By Darren Franich
Updated January 26, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

A series of coincidences leads WWI vet Arlen Wagner — who can sense when someone is about to die — to the Cypress House, an empty Florida resort run by a distractingly gorgeous mystery woman. That promising setup promptly gets lost in a romantic triangle, a hurricane, and a subplot involving a local tyrant. But when Koryta straightens his meandering plot, the second half of The Cypress House picks up steam, building to a seriously tense and twisted final act. With its evocative Gulf Coast setting, the book makes for a warm beach read in midwinter. B