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So Cold the River Paperback – January 6, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (January 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316053648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316053648
  • ASIN: 0316053643
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2010: Award-winning author Michael Koryta's first foray into the supernatural genre is spellbinding and check-your-doors-and-windows scary, and it all begins with a check and a bottle of water. Filmmaker Eric Shaw had a knack for getting the exact right shot--an unexplained tug that unerringly put him on the right path--until his temper killed his Hollywood career. He gets a shot at redemption when a wealthy young woman commissions a video tribute for her father-in-law, a dying millionaire named Campbell Bradford. A man with a shady past, a town with a rich history, and an antique bottle of water claiming to "cure all ills" lead Shaw to small town West Baden, where things quickly go sideways. Shaw finds himself at odds with Bradford's only surviving family, a bitter and violent great-grandson named Josiah, and that once familiar tug of Shaw's becomes something darker and more dangerous. At its deliciously creepy core, So Cold the River is about two men facing down their demons, and what happens when those demons fight back. --Daphne Durham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Michael Koryta (pronounced ko-ree-ta)is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, most recently THE PROPHET. His last three novels, THE RIDGE, THE CYPRESS HOUSE, and SO COLD THE RIVER were all New York Times notable books and nominated for several national and international awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, his novel ENVY THE NIGHT was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. Koryta's work has been translated into more than twenty languages. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.

Customer Reviews

I read this entire 500+-page book on a flight from Paris to the U.S., and it kept me riveted the entire time.
Larry Hoffer
I really liked the book, the characters are interesting and the story is a mystery with lots and lots of strange things going on.
Pug lover.
I'm not really sure how it could have ended, but it just felt like it should have been something slightly different.
ChibiNeko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 146 people found the following review helpful By K. Sozaeva VINE VOICE on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When filmmaker Eric Shaw is approached by the lovely Alyssa Bradford, who asks Shaw if he would be willing to travel to her dying father-in-law's hometown to do a retrospective about his early life, Shaw figures it is easy money. However, he soon discovers it won't be as easy as all that. It turns out that Campbell Bradford's early life is shrouded in mystery - all Shaw has to go on is the name of the town (West Baden, IN, a small rural town very close to French Lick, IN) and a bottle of Pluto Water, a cure-all remedy mineral water bottled about 80 years ago. Pluto Water had been one of the mainstays of the economy of the West Baden/French Lick area during the time of Campbell's childhood - that and the mineral springs brought people from all over to the luxurious West Baden Springs Hotel. Unable to find any information on Campbell Bradford ahead of time on the internet, Shaw travels to Indiana, only to start having frightening hallucinations and experiences after arriving there. As the days pass, Shaw discovers a frightening fragment of the past that seems to be coming back ... can he stop it in time?

An excellent variation on the haunting genre, a subtle paranormal thriller, this is a great book for those who enjoy suspense, paranormal thrillers and horror. I enjoyed the book a great deal and highly recommend it.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Pug lover. VINE VOICE on May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book begins with The protagonist Eric Shaw at a funeral watching with the family the DVD video that he created of the deceased's life.He was trained as a film maker but has had issues with the people he worked with. When he has to take inderal and Xanax to get though the funeral you can figure that anxiety is one of his issues.After the funeral the sister of the deceased asks him to go to her father in law's home town, French Lick, Indiana and find out something about his past. Her father-in-law has become very rich and is 95 years old but she knows nothing about his past and wants the video as a gift for her husband. She books him in at The West Baden Springs Hotel( This is a real place, a fantastic historical hotel) Google it! She gives him an unopened bottle of mineral water that her father in law, Campbell Bradford has had since 1929. The only thing he has from his past.
When he gets to the hotel, he can't stop himself from drinking some of the water called Pluto water. He starts to have visions and headaches that is only relieved by drinking more of the water.
We are now in Stephen King territory, a nice place to be.He finds that there is only one Bradford left there and he is a terrible person.The book is very long but makes a very enjoyable read. It made me want to go and check out the area. I think they still have Pluto water there and the whole area is beautiful.
I really liked the book, the characters are interesting and the story is a mystery with lots and lots of strange things going on. I am going to be reading more of Michael Koryta's books but think they can't be as good as this one.I highly recommend it for anyone who likes something a little different.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By S. Hamon VINE VOICE on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You want to know what this book is about? Read the authors description because they did a great job describing it. You want to know if you should read it?? YES!! You want to know if I enjoyed it? Double YES!! There are soooo many murder-mystery, thriller, suspense, and similar books out there with fairly the same basic plot...a bad guy does something illegal, people try to find him, they wind up locating him, lock him up and happily ever after. This book isn't like that. The author did a wonderful job of thinking up a new & interesting supernatural plot and delivered it beautifully without making it too unbelievable. There was always something new happening adding to the suspense...I couldn't put this one down!! My favorite part of this book...the ending!! Most books all end the same and 3/4 the way through the book you can almost always predict what is going to happen...they catch the bad guy, lock him up and everything is fine...but not here! I don't want to ruin the ending of this one for anybody, but I sense a "So Cold the River 2" coming....and I can't wait for it!!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ChibiNeko TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
From the moment I picked the book up, I kept feeling like this book had a "Stephen King's Shining" vibe, which seems to have been intentional. After all, the main character himself remarks on how the hotel he's staying in reminds him of the Overlook hotel. Other than those initial vibes, that's where the similarities end.

Eric used to be a relatively in-demand man in the film industry, having an uncanny knack for choosing the exactly right spots to film in. Now Eric spends his days composing wedding & funeral videos for the wealthy while he wonders exactly what went wrong in his marriage. When Alyssa Bradford offers him a lot of money to do a film on her dying father-in-law, Eric initially assumes that it'll be just another job. He quickly finds himself being drawn into something far more sinister as he attempts to finish the job.

I liked this book as it has all of the stuff I love (old mysteries, supernatural happenings, slow suspsense), but I'll be completely honest with you. I probably won't be reading this again. It's good, but towards the end it just didn't keep me "in" as much as it did at the beginning. Koryta does a nice job of building suspense, but it's the ending that really just killed it for me. It felt a little anti-climactic & rushed, in my opinion. I'm not really sure how it could have ended, but it just felt like it should have been something slightly different.

That being said, I have to say that I liked the characters for the most part & I really liked that the main character of Eric wasn't particularly likeable. I don't mean that in the "I don't want to read about him" sense, but in the "this guy needs help & actually changes during the book" sense.
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