Thom Geier
June 16, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

So Cold the River

Current Status
In Season
Michael Koryta
Little, Brown and Company
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B

Eric Shaw, a filmmaker for hire in this well-?plotted yarn, hasn’t learned the first rule of documentarians: Don’t get too close to your subject. When a Chicago woman hires him to make a film about the childhood of her billionaire father-in-law, she lends him one of the man’s prized possessions, a mysteriously cold bottle of Pluto mineral water (a real-life product from the early 20th century). No sooner does Eric sneak a sip than he begins having hallucinations of the man’s deep, dark past in rural Indiana. Michael Koryta, the author of first-rate Midwest-set mysteries, swigs from the fount of Stephen King with So Cold the River — much of the story takes place in a resort hotel á la The Shining — but the result is more creepy than truly terrifying. B

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