Michael Koryta seems to be establishing himself as a jack of all trades in the fiction genre. Kind of like Dan Simmons, who is one of the authors praising Koryta's latest, So Cold the River (note: Koryta has yet to tackle sci-fi, so we'll see). Koryta is the author of four Lincoln Perry mysteries and the standalone thriller Envy the Night. He has won the St. Martins Press/PWA Best First Novel, been nominated for and Edgar, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best Mystery/Thriller. Now he's trying his hand, very successfully I might add, at a gothic ghost tale set in Indiana. Simmons compares the book to King's The Shining. Michael Connelly says, "Guaranteed to put the cold finger down your spine." And Dennis Lehane called So Cold the River, "An icy, terrifying winner...."
This creepy read begins with filmmaker Eric Shaw, a man who's pretty much ruined his career in Hollywood before it even began. Now he's making a living doing wedding videos and photo montages for funerals. When he's approached by Alyssa Bradford to make a video about her father-in-law and his childhood in West Baden Springs, Eric thinks this is finally his chance. No one in the Bradford family knows much about patriarch Campbell Bradford, but they do know that he grew up in West Baden Springs. They also have a strange bottle of Pluto Water that the man's been carrying around all these years. With the bottle as a lead, Eric is sent to West Baden where he's put up in the opulent West Baden Springs Hotel. The bottle of water, always cold, becomes frosty and sparks Eric's curiosity. But when Eric decides to take a small sip of the mineral water, everything changes. That one action creates a connection between Eric and events that have long since been buried. Now Eric must uncover the secrets that surround him, or possibly die trying.
I ate up this book! I devoured it last week and loved every single second of the experience. The way the tale unfolds is completely captivating. And many aspects of this book are grounded by a real setting. West Baden Springs Hotel exists and looks to be every bit as magical as Koryta's version in the book. The Lost River is real. Even Pluto Water is real, though I doubt Eric's experience has ever been documented. Just a completely amazing read and definitely one of the best I've had the pleasure of reading so far this year.
So Cold the River hits shelves on June 9, so be on the lookout! This is one summer thriller that will give you chills even on the hottest days!