The Chill
In this terrifying thriller, a supernatural force—set in motion a century ago—threatens to devastate New York City.Far upstate, in New York’s ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that’s what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America’s founding, were forced from their land, but they didn’t move far, and some didn’t move at all…Now, a century later, the repercussions of human arrogance are finally making themselves known. An inspector assigned to oversee the dam, dangerously neglected for decades, witnesses something inexplicable. It turns out that more than the village was left behind in the waters of the Chill when it was abandoned. The townspeople didn’t evacuate without a fight. A dark prophecy remained, too, and the time has come for it to be fulfilled. Those who remember must ask themselves: who will be next? For sacrifices must be made. And as the dark waters begin to inexorably rise, the demand for a fresh sacrifice emerges from the deep...

The Chill Details

TitleThe Chill
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 11th, 2020
PublisherAtria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN-139781982104597
Rating
GenreHorror, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Adult

The Chill Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    3.25 STARSWith The Chill, we have Michael Koryta writing under the pseudonym Scott Carson, and he seems to be returning to his original style of supernatural thriller, something he does extremely well. From the prologue here I was hooked, and it's no surprise that the author is able to spin a web of lies and deceit, but with a paranormal flair. I'm not sure what will be included in the finished copy, but I found the information surrounding the research that the author did into past events that 3.25 STARSWith The Chill, we have Michael Koryta writing under the pseudonym Scott Carson, and he seems to be returning to his original style of supernatural thriller, something he does extremely well. From the prologue here I was hooked, and it's no surprise that the author is able to spin a web of lies and deceit, but with a paranormal flair. I'm not sure what will be included in the finished copy, but I found the information surrounding the research that the author did into past events that he inserted (fictionally) into this story to be fascinating and engaging. My only major grip with the story is that it was just too long for this sort of book; many people who pick up this sub-genre of thriller are looking for a fast-paced, snappy read, and at 450+ pages in my copy, it bogged down the action scenes. I'd still recommend this one to fans of the author's previous work, and also those who don't mind a meaty read, because the story is incredible. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • J.D. Barker
    January 1, 1970
    A fantastic supernatural thriller that harkens back to horror's glory days. Character driven and ominously creepy, this one will have you wondering what's at the other end of that drippy faucet in the kitchen.
  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    An update New York village was flooded 75 years ago for a reservoir project. There are legends about the strange things that happen in the Dead Waters...the area where you can still see the burnt out submerged buildings that used to be Galesburg. But it's more than that.....an evil....a strange heaviness that is more than just the leftovers of a flooded village. I'm a sucker for stories about submerged towns. There are so many urban legends surrounding reservoir projects and submerged towns, An update New York village was flooded 75 years ago for a reservoir project. There are legends about the strange things that happen in the Dead Waters...the area where you can still see the burnt out submerged buildings that used to be Galesburg. But it's more than that.....an evil....a strange heaviness that is more than just the leftovers of a flooded village. I'm a sucker for stories about submerged towns. There are so many urban legends surrounding reservoir projects and submerged towns, especially if the dam has not been properly maintained. Portions of this story were incredibly creepy and spooky....but at times the pacing dragged a bit. The story lost my attention at times because it just moved too slowly or went on too long...I'm not quite sure which it is...or if it's a mix of both. I love the front cover art! It sets the creepy atmosphere for this supernatural horror/disaster story. All in all, an entertaining read, even if it did drag a bit at times. This is the first book by Scott Carson (a pen name for author Michael Koryta) that I've read. I will definitely be reading more by this author. Very creative, interesting concept! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Atria Books. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Water WorksIve had this on my To Read list for months so I was elated upon notification that Id won a copy. Yay!I missed the description blurb stating this had a supernatural element which isn't my go-to genre. Had I been paying attention, I sill would have purchased it based on the eerie premise. It caught my attention instantly.The star of this show is the water. Its everywhere. A lake backed up by an aging dam, drenching non-stop rain, and misplaced running water-imagined or real? Dripdrip Water WorksI’ve had this on my ‘To Read’ list for months so I was elated upon notification that I’d won a copy. Yay!I missed the description blurb stating this had a supernatural element which isn't my go-to genre. Had I been paying attention, I sill would have purchased it based on the eerie premise. It caught my attention instantly.The star of this show is the water. It’s everywhere. A lake backed up by an aging dam, drenching non-stop rain, and misplaced running water-imagined or real? Drip…drip… drip...Eighty years prior, a dam was built to create a reservoir and drowned a town in the process. Residents were evicted from their homes and businesses by the local sheriff - their friend. Citing eminent domain, he was required to perform his job duties as dictated by elected officials. Appropriately titled, this was both melancholy and ominous as the past demanded reconciliation and wrongs righted. Ghostly supernatural forces and legacy collide with civil engineering and political power.Structural mistakes, innocent workers blasting in subterranean tunnels, a dam festering and straining at the seams-all inauspicious suggestions to what might come. I loved the build up!I was entertained throughout. A cast of likable characters and a strong desire for discovery kept me moving although I feel it was a bit long. Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Scott Carson for my copy. My review opinions are my own.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    The Chill is a well written, spooky, town mystery novel. I really enjoyed the author's writing style and the dynamics behind each of the characters. My only issue is that this book is seriously too long, and at points I felt bored because of it's pacing. If you enjoy slower-paced atmospheric settings, this book would be more enjoyable. My attention span is too short for that. I do think folks that enjoy Stephen King will be able to appreciate this book more than me.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The Chill is about a small town, Galesburg, that was once drowned underwater to make a new dam. We follow the ancestors of the people from that small town, now living in the "new" town of Torrance.When I first started reading, there were a lot of jumps in the POV. So much that I wondered who the main characters even were, and if I'd ever get to spend enough time with any of them to care. The answer is yes and no. Focus does slow down to a handful of main characters, but I still think there were The Chill is about a small town, Galesburg, that was once drowned underwater to make a new dam. We follow the ancestors of the people from that small town, now living in the "new" town of Torrance.
