Set in Florida in 1935, Koryta’s masterful follow-up to So Cold the River effectively combines supernatural terror with the suffocating fatalism of classic American noir. Since serving as a Marine in WWI, Arlen Wagner has been able to identify people marked for death by something only he can see–smoke swirling in their eyes. While riding a train with 33 other Civilian Conservation Corps workers, Arlen spots smoke in the eyes of his fellow passengers. Certain the train is headed for disaster, he can persuade only one of them, 19-year-old Paul Brickhill, to get off at the next stop. Arlen and Paul wind up at a boarding house, where they become involved with its operator, the mysterious and beautiful Rebecca Cady, who’s somehow beholden to some vicious and corrupt local law enforcement officials. 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.