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Janet MaslinAs plot hooks for suspense tales go, haunted water is certainly unexpected. Mr. Koryta decided to use it for a very specific reason. His inspiration for So Cold the River comes from its spectacular setting: the grand old West Baden Springs Hotel in rural Indiana. As a Hoosier with a keen sense of the hotel's history, Mr. Koryta has worked backward to concoct an eerie narrative and used the place for the basis of his own personal version of The Shining.
—The New York Times