"So Cold The River" and So Hot The Fury Unleashed

May 22, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Plot, storylines, characters, ...

Cons:though the tale lags a little at times.

The Bottom Line: Very good stuff and read the Lincoln Perry series too if you have not yet.

Years ago, scientists and others planned on building the SuperCollider south of here in Texas. The plan was to build a giant underground ring and smash atoms together to figure out how life formed and answer other science questions. Seemed like a good idea to me as I believe science research is well worth it. Some worried that by smashing atoms together, something would be unleashed and we would all be destroyed. Other, more powerful and politically connected people primarily consisting of the same fools that think sending astronauts into space is a waste of money got together and helped make sure that the project got shut down once it was nearly complete and ready to go online.

What does this have to do with Michael Kortya's new book coming out on June 9th? Because, that is what I thought of while reading this complex and slow moving novel. Michael Kortya creates a scenario and then makes us, the readers, watch as the characters ricochet off of each other often with violent results. The characters in this novel slam into each other, ricochet off, slam into other characters, ricochet off, and so on and so on. Every collision and ricochet is just a bit more violent than the last. The speed of the collisions increase along with personal acts of self destruction committed by several characters until the final frenetic collision whipped along by Mother Nature herself.

Film maker Eric Shaw was a rising star in Hollywood. He had a rare talent - he just knew when something was right for the film. He just wasn't as good with people. It drove him out of the industry, out of California and back home to Chicago. Eventually it drove him right out of his marriage to the beautiful Claire.

These days he makes a few bucks creating a sort of video montage tribute for memorial services. He still has the trick of just knowing that something belongs in the film without knowing why. That innate ability causes Alyssa Bradford to commission Eric to make a documentary about her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford.

At age 95, Campbell Bradford is finding out that his millions are not going to stop death. His past is a mystery and one he has never really spoken about in any detail. The family knows bits and pieces but no real specifics other than he came from the French Lick, Indiana area sometime during the Depression. He brought with him an old bottle of mineral water bottled by Pluto Water. Back in the day, the water was said to cure anything and everything. These days, such statements are considered fanciful at best. With those two clues his starting point, after a very strange hospital visit with the elderly Mr. Campbell, Eric Shaw goes to the area to start to uncover Campbell Bradford's past.

Amongst the beauty of the old resort hotels that have been fully restored to the appearance they once were there is a powerful legacy of evil. Evil, that like the area is slowly coming back to life. As Eric gradually succumbs more and more to the incredible hallucinations and visions as well as the temptations of the area the evil gains in strength. This highly atmospheric novel slowly builds to a powerful conclusion resulting in a climatic battle between good and evil.

I have always enjoyed Michael Kortya's books in the past which were primarily mysteries revolving around Private Investigator Lincoln Perry. Those books were more psychological in nature than this and used a mystery at the core. In this one, there is a mystery, but this novel is more of a literature angle as the focus is on relationships between characters in the present and the past. As such, there are long stretches of time between action sequences while characters discuss events or contemplate in solitude what is going on. The paranormal plays a strong part in the work and that angle is satisfactorily resolved.

Without ruining the read for others, all issues are fully addressed and explained by the end of this enjoyable and complex novel. There aren't any questions left unanswered in this slow moving novel that is far different from the other books the author has created. Primarily a character driven work, the tale follows numerous characters on collision courses and the aftermath of those collisions. While it takes a considerable amount of time to get there, the final 50 pages or so make the trip well worth it.

So Cold The River
Michael Kortya
Little, Brown and Company
June 9, 2010
ISBN# 978-0-316-05363-1
528 Pages

ARC provided by the Amazon Vine Program

Kevin R. Tipple © 2010

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