Out cover
Out, the sequel to John Smolens’s internationally acclaimed novel Cold, finds the former constable Del Maki recovering from surgery and haunted by the recent loss of his wife. His house, set deep in the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, becomes a haven for refugees during a fierce blizzard. First his pregnant physical therapist’s car won’t start. Then her two lovers come for her—and after each other. After her current boyfriend saves an enigmatic Finnish woman from freezing to death in the storm, they are followed by her former boyfriend, a petty thief who is armed and seeks revenge. As the weather worsens, leading to a power outage, damage from a fallen tree, and a fire, tensions rise. Forced to abandon the house, their flight through the snowbound forest leads to a bad deal with a deadly result. John Smolens’s novel Cold was lauded for its “stunning brutality and uncommon tenderness.” In the sequel, Out, nature and human nature again collide, illuminating the difference between being rescued and being saved.
Subjects: Fiction
Publication Date: February 1st, 2019
344 pages| 6 in x 9 in
John Smolens has published ten works of fiction, most recently Wolf's Mouth, which has been selected as a Library of Michigan Notable Book. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Michigan Author of the Year Award from the Michigan Library Association.

Early Praise

“John Smolens’s Out is a tense, knuckle-biter of a thriller that begins innocently enough: In his isolated cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness, Del Maki is recovering from hip surgery when he gets a routine visit from a very pregnant physical therapist. But like a snowball rolling down a hill, this seemingly innocuous opening quickly grows into an avalanche of intrigue and conflicting loyalties as the cabin fills with a cast of characters trying to dig themselves out from the consequences of an underworld deal gone bad—all in the middle of an epic snowstorm. Don’t think you know how this plays out—just hand the reins over to Smolens’s capable hands and enjoy the ride!”
Karen Dionne, bestselling author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

“John Smolens’s fascination with and abiding love for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula girds this powerful narrative and brings these characters into astonishing, authentic being. His fiction deepens the meanings of place and people—where we come from, how we got here, who we are.”
Thomas Lynch, poet, essayist, fictionist, undertaker

“Although Out is certainly not a detective novel or a murder mystery, the book is tightly plotted, much like one of the great thrillers. John Smolens has a sense of passion for the landscape, even hile recognizing its dangerous potential. The action is unrelenting, pulling the reader from one shattering moment to the next. I doubt that any reader who allows himself to be pulled in as far as twenty pages will ever want to put the book down.”
Keith Taylor, poet and critic


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