When I first started reading, there were a lot of jumps in the POV. So much that I wondered who the main characters even were, and if I'd ever get to spend enough time with any of them to care. The answer is yes and no. Focus does slow down to a handful of main characters, but I still think there were too many, and while I cared about a couple of them, I didn't care about all of them.
In addition to the POV jumps, the book is weighed down by the description about dams and dam construction. It wasn't as much as say, the church construction in The Pillars of the Earth, and some of it was interesting, but a lot of it went over my head.Towards the end, I was confused by a lot of the description about where the characters were and what they were doing.  For example, at one point I swear Aaron swims into a tunnel, and a chapter later I swear Gillian is climbing into the same tunnel.  I think maps of the tunnels might have helped.  (I read an ARC, so it's possible one is included in final copies.)It was hard to feel excited about the plot when I was never entirely sure what the stakes were. The characters keep mentioning how they are going to get back at New York City, but I was never really clear on precisely how that was going to happen (flood? tainted water supply?). The Chilewaukee reservoir (The Chill) the story centers on, is a reserve basin and not connected to anything else. Specifics are mentioned towards the end, but by then I was mostly over it.
I feel like the true climax, and the story that felt suspenseful, came much earlier than the end.  I was enjoying the book for the most part until then, and after that point everything came to a full stop for me.  Ultimately, pacing and structure were an issue for me.
That being said- I did like the supernatural part of the story and unraveling the mystery. There's a lot of suspension of disbelief needed for it to work but those were my favorite parts. I just wished they'd been a little more frequent? It was like the author wasn't sure if he was writing a thriller or a horror or a science fiction story. It wasn't quite enough of any one of those things to be effective, and the result was muddied.
All in all- not a bad book, I just wished it had been a little more exciting.  Thank you to the publisher who provided an ARC for review.

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  • Laura Rash
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this! Sometimes books that are hyped just dont live up to my expectations but this one did! Its terrifically written and laid out so the story just builds like a freight train heading down the tracks. Descriptive to the point you feel it down to your bones! Thanks to the publisher for this early copy for review:) I loved this! Sometimes books that are hyped just don’t live up to my expectations but this one did! It’s terrifically written and laid out so the story just builds like a freight train heading down the tracks. Descriptive to the point you feel it down to your bones! Thanks to the publisher for this early copy for review:)
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/02/27/...Nestled in the forests of northern New York situated in the Catskills is the small town of Chilewaukee and the calm, quiet waters of their reservoir nicknamed the Chill, which supplies water for millions of people living in the southern part of the state. Beneath its mirror-smooth surface though, lies a terrible history of violence and death. Evidence of that past can still be found in the ruins of Galesburg, lying 2.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/02/27/...Nestled in the forests of northern New York situated in the Catskills is the small town of Chilewaukee and the calm, quiet waters of their reservoir nicknamed the Chill, which supplies water for millions of people living in the southern part of the state. Beneath its mirror-smooth surface though, lies a terrible history of violence and death. Evidence of that past can still be found in the ruins of Galesburg, lying flooded at the bottom of those clear waters, the final remnants of a town that didn’t go down without a fight. Nearly 80 years have passed since officials came up from the city and tried to force the townspeople out, prompting a fierce rebellion, but in the end, their efforts were all for naught. The Chilewaukee dam and reservoir were still constructed “for the greater good”, and Galesburg was drowned.Now though, the once proud dam sports cracks and leaks, a result of decades of negligence and oversight. Enter Mick Fleming, chief engineer of the state’s water infrastructure, whose grandfather was also the architect behind the Chilewaukee dam. But while in town doing inspections, Mick spies a strange man lurking around in the woods, claiming to be a freelance journalist and photographer. Meanwhile, Chilewaukee’s sheriff Steve Ellsworth has his hands full with his son Aaron, a young man who hasn’t been quite the same since his mother died. Bounced out of the Coast Guard’s rigorous rescue swimming program for letting his temper get to