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On a recent trip to the town of West Baden Springs, Indiana, population 615, I met Michael Koryta, the author of the new thriller “So Cold the River,” in the bar of the West Baden Springs Hotel, where “River” is set. He was perched on a bar stool, drinking a Stella, dwarfed by an enormous, soaring glass dome that can be seen from a distance on the road leading up to the hotel, surrounded by towers flying white flags.
–I've seen the West Baden Hotel in about three different incarnations — a college, a monastery, and most recently restored to the height of its former spa glory–and it's never failed to impress and amaze. It's about time someone set a novel there, and about time The New Yorker took notice!
“Was I wrong?” Koryta asked, referring to the impact of the hotel’s atrium on first-time visitors. In “So Cold the River,” the protagonist, Eric Shaw, walks in, and promptly drops his luggage.
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