Out (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!  I loved Out from the first page.  I believe a term like hidden gem, fits as the description of John Smolens’s writing.  It is just wonderful.  John has written one of my favorite kinds of stories, a blizzard story set in Marquette, MI.  We follow a small cast of characters through the duration.  We have Del, who you may be familiar with if you have read one of John’s previous books Cold.  He is a retired widower, recovering from hip surgery, introvertedly passing the time.  Next a pregnant physical therapist turns up to help Del out with some stretching and rehab named Marcia.  We also have two young men, Barr and Connor, who have had some kind of altercation leading to one of them lying face down bleeding in the snow. They also have some kind of connection to our pregnant therapist.   Out happens quickly.  Each turn of the page may flip the situation on its head with a slow burn of suspense.  I would compare this book to one of my other favorites Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser, or Steve Hamilton's books.  If you need a new Michigan thriller or suspense, pick this up along with some of his others, many having a Michigan connection.

— From Alex


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.

About the Author

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.

Praise For…

“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

Product Details
ISBN: 9781611863123
ISBN-10: 1611863120
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication Date: February 1st, 2019
Pages: 344
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