him, Aaron returned to his hometown and immediately fell in with the wrong crowd, getting into drugs and drinking. Steve wishes very badly for Aaron to turn his life around, but when the day finally comes, it is not in the way the sheriff wanted or even dreamed could happen. The terrible incident brings officer Gillian Mathers of the Department of Environmental Protection Police to Chilewaukee, where she expected to deal with an accidental murder, but instead is faced with something far weirder. With ties to the drowned village of Galesburg herself, Gillian listens to Aaron’s wild, impossible report of what happened, while hiding the fact she knows more than she lets on.This is the initial set up for the premise of The Chill, by thriller author Michael Koryta writing under the pseudonym Scott Carson. It had the potential for so much mystery, horror, and drama, and for the first half of the book, at least, the story delivered all that and more. At a certain point though, the storytelling takes a sharp nosedive, and the following are the reasons why I think this happened. One, as it sometimes happens with even the most experienced of authors, Carson decided to get a little too enthusiastic with sharing of information about the logistics and architectural challenges of building a damn dam. Yes, I get it—while doing prep work for their books, authors no doubt come across fascinating tidbits in their research all the time. Doesn’t mean the readers always want to hear about them though. It makes for dry reading, and here, it resulted in too many sections where pacing dragged, and the halted momentum caused the rest of the novel’s strengths to crumble along with its chances of being a great book.Character development appeared to be an early casualty, as I thought another reason for the lackluster second half was absence of genuinely interesting personalities. The character I enjoyed reading about most also happened to be the most flawed, and that was Aaron, an angry and troubled young man whom I admittedly wanted to throttle from the first moment he showed up on the page. However, the first half saw him making great strides, though ultimately that progress was completely obliterated by the meandering narrative and overly complex dam history and mythology which followed. By the end of the book, there were few characters I connected with enough to care whether they made it out alive or not.And finally, the heady atmosphere of eeriness and mystery present in the beginning was pretty much all gone by the halfway point. I’ve seen The Chill being compared to Stephen King, who apparently even provided a blurb and recommended it on social media, and in many respects I can even understand why some folks would draw similarities, especially in the novel’s supernatural elements. What it lacked, however, was the keen sense of dread that King does so well, the way he can maintain a high level of suspense so that even when the reader know exactly what’s coming, you’re kept on the edge of your seat. When the inevitable finally does come in The Chill though, there was no surprise or horror, just a sense of detachment as I watched the disaster play out with bored apathy.Even the audiobook narrator couldn’t really save this one for me, even though John Bedford Lloyd is a great reader who has done a few other thrillers I enjoyed. His performance in The Chill was solid, but because of the way this novel was structured, I think it could have used multiple narrators which would have made the experience more immersive.Overall, this was a book that had an amazing concept and lots of potential. Sadly, after a promising first half, things rapidly unraveled and in the end I was left feeling cold—not chilled to the bone like I had wanted, but filled with disappointment and indifference.
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  • Aristotle
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome everyone. I am your dam guide, AristotlePlease don't wander off the dam tour and please take all the dam pictures you want. Now are there any dam questions?Yeah, where are the dam ghosts?!You know what sends a 'Chill' down my spine?A dnf after 100 pagesI feel guilty like a failure. Is that weird?I carried on for another 100 pages and just couldn't go on.Such a dull and uneventful read.Stephen King's blurb was "Wow! Terrific. Characters you root for and a story that grips you from the Welcome everyone. I am your dam guide, AristotlePlease don't wander off the dam tour and please take all the dam pictures you want. Now are there any dam questions?Yeah, where are the dam ghosts?!You know what sends a 'Chill' down my spine?A dnf after 100 pagesI feel guilty like a failure. Is that weird?I carried on for another 100 pages and just couldn't go on.Such a dull and uneventful read.Stephen King's blurb was "Wow! Terrific. Characters you root for and a story that grips you from the first page." Talk about fake news.I didn't know what the plot was or who the main characters were.Skip it and go watch an episode of Casper the friendly ghost.
