Mar 112014

mccammon-theriverofsoulsPublishers Weekly: 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.