This is the latest novel from Michael Koryta - yet another author that I'm dreadfully behind with. Picking up this one goes some way towards fixing that, but I do have to read a few from his backlist as well.
From the Blurb:
It starts with a beautiful woman and a challenge. Out of the blue, Eric Shaw is approached by Alyssa Bradford with a unique project, an open cheque book and a quest - to investigate her father-in-law's mysterious past. His film career going nowhere, Eric takes the job, though all he has to go on is the name of Campbell Bradford's hometown and an antique water bottle he kept his entire life.
You looked for the artifacts of their ambition. That was what a sociology professor had said one day in a freshman seminar, and Eric Shaw had liked something about the phrase, wrote it and only it in a notebook that would soon be forgotten and then discarded.
It started with a documentary. The beautiful Alyssa Bradford approaches Eric Shaw to unearth the life story of her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old billionaire whose childhood is wrapped in mystery. Eric grabs the job, even though the only clues to Bradford's past are his hometown and an antique water bottle he's kept all his life.
In Bradford's hometown, Eric discovers an extraordinary past - a glorious domed hotel where movie stars, presidents, athletes and mobsters once intermingled. Long derelict, the hotel has just been restored to its former grandeur.
But something else has been restored too - a long forgotten evil that will stop at nothing to settle a decades-old score. And with every move, Eric inches closer to the centre of the building storm.