I Travel by Night
by Robert McCammon
Cover Artist: Michael Whelan
Review by Drew Bittner
Subterranean Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596065376
Date: 31 May 2013 List Price $35.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /
In I Travel By Night, Robert McCammon returns to writing horror, albeit not precisely the same kind of contemporary terror-wrangling