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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    I had to think a bit before writing this review.I liked the book. I found the authors world so incredibly vivid and his characters so wonderfully compelling that there were times I didnt want to stop reading.Butthere were times I did.The author gives us so much information about dams and water and, while its all fascinating, it also tends to take a rather informational tone almost a lecture and you lose the story once in a while. In fact, I put it down for a full five days and read something I had to think a bit before writing this review.I liked the book. I found the author’s world so incredibly vivid and his characters so wonderfully compelling that there were times I didn’t want to stop reading.But…there were times I did.The author gives us so much information about dams and water and, while it’s all fascinating, it also tends to take a rather informational tone – almost a lecture – and you lose the story once in a while. In fact, I put it down for a full five days and read something else before returning to it.Our author’s plot is a good one. You have a truly chilling ghost story which just teeters on the edge of epic. But it will take a dedicated reader to read past all of the information on dam construction and maintenance. A good read overall, though.*ARC provided via Net Galley
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  • Jocelyn
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun paranormal thriller. It wasnt really spooky, and if I tried, I could poke holes in the plot - but it was entertaining, and with a book like this, arent we looking for entertainment?! There is underwater town not to far from where I grew up in Northern California called Whiskeytown Lake. As a kid, I was obsesssssssed with this place. So many questions - why would the bury a town under water? But people lived there! Whats down there now? Did people take their stuff? How quick did it This was a fun paranormal thriller. It wasn’t really spooky, and if I tried, I could poke holes in the plot - but it was entertaining, and with a book like this, aren’t we looking for entertainment?! There is underwater town not to far from where I grew up in Northern California called Whiskeytown Lake. As a kid, I was obsesssssssed with this place. So many questions - why would the “bury” a town under water? But people lived there! What’s down there now? Did people take their stuff? How quick did it happen? What did it look like? I peppered adults with these questions any time the subject of Whiskeytown (a fun day trip to the lake, so it came up fairly often) would come up. Fast forward... and here is the book The Chill. I had to read it based on my old interest, Whiskeytown, alone. An underwater town, flooded for a dam?! Boom, bought. Interesting book, and a fun read. I’d recommend on that alone, but especially if we get to talking about underwater towns 🤩
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  • Jen (Book Den)
    January 1, 1970
    The beginning of The Chill had a wonderfully dark and creepy tone. It was awesome, and I was excited for the ride I was about to take.Unfortunately, the first 20% turned out to be more of a hook instead of a promise. The Chill got bogged down in information and turned into an entirely different book.The reviews have been great for The Chill so I think most people will be able go along with the turns and changes, but I am terrible with broken promises. The Chill weighs in at 450 pages. Combine The beginning of The Chill had a wonderfully dark and creepy tone. It was awesome, and I was excited for the ride I was about to take.Unfortunately, the first 20% turned out to be more of a hook instead of a promise. The Chill got bogged down in information and turned into an entirely different book.The reviews have been great for The Chill so I think most people will be able go along with the turns and changes, but I am terrible with broken promises. The Chill weighs in at 450 pages. Combine that with the struggle of the story not matching what I expected it to be, and it just turned into a tough read for me.Review copy provided by publisher
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  • Truman32
    January 1, 1970
    The Chill is an atmospheric ghost story by Scott Carson. Carson, as the back book jacket states is the penname of a New York Times bestselling author. Who could it be? Nora Roberts? Jack Higgins? Mo Willems? To me it is obvious, this mystery writer of The Chill can only be Louisa May Alcott. The haunting story of unforgiving spirits avenging their town (which was flooded to build a dam for New York City) could only have been written by an author familiar with the daily life of a group of sisters The Chill is an atmospheric ghost story by Scott Carson. Carson, as the back book jacket states is the penname of a New York Times bestselling author. Who could it be? Nora Roberts? Jack Higgins? Mo Willems? To me it is obvious, this mystery writer of The Chill can only be Louisa May Alcott. The haunting story of unforgiving spirits avenging their town (which was flooded to build a dam for New York City) could only have been written by an author familiar with the daily life of a group of sisters living in Concord Massachusetts in the late1800’s. These ghosts are angry and their actions can sometimes be tormenting. Only a sadist that would kill off the beloved Beth March could imagine and put to paper the doings of these evil spirits. C’mon, Beth was sweet, gentle and full of quiet wisdom. Why kill Beth? Why you monster?!!!Alcott paces this story slowly and while there is definitely a creepy atmosphere, the action can drag. The characters are refreshingly diverse (what more could we expect from an author who was not only an abolitionist and a feminist, but also one of most popular social media influencers to ever upload a video of her dancing to “Nearer, My God, to Thee” on Tik Tok. (This being the smash song of 1853.) The problem is the ghosts just do not do scary ghost things. Their goal is to break the dam, tunnel through a mountain, and ultimately flood NYC. Sure, they are hardworking. They are industriously using their little ghosty pick axes and shovels to dig through a mountain but is an impressive level of perseverance and a spectacular work effort scary to anyone other than that lazy high schooler who works at the movie theater sweeping up popcorn but really just wants to take cigarette breaks and talk up Susie-Lou who works the snack counter? I do not think it would be too much to ask for Alcott to have a ghost every once in a while jump out of a dark corner. Maybe add some shrieking. Possibly have inanimate objects move? But no, Alcott seems more focused on having her departed souls just slave away erroneously believing the reader will be spooked by all that toiling labor. Overall The Chill is a readable way to kill a few hours but not that special. Better luck next time Alcott!
