There is a lighthouse in Blade Ridge, Kentucky. Hundreds of miles from the sea, it illuminates nothing but the desolate, wooded hills around it. For many years the lighthouse has been a source of amusement – until its eccentric builder is found dead and his belongings reveal a bizarre and macabre local history. When her husband died, Audrey Clark swore to carry on his work of building a big-cat rescue centre. Now she is ready to move sixty-seven lions, tigers and other species into a shelter next to the lighthouse – despite some troubling developments near her new home. For deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble, a man on the brink of a very dangerous relationship, the odd beacon seems to contain disturbing proof that a long-held secret was somehow known to others. Events convince Kimble that his secret is connected to the ridge, and that a terrifying evil might be on the other side of the divide between dark and light.
A rural Kentucky community becomes the unlikely focal point for a series of enigmatic and terrifying events in Koryta's subtle supernatural thriller. When local drunk Wyatt French, who inexplicably built a wooden lighthouse far from any large body of water, calls Kevin Kimble, the county's chief deputy, and asks whether he'd investigate a suicide, Kimble, who's driving in his car to visit a prison inmate, refers French to a suicide hotline. Soon after, reporter Roy Darmus, whose newspaper has just folded, receives an unsettling call from French that prompts Darmus to go to the lighthouse, where he finds the man has apparently shot himself in the mouth. French's death may be connected with an eerie blue light seen in the vicinity of Blade Ridge, a phenomenon that riles the big cats residing in a wildlife refuge that's just set up shop on property adjoining French's. Koryta (The Cypress House) matches an original and complex plot line with prose full of understated menace.