So Cold the River by Michael Koryta, Narrated by Robert Petkoff

Source: Complimentary BEA download
Audio, nearly 14 hours
On Amazon and on Kobo

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta, narrated by Robert Petkoff, is mysterious and dark, but at times, it is humorous.  Eric Shaw has lost his movie making career as a photographer/videographer in Los Angeles, forcing him to breathe life into those that have been lost or into inanimate objects for funerals, along with videos of weddings and more.  After crafting a video for a funeral or a woman with a secret that only one other person knows, Eric is sent on a job that makes him question reality.

Alyssa Bradford hires Eric to make a video of her father-in-law’s life, sending him to a once thriving vacation city that has only begun to rebound after the Great Depression when her father-in-law left to make his fortune elsewhere.  West Baden, Ind., is in the middle of nowhere, but it is the home of Pluto water, which was considered a miracle water from a mineral springCampbell Bradford, a 95 year-old billionaire, is a complete mystery … a mystery that Shaw is sent to unravel, but what he finds is not only a town being reborn but also a cast of townsfolk who are wound up tight or too relaxed.  Koryta’s dialogue could use a bit of sprucing up, as some of it is very repetitive with the use of “hell” and the like, but the descriptions of the characters, their interactions, and the mysterious experiences Shaw has are engaging.  The novel takes a great many twists and turns, but there are times when the changes are predictable.  

Robert Petkoff is a fantastic narrator, making sure that the voices and characters are easily discerned and the dialogue easy to follow.  His inflections are Midwestern, and he effectively effuses the emotions of these characters.  So Cold the River by Michael Koryta strikes a balance between suspense/thriller and the paranormal, as Eric Shaw finds himself pulled into the mysteries of Pluto water and a town that fell into financial ruin after the Great Depression.  It’s a satisfying novel to spend the summer with, full of adventure and intrigue.

About the Author:

Michael Koryta is an American author of contemporary crime and supernatural fiction. His novels have appeared on the The New York Times Best Seller list.  Visit his Website.



46th book for 2014 New Author Challenge.


  1. bermudaonion(Kathy) says

    I liked this when I read it a couple of years ago even though I wasn’t crazy about the supernatural elements.

  2. I’ll probably pass on this one given the issues you mention with the dialogue, but at least so found something to like in the handling of the characters.

  3. I agree the characters and dialogue were a little flat…but Koryta has definitely improved his game since then. He just keeps getting better and better in ratcheting up the tension and creating interesting personalities. What hooked me most about this book is that I’ve actually visited West Baden in French Lick IN. It is unlike any other resort I’ve ever seen. Like you have walked back in time.