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  • Jon Recluse
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • NhaughtyV says Damn the Zon Save the Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    There is something lurking in the dark waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir better known by the locals as The Chillsomething that demands payment in the form of a sacrificesomething that is rising to collect on past duesTo be honest, the only reason I requested a copy of this book was Stephen King had pimped it out on his social media. Im sure there is an audience for this book, but Im sad to say, as much as I love a good supernatural story, this one fell a little flat for me. While there were There is something lurking in the dark waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir better known by the locals as The Chill…something that demands payment in the form of a sacrifice…something that is rising to collect on past dues…To be honest, the only reason I requested a copy of this book was Stephen King had pimped it out on his social media. I’m sure there is an audience for this book, but I’m sad to say, as much as I love a good supernatural story, this one fell a little flat for me. While there were passages that held a spooky element, I was bogged down too much with all the information on dam and tunnel construction and the back and forth between the past and the present, that I got lost as well as a wee bit bored. Over all, I’m still trying to determine if The Chill is a mystery, a ghost story, or an engineering handbook on dam building and water works.While I was underwhelmed with the story, it could be another reader’s next fav, so if the blurb grabbed your attention, give it a try…**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **
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  • Jeri
    January 1, 1970
    This book kept me up way too late most nights until my eyes just had to shut me down for the night. If you love supernatural haunting stories you'll love this book. Especially with spring rains and flooding soon, this story will make you think twice. The story is fast paced but builds character and tension perfectly to lead up to the haunting end.I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Get ready to swim upstream, and dive into one spine tingling supernatural thriller that will keep you turning page after page.In the fall of 1940, Torrance Counties oldest village, Galesburg was evacuated and flooded in order to build a reservoir; which was supposed to supply NYC with water. That no connecting tunnel was ever finished, both angered and enraged the former townsfolk. Up until now, the Chilewaukee Reservoir, or "the Chill" has had no use, other than flooding an entire village with Get ready to swim upstream, and dive into one spine tingling supernatural thriller that will keep you turning page after page.In the fall of 1940, Torrance Counties oldest village, Galesburg was evacuated and flooded in order to build a reservoir; which was supposed to supply NYC with water. That no connecting tunnel was ever finished, both angered and enraged the former townsfolk. Up until now, the Chilewaukee Reservoir, or "the Chill" has had no use, other than flooding an entire village with water. Scott Carson's novel follows various characters, as they deal with their own problems and those of this long lost village. That Galesburg was no normal place to live in, is soon made clear and the story will have you asking what exactly happened all those years ago. I really enjoyed this novel. The characters were not only relatable, but also given a lot of personality. It was almost like I knew them all in person. The author's knowledge of dams and water tunnels was impressive, even though a little bit too much at times. I've always enjoyed reading novels with old "buried" mysteries in it, and this one definitely hit the spot. The greatest mystery of all is Scott Carson. I'm extremely intrigued as to whom he is. Apparently the name is a pen name for a bestselling author, and I'm dying to find out who he is! I received a free ARC of this book from Atria in exchange for an honest review. 5 out of 5 stars!
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  • amanda
    January 1, 1970
    2.5I am all for tales of ancient evil. Sacrifices made to drowned gods, curses screeched at lesser demons.Ive heard my share of flooded towns. Man made lakes built OVER towns as reservoirs of water. Buildings, communities, people becoming watery graveyards. Haunts.The most infamous one I know of is Lake Lanier that makes news every single time because of its infamy. Nobody comes out of its waters alive, its foolish to even deep a toe in it.I have to say that this was quite disappointing. The 2.5I am all for tales of ancient evil. Sacrifices made to drowned gods, curses screeched at lesser demons.I’ve heard my share of flooded towns. Man made lakes built OVER towns as reservoirs of water. Buildings, communities, people becoming watery graveyards. Haunts.The most infamous one I know of is Lake Lanier that makes news every single time because of its infamy. Nobody comes out of its waters alive, it’s foolish to even deep a toe in it.I have to say that this was quite disappointing. The premise is interesting enough. Drowned town, haunted people, sheriff’s son trying to do right. The plot is fine but that’s it. The characters are caricatures of themselves and I was lost, BEYOND lost, in all of the dam lore. There was just way too much of that. I was bored halfway through and honestly I’m still not quite sure whatexactlywasgoingonI’m actually still quite confused about it all and while I enjoyed reading the first half, the second greatly floundered and was disappointing.Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my ARC.For more reviews please check out my blog aelilyreads.com
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  •  Reading Reindeer
    January 1, 1970
    THE CHILL (written under a nom de plume) is one extraordinary novel: Supernatural thriller, family dysfunction, average small-town in contrast with highly dysfunctional cultish village. No need for suspension of Disbelief: I leaped immediately into the story on Page 1, and I devoured every bit of it without a pause. The story is so "real" I seemed to be living it, not reading it.The "Chill" is an Upstate New York dam and reservoir, initially intended to provide water supply to New York City, but THE CHILL (written under a nom de plume) is one extraordinary novel: Supernatural thriller, family dysfunction, average small-town in contrast with highly dysfunctional cultish village. No need for suspension of Disbelief: I leaped immediately into the story on Page 1, and I devoured every bit of it without a pause. The story is so "real" I seemed to be living it, not reading it.The "Chill" is an Upstate New York dam and reservoir, initially intended to provide water supply to New York City, but instead left as surplus to requirements. Unfortunately its construction came at the cost of submerging a village, and herein lies the tale. I've been fascinated by "drowned communities" since reading Stuart Woods' novel UNDER THE LAKE in the latter 1980's, and I will probably always be simultaneously fascinated abd repelled by such examples of human greed and cupidity.
