The Crime Writers' Association

Gold 2011

Michael Koryta
The Cypress House
Hodder & Stoughton


Synopsis: 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 and his young companion Paul Brickhill are stranded at the Cypress House with a hurricane approaching, Paul won’t abandon the boarding house’s enigmatic mistress Rebecca to face the storm alone. But Arlen’s gift warns him that if they stay too long, they may never leave.

Judges’ comments: A compelling suspense story haunted by the paranormal and steeped in the fears and anxieties of Depression-era Florida.  Strong characterisation and an isolated, storm-ridden setting drive the novel towards an unexpected ending.