Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Robert McCammon’s Novella "I Travel by Night" Invokes Intrigue

A kidnapper calls for Trevor Lawson by name, and the undead detective cannot resist the opportunity to seek out his maker amidst Louisiana quagmires in nineteenth-century America. Robert McCammon’s newest novella I Travel by Night is shrouded in smoke and mystery, much like its vampire adventurer protagonist who is perpetually hidden beneath a top hat and the smoke of a cheroot.

McCammon has meticulously invoked historic America in the south and marvelously constructs the damp atmosphere and the gas lamp-lit Victorian era region surrounding New Orleans.

More than the vintage accuracy of his world, however, is the author’s ability to make every moment suspenseful and eerie in visceral imminence: the reader knows that something is going to happen, someone is following you, something is hiding in the fog with deviously malicious intentions, at all times.

When David Kingsley’s daughter was taken from him, the last thing he expected was to receive a ransom note demanding a meeting in New Orleans with a pale, blue-veined stranger named Trevor Lawson as the carrier of the gold ransom.

The cold demeanor and straight answers of Lawson lead Kingsley to trust him with the task of retrieving his daughter. But the man who only works and travels by night can see that the ploy to draw him in is not entirely what it seems.

The air is thick with intrigue in this dark mystery, and the cold, calculating demeanor of the character Lawson does well to echo some of Sherlock Holmes, while still being quite different and very much a vampire!

By R.J. Huneke