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  • Linda Lipko
    January 1, 1970
    What a page turner this book is! It is obvious the author did a lot of research regarding dams and water flow. Chill is the story of a small community in upstate New York. The Catskills contained pockets of small communities. A small town was drowned in order to build a set of dams and waterways to help provide water to Manhattan, NY.The story has great character development and includes the ghosts who inhabit the area, haunting the tunnels and worksites of the miners. On a clear day, one can What a page turner this book is! It is obvious the author did a lot of research regarding dams and water flow. Chill is the story of a small community in upstate New York. The Catskills contained pockets of small communities. A small town was drowned in order to build a set of dams and waterways to help provide water to Manhattan, NY.The story has great character development and includes the ghosts who inhabit the area, haunting the tunnels and worksites of the miners. On a clear day, one can look down into the water and see the houses, eerily submerged, but still visible.Some of the characters had relatives who lost their lives working this grueling task. In tandem with the Chilewaukee Reservior, thee story includes miners who work deep down in the water tunnels of New York City. One of the miners sees ghosts but chooses to ignore them. He fell in love a long time ago with a beautiful woman who lived in the forests near the Chilewaukee Reserviour.She became pregnant with their daughter. He supported the child, however was way too spooked by the ghosts and eerie happenings and continued to live in NYC. Fast forward to modern day when his daughter returned to the Catskills and became a police woman. She has many memories of her grandmother. Unfortunately, there is a rumor that the waters call for sacrifices. Her grandmother was one such sacrifice and she intentionally pulled a black cloth over her head, placed chains on her feel and hooks in her hands.The dam is called "The Chill." When it pours and pours rain making the dam suspect to overflow, an engineer is called in. He knows the structure of the dam well. It was his grandfather who engineered and helped to build the chill.When the dam overflows, those who knew the area and the sacrifices that needed to be continual, could not escape their fate.Perhaps they will become the ghosts of the future.A good read, but the switching of characters back and forth became tedious at times.Four Stars.
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  • Jillian
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. What a creepy book! The story centers around a town that was destroyed purposely many years ago to build a dam in order to help supply water to NYC. In the present, the dam is looking like it will fail soon. To further complicate things, the engineer checking the dam is a relative of the original engineer of the dam. This is told in alternating story lines by a cast of characters that really completes the Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. What a creepy book! The story centers around a town that was destroyed purposely many years ago to build a dam in order to help supply water to NYC. In the present, the dam is looking like it will fail soon. To further complicate things, the engineer checking the dam is a relative of the original engineer of the dam. This is told in alternating story lines by a cast of characters that really completes the story. It was definitely creepy!
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  •  Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyed it immensely. Such a creepy read, I'm telling you. Characterization, plot, narrative: very rich. About the plot, it's all about mistakes from the past and retribution, supernatural style. Nothing we have not seen before but done with tremendous talent and style. We are dealing with some flawed people in this but Carson, always the keen writer (he is best-selling author Michael Koryta after all), tags on to his narrative a likability from the least likable character, and that's never a Enjoyed it immensely. Such a creepy read, I'm telling you. Characterization, plot, narrative: very rich. About the plot, it's all about mistakes from the past and retribution, supernatural style. Nothing we have not seen before but done with tremendous talent and style. We are dealing with some flawed people in this but Carson, always the keen writer (he is best-selling author Michael Koryta after all), tags on to his narrative a likability from the least likable character, and that's never a bad thing, is it? He even throws in an emotional moment or two just to seal the deal. Yes, THE CHILL is that kind of a novel. The scary moments are precious and though the focus on the dam is aplenty, in the end it scarcely differs from the overall delight of getting involve in this frightening read. One of the best of 2020. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I have been on the hunt for more horror books to read. I picked up a copy of this book to read. When I think horror, I instantly, think of stories that will give you nightmares. This book did not do that for me but it still was a fascinating story to read. It is more paranormal/psychological horror.There is not really one main character. There are several prominent voices in this story. The things they experience have them questioning if they should be admitted to the psychological ward at the I have been on the hunt for more horror books to read. I picked up a copy of this book to read. When I think horror, I instantly, think of stories that will give you nightmares. This book did not do that for me but it still was a fascinating story to read. It is more paranormal/psychological horror.There is not really one main character. There are several prominent voices in this story. The things they experience have them questioning if they should be admitted to the psychological ward at the hospital. While, I knew the concept of the whole story, it kept my interest in the way that the characters and the ghosts interacted with one another. Mr. Carson did everything right with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more books by this author. The Chill is worth your time to read.
