjoyed the spare, pared-down writing of the late, great Elmore Leonard, you'll feel at home with this novel. But Leonard never did much with the supernatural, and Koryta's got that part nailed, particularly during the final confrontation. There's a cast of flawed characters, a lot of truly bad guys (all evil in their own unique way), and the moody, steamy setting of Gulf Coast Florida in hurricane season. Click for more...
Arlen Wagner and his CCC sidekick young Paul Brickhouse are bound for the southern tip of Florida when Arlen sees everyone on their train will die. He can't convince anyone of it, but he and Paul leave the train, winding up in rural Corridor County, run ruthlessly by the mob. At once, they are marked by the mob's vicious leader and the complicit Sheriff. Then both Arlen and Paul fall for lovely, threatened Rebecca Cady, who runs The Cypress House, a dilapidated boardinghouse on the edge of the Gulf. Is Rebecca part of the mob? Who is she protecting? Will they survive the hurricane? Will Cypress House wash away in the fury of the storm? This is a 5, a novel that will keep you reading, keep you entertained, and at times keep you very, very scared.