So Cold the River

So Cold the River

3.6 90
by Michael Koryta
     
 

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It started with a beautiful woman and a challenge. As a gift for her husband, Alyssa Bradford approaches Eric Shaw to make a documentary about her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old billionaire whose past is wrapped in mystery. Eric grabs the job even though there are few clues to the man's past--just the name of his hometown and an antique water bottle… See more details below

Overview

It started with a beautiful woman and a challenge. As a gift for her husband, Alyssa Bradford approaches Eric Shaw to make a documentary about her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old billionaire whose past is wrapped in mystery. Eric grabs the job even though there are few clues to the man's past--just the name of his hometown and an antique water bottle he's kept his entire life.

In Bradford's hometown, Eric discovers an extraordinary history--a glorious domed hotel where movie stars, presidents, athletes, and mobsters once mingled, and hot springs whose miraculous mineral water cured everything from insomnia to malaria. Neglected for years, the resort has been restored to its former grandeur just in time for Eric's stay.

Just hours after his arrival, Eric experiences a frighteningly vivid vision. As the days pass, the frequency and intensity of his hallucinations increase and draw Eric deeper into the town's dark history. He discovers that something besides the hotel has been restored--a long-forgotten evil that will stop at nothing to regain its lost glory. Brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, So Cold the River is a tale of irresistible suspense with a racing, unstoppable current.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
…a super­natural mystery that intensifies the suspense by thickening the atmosphere. So Cold the River…is a superior specimen, with its eerie tale of a lovely valley in Indiana where at one time an elixir known as Pluto Water bubbled up from the underground springs…Koryta sets a beautiful scene…
—The New York Times Book Review
Dennis Drabelle
So Cold the River takes a while to build up momentum, but the material is so fresh and the characters so appealing that my interest never flagged. After reading it, I'm sticking to good old D.C. tap water.
—The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
As 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
Publishers Weekly
In this explosive thriller from Koryta (Envy the Night), failed filmmaker Eric Shaw is eking out a living making family home videos when a client offers him big bucks to travel to the resort town of West Baden, Ind., the childhood home of her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, to shoot a video history of his life. Almost immediately, things go weird. Eric uncovers evidence of another Campbell Bradford, a petty tyrant who lived a generation before the other and terrorized the locals. The older Campbell begins appearing in horrific visions to Eric after he sips the peculiar mineral water that made West Baden famous. Koryta spins a spellbinding tale of an unholy lust for power that reaches from beyond the grave and suspends disbelief through the believable interactions of fully developed characters. A cataclysmic finale will put readers in mind of some of the best recent works of supernatural horror, among which this book ranks. 6-city author tour. (June)
Entertainment Weekly
"Creepy. . . . Michael Koryta swigs from the fount of Stephen King with So Cold the River."
New York Times Book Review
"Koryta earns a seat at the high table of neo-noir crime writers by putting a fresh spin on the fathers-and-sons narrative so many of his peers feel compelled to write over and over again.... As good as he is at depicting violence, Koryta puts even more muscle into scenes of killers tracking one another in the great outdoors--a talent that...is demonstrated here with brutal artistry."
Dan Simmons
Kortya's SO COLD THE RIVER is an example of the good-writing equals good-reading equation that makes fright-inducing fiction worthy of our time, attention, and real enjoyment.
author of The Terror and Drood
Scott Smith
Michael Koryta is a gifted storyteller. His writing reminded me of the great Ruth Rendell—eerie, suspenseful, and pleasantly wicked. If you're looking for a dose of Midwestern Gothic at its best, SO COLD THE RIVER will be just the thing for you.
author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins
Thomas Gaughan
[Koryta's] tight, clear prose makes West Baden as creepy as Transylvania, and Eric is a compellingly flawed protagonist. Legions of King and Peter Straub devotees will be delighted.
Booklist
Thomas Gaughan - Booklist
"[Koryta's] tight, clear prose makes West Baden as creepy as Transylvania, and Eric is a compellingly flawed protagonist. Legions of King and Peter Straub devotees will be delighted."
Marilyn Stasio - The New York Times
"With Envy the Night, Koryta earns a seat at the high table of neo-noir crime writers."
From the Publisher
ACCLAIM FOR ENVY THE NIGHT (2008)"

With Envy the Night, Koryta earns a seat at the high table of neo-noir crime writers."—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times"

Koryta earns a seat at the high table of neo-noir crime writers by putting a fresh spin on the fathers-and-sons narrative so many of his peers feel compelled to write over and over again.... As good as he is at depicting violence, Koryta puts even more muscle into scenes of killers tracking one another in the great outdoors—a talent that...is demonstrated here with brutal artistry."
New York Times Book Review"

Revenge drives this superb stand-alone...Koryta's dialogue is as sharp as the knives his characters wield, and his plot twists at the most unexpected moments. This thriller places Koryta solidly in the company of the genre's most powerful voices."Publishers Weekly"

Superb writing and storytelling from Michael Koryta...Envy the Night represents his best work to date."—George Pelecanos"

This diabolical novel, laid out in simple but eloquent prose and pitch-perfect dialogue, heralds a changing of the guard. I have seen the future of 'The Best Mystery Writer in America' and its name is Michael Koryta."—Ridley Pearson"

