Monday, June 28, 2010

So Cold The River by Michael Koryta

Book Description
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.

My thoughts
Eric Shaw, a dejected Hollywood cameraman, is back at home in Chicago, sans wife and now makes vignettes for memorial services. Then he gets the change to do a documentary of the one Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old billionaire on his death bed who ran away from his home town when he was a kid.

Eric goes to the town and learns of its glorious past and tangles with a few locals. He also starts having these visions that become more and more disturbing to him, yet he wants to learn the truth of what it all means.

Michael Koryta takes a real place with a real history and blends in a horrifying and mysterious ghost story that just thrilled me to the bone. I loved how he used the history of this hotel, it’d demise and resurrection and incorporated into his novel. It makes me want to visit.

Note: I borrowed this book from my local library.
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