The River of Souls

The River of Souls - Robert McCammon, Vincent Chong In this latest installment in the excellent series set in the early 1700's featuring the young problem-solver Matthew Corbett, Matthew is on edge after his dangerous adventure at the Caribbean stronghold of the mysterious Professor Fell (in the last book The Providence Rider), he takes the opportunity to get out of New York for a while for a little R&R. But once there, the daughter of a powerful plantation owner is killed and the murder is pinned on a group of runaway slaves. Believing that there is more to this murder than meets the eye, Matthew decides to join the mob chasing the slaves up the infamous "River of Souls", a creepy, swampy bog that is known not only for it's dangerous animals and violent native tribes, but also for the rumours of a supernatural predator who's presence is signaled by the sound of a wailing infant.

The novel is the shortest of the Corbett novels so far and moves at an infectious pace; the danger is non-stop once they start up the river. The book also stands out because the usual supporting cast is mostly absent as Matthew embarks on his new adventure solo! I also love the atmosphere the book has once the journey up the river begins. You can practically smell the swamp and feel the almost never-ending darkness of the night. But the mystery is solved almost immediately, which causes the novel to lose some of it's momentum. Also, the book does feel a bit rushed, especially in the final third, as if trying to wrap up the adventure as quickly as possible in order to get us to the final events in the end. But those events (although hinged on a huge coincidence!) add up to a doozy of a cliffhanger, leaving me aching to read the next installment. Although not as consistently amazing as the last few books in the series, The River of Souls is a solidly entertaining and worthy follow-up to the Matthew Corbett adventures and a quick adventure!