One of the best of the best, plain and simple."—Michael Connelly

George Pelecanos
"Superb writing and storytelling from Michael Koryta...Envy the Night represents his best work to date."
Ridley Pearson
"This diabolical novel, laid out in simple but eloquent prose and pitch-perfect dialogue, heralds a changing of the guard. I have seen the future of 'The Best Mystery Writer in America' and its name is Michael Koryta."
Michael Connelly
"One of the best of the best, plain and simple."
Dennis Lehane
"An icy, terrifying winner. So Cold the River puts an October chill in your blood by the end of the first chapter. It's not much longer before you've turned on all the lights and rechecked all the window locks. Few novelists warrant mention alongside Stephen King or Peter Straub. Michael Koryta, however, earns comparison to both."
Stewart O'Nan
"Fast-paced and action-packed, So Cold the River is good, unclean fun. Like Joe Hill, Michael Koryta is infusing the old-school supernatural horror novel with new blood. Drink up!"
Entertainment Weekly's 18 Books We Can't Wait to Read
"An edgy, seat-of-your-pants thriller with a supernatural edge that's set in an immaculately restored grand old hotel in the Midwest."
Joe R. Lansdale
"So Cold the River is a great story, but what held me was the lean, clean prose and the sharp presentation of scenes and dialogue. Michael Koryta is a good story teller and a wonderful stylist."
Carol Memmott
"A chilling supernatural tale. . . . Michael Koryta's novel is being compared to the writings of Stephen King and Peter Straub. He lives up to the comparison in this dark novel."
Stephen King
"Gangsters, a silent but heroic drifter with second sight, and a whopper of a Florida hurricane. How can you go wrong?"
Marilyn Stasio - New York Times
"With Envy the Night, Koryta earns a seat at the high table of neo-noir crime writers."
Dan Simmons - author of The Terror and Drood
"Kortya's SO COLD THE RIVER is an example of the good-writing equals good-reading equation that makes fright-inducing fiction worthy of our time, attention, and real enjoyment."
Scott Smith - author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins
"Michael Koryta is a gifted storyteller. His writing reminded me of the great Ruth Rendell--eerie, suspenseful, and pleasantly wicked. If you're looking for a dose of Midwestern Gothic at its best, SO COLD THE RIVER will be just the thing for you."
Library Journal
Edgar Award nominee Koryta breaks from his Lincoln Perry PI series with this work of dark, supernatural horror that demonstrates the quality writing style and well-developed characters for which he is known. Down-and-out filmmaker Eric Shaw agrees to produce a biopic of an elderly billionaire from West Baden Springs, IN. While there, a bottle of "Pluto" water enhances Shaw's psychic abilities as he becomes increasingly caught up in the mystery surrounding his subject's family, in West Baden history, and in the water's source and powers. Actor/Audie Award nominee Robert Petkoff (robertpetkoff.com) renders Eric's visions and descendant Josiah Campbell's ruthless pursuit of fortune with veridical insight. Highly recommended for all audiences. ["Fans of horror and supernatural suspense will enjoy Koryta's...darkest work yet," read the review of the Little, Brown hc, LJ 5/1/10; the Back Bay Bks. pb will publish in January 2011.—Ed.]—Sandy Glover, Camas P.L., WA
Kirkus Reviews
A gothic horror story set in-wait for it-rural Indiana. Filmmaker Eric Shaw, reduced to preparing video montages for memorial services since the failure of his Los Angeles career caused him to retreat to Chicago and leave his marriage to Claire, is approached by wealthy Alyssa Bradford, who offers him $15,000 to re-create the life of her father-in-law, Campbell, 95 and near death in a nursing home. The only clue to his past is a green glass bottle, still stoppered, that he's kept in his safe-a bottle of something called Pluto Water from some hidden spring between the twin towns of French Lick and West Baden, Ind. Quicker than Stephen King conjures goosebumps, Shaw finds himself hearing train whistles, having visions of an old gent in a bowler hat and suffering world-class headaches. Kellen Cage, a black student working on a doctoral thesis concerning French Lick and West Baden, offers some help. Meanwhile, the last Bradford, ne'er-do-well Josiah, hopes that the video may bring him money. The weather turns ominous. Shaw's headaches worsen. His scary visions continue. Would a sip of that reputed elixir, Pluto Water, help? As the visions intensify, Josiah turns more menacing, killing with no provocation a private eye sent from Chicago to stop Shaw. Old Anne, a weather spotter, senses that the wind is up. Shaw becomes obsessed with finding out more about Pluto Water. But four tornados will hit the county within an hour, the Lost River will rise and a major conflagration will almost annihilate Claire before the Campbell past is bottled up tight once more. A departure from Kortya's Lincoln Perry p.i. series (The Silent Hour, 2009, etc.) that's every bit as well-written.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316088596
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/09/2010
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
42,339
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Ridley Pearson
This diabolical novel, laid out in simple but eloquent prose and pitch-perfect dialogue, heralds a changing of the guard. I have seen the future of 'The Best Mystery Writer in America' and its name is Michael Koryta.
George Pelecanos
Superb writing and storytelling from Michael Koryta...Envy the Night represents his best work to date.
Joe R. Lansdale
"So Cold the River is a great story, but what held me was the lean, clean prose and the sharp presentation of scenes and dialogue. Michael Koryta is a good story teller and a wonderful stylist.
Michael Connelly
"This book builds like a summer storm. Beautiful to watch until it shakes the house and knocks out the lights, leaving you alone in the dark. Another masterful work from Michael Koryta, SO COLD THE RIVER is guaranteed to put the cold finger down your spine.
Dennis Lehane
"An icy, terrifying winner. So Cold the River puts an October chill in your blood by the end of the first chapter. It's not much longer before you've turned on all the lights and rechecked all the window locks. Few novelists warrant mention alongside Stephen King or Peter Straub. Michael Koryta, however, earns comparison to both.

Read More

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