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  • Andy MacNorth
    January 1, 1970
    What a weird book. Did Scott Carson really just want to write a book about dam operation and his publisher was like: "That won't sell. Make it a half-baked ghost story that's nearly 500 pages long then we'll talk."
  • Janice
    January 1, 1970
    Did I just read 435 pages about a dam? How was this book put into the horror genre? I found it more of a folklore/thriller. And even then it wasnt very thrilling. I loved the premise, the ideas, the characters but the book was really too long for it to be a good thriller. Author spent way too much time talking about the damn dam. Please more spookiness underwater in the drowned town of Galesburg and less talk about engineering and structural integrity thanks. Did I just read 435 pages about a dam? How was this book put into the horror genre? I found it more of a folklore/thriller. And even then it wasn’t very thrilling. I loved the premise, the ideas, the characters but the book was really too long for it to be a good thriller. Author spent way too much time talking about the damn dam. Please more spookiness underwater in the drowned town of Galesburg and less talk about engineering and structural integrity thanks.
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  • Kris Ruggiero
    January 1, 1970
    The Chill is a book I wanted to read because I've been on the lookout for a quality supernatural thriller. Being a huge fan of Stephen King, I was excited when I read that he recommended this book on his Twitter feed. The Chill by Scott Carson (a pseudonym for the author, Michael Koryta) was not horrific, but it was a creepy, dark psychological thriller/ghost story with multiple well-drawn characters and tons of history and backstory. The Chill grabbed me from the start and I couldn't stop The Chill is a book I wanted to read because I've been on the lookout for a quality supernatural thriller. Being a huge fan of Stephen King, I was excited when I read that he recommended this book on his Twitter feed. The Chill by Scott Carson (a pseudonym for the author, Michael Koryta) was not horrific, but it was a creepy, dark psychological thriller/ghost story with multiple well-drawn characters and tons of history and backstory. The Chill grabbed me from the start and I couldn't stop reading it. I had to know how it would end. It had that strange, creepy vibe I love that made me look over my shoulder once or twice. It was the perfect read during a non-stop rainy patch of weather we've been having.The description of the settings was so vivid that I felt like I was underneath the streets of NYC, in the dark tunnels and in the Catskills in the rain, in the deep forests surrounding the Chilewaukee Dam and Reservoir (known to the locals as The Chill.). The settings and characters had a cinematic feel. My attention did lag at some points because the book felt a bit repetitious in parts, but overall I would recommend The Chill to anyone who loves a great ghost story.Thank you so much to Atria Books and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Clint Calisbury
    January 1, 1970
    I love this author but this book is hard to review. I thought the story was very exciting. My problem is that the characters left me cold. I think that the character development is lacking and i didn't like any of them very much. The book is long, about 450 pages, and full of dread and ominous portents but just didn't come together for me. I'm afraid this one is a swing and miss for me.,
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  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    THE CHILL is fully deserving of every word of the pre-publication buzz that it has received. Part of the advance accolades is due to the well-known thriller writer who is using the nom de plume of Scott Carson. The reason for this (to my understanding) is the utilization of supernatural/horror elements that are absent from this established authors customary work. Regardless of the authorship, here we have a memorable, haunting feast of supernatural literature.The book is set in October 2020 in THE CHILL is fully deserving of every word of the pre-publication buzz that it has received. Part of the advance accolades is due to the well-known thriller writer who is using the nom de plume of Scott Carson. The reason for this (to my understanding) is the utilization of supernatural/horror elements that are absent from this established author’s customary work. Regardless of the authorship, here we have a memorable, haunting feast of supernatural literature.The book is set in October 2020 in Torrance County, an otherwise nondescript section of the Catskills that serves as the location for the Chilewaukee reservoir, which the local residents call “The Chill.” The Chill was created by flooding the town of Galesburg, the remnants of which can be seen in an area known as the Dead Waters. Most of the story takes place in the vicinity of the reservoir, with the exception of a few noteworthy and important vignettes occurring in New York City. The overriding concern of the entire tale, though, is water. Steve Ellsworth, the Torrance County sheriff, lives above the dam --- never below --- with his son Aaron, who, we are told, is the best swimmer that Torrance County has ever produced.We meet the Ellsworths at a time when Aaron once again has squandered his skills and a promising future, and his father must deal with it in a professional capacity. When Aaron attempts to redeem himself in his own mind by challenging the waters, he becomes part of a series of events set in motion decades before by the citizens of Galesburg, who lost their city but are determined to exact their revenge upon New York City. In that locale, a construction worker named DeShawn Ryan --- a sandhog, in the vernacular --- is working on Water Tunnel Number 3, which will serve to supply