The year is 1703. The place: the Carolina settlement of Charles Town. Matthew Corbett, professional 'problem solver,' has accepted a lucrative, if unusual, commission: escorting a beautiful woman to a fancy dress ball.
What should be a pleasant assignment takes a darker turn when Matthew becomes involved in a murder investigation. A sixteen-year-old girl has been stabbed to death on the grounds of a local plantation. The suspected killer is a slave who has escaped, with two family members, into the dubious protection of a nearby swamp. Troubled by certain discrepancies and determined to see some sort of justice done, Matthew joins the hunt for the runaway slaves. He embarks on a treacherous journey up the Solstice River, also known as the River of Souls. He discovers that something born of the swamp has joined the hunt...and is stalking the hunters with more than murder in mind.
What follows is a shattering ordeal encompassing snakes, alligators, exiled savages, mythical beasts, and ordinary human treachery. The journey up the River of Souls will test Matthew's courage, commitment, and powers of endurance. It will also lead him to a confrontation with a figure from his recent past, which will alter Matthew's life, setting the stage for the next installment in this compulsively readable series.
Gripping, unsettling, and richly atmospheric, The River of Souls is a masterful historical adventure and a major addition to Robert McCammon's extraordinary body of work.featuring the continuing exploits of a young hero USA Today has called 'the Early American James Bond.'
Macabre surprises abound in McCammon's entertaining fifth Matthew Corbett historical (after 2012's Providence Rider). In the summer of 1703, while on a visit to Charles Town in the Carolina colony, "problem-solver" Matthew and Magnus Muldoon, his "big as a mountain" new friend, join a manhunt for three escaped slaves, one of whom has been accused of murdering a plantation owner's daughter (though Matthew has uncovered evidence that implicates one of the hunters). Their travel up the River of Solstice which the locals refer to as "the river of souls" proves to be a journey into the genuine heart of darkness, replete with ravenous alligators, a tribe of fiercely savage Native Americans, and a seemingly demonic monster known as the Soul Cryer. McCammon resorts to a few credibility-stretching gambits in the closing chapters, but, as usual, he nicely evokes America's colonial past and deftly straddles the boundary between the explicable and the supernatural.