New York with water, while Tunnels 1 and 2 are being examined and repaired. Ryan has a tie to Torrance County and Galesburg through his daughter, Gillian Mathers, whose ancestors were born there. Gillian is a law enforcement officer with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police and specifically requested the assignment to the Torrance County area, guarding the upstate reservoirs.For years, the Chill has been the beneficiary of deferred maintenance, a fact that those in authority are aware of but have been kicking down the road for far too long. It is only when the area is subjected to several days of torrential rain that the dire potential for a structural disaster becomes a stark reality as the former residents of Galesburg --- with some assistance on this side of the veil --- execute the plan to enact their vengeance on the great city and its people downriver in a most ironic way. Only Gillian and Aaron can prevent it, but they really don't have a grasp on what they are dealing with, even as assistance from an unexpected source approaches. It may be too little and too late.THE CHILL is an extremely effective and --- dare I say it? --- chilling work. We all depend on water while giving little thought to its availability unless we turn on the faucet and get nothing but a quiet sigh, for whatever reason. A personal note: I have a reservoir a couple of blocks away from me. I live above it, naturally. Before I read this book, I rarely thought about it unless I was driving past it. Now I lie awake at night, imagining that I hear the water as it cascades down a lock. That’s my idea of powerful writing, and you can find it on every terrifying, perfectly paced page of THE CHILL, a ghost story for our time.Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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  • Kateblue
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is one that Stephen King really loved, but I think it would have made a great novella. It was basically a ghost story, but it just did not keep the suspense up enough. Too much detail about the history of NYC's water supply, which was necessary to some extent, but not as much as presented. Also unnecessary over-descriptions of dreary weather, hikes in the woods, and hints about history in dribs and drabs over chapters and chapters. When you run across a 3(?) page chapter just to This novel is one that Stephen King really loved, but I think it would have made a great novella. It was basically a ghost story, but it just did not keep the suspense up enough. Too much detail about the history of NYC's water supply, which was necessary to some extent, but not as much as presented. Also unnecessary over-descriptions of dreary weather, hikes in the woods, and hints about history in dribs and drabs over chapters and chapters. When you run across a 3(?) page chapter just to remind you a character exists, you know it's gotta be slow. I almost quit reading it several times. Then (view spoiler)[ the author killed off my favorite character--the sheriff, who, until then, I was thinking of as the main character. (hide spoiler)] I almost quit for good at that point. I finally finished it, though, and it did get much better at the end. Even when it was better, though--(view spoiler)[there was the NY father character (sorry cannot remember name) basically stealing the redneck's car. Yes, the guy threatened to kill him, but really? The southern redneck aspect was not believable in NY state, and the actions of the NY father didn't seem in line with what we knew of his character so far. I know there had to be some mechanism to get the guy where he needed to go, but I do not think redneck+threat=car theft was a good one. (hide spoiler)]Also, too many coincidences. Most of it just dragged. I don't know why. The writing was good, otherwise, but it didn't really start to pick up until maybe 65% or so. So not suspenseful. I really think it could have been a great novella. And I just looked at Mr. Carson's author history. It turns out he has none--this was Scott Carson's first novel. So I will be looking for more in the future.
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  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    The past was always present. It lived in antiques and memories, war stories and warnings, but it was never gone. And never passive.I originally downloaded this as an audiobook, but with COVID-19 putting my entire state into self-isolation these next couple of weeks AND shutting down our libraries, I was able to get my hands on a paper copy. I would 110% recommend reading this book over listening to it. Usually I don't have a preference, but Carson has a very wordy and unique way of writing. It's “The past was always present. It lived in antiques and memories, war stories and warnings, but it was never gone. And never passive.”I originally downloaded this as an audiobook, but with COVID-19 putting my entire state into self-isolation these next couple of weeks AND shutting down our libraries, I was able to get my hands on a paper copy. I would 110% recommend reading this book over listening to it. Usually I don't have a preference, but Carson has a very wordy and unique way of writing. It's beautiful on paper, but does not translate well to an audiobook. The first few chapters were a bit dry (pun intended), but things really started to pick up around Part Two. The author is clearly talented, but I was also more than a little lost throughout the novel. His writing was beautiful but confusing, and there was almost too much left to the imagination with this one. While I was hoping for a ghost story, there were significantly fewer scares than I expected, and I found myself kind of bored by the end of it. The ending also felt anti-climatic and rushed. Despite the initial allure, it felt like a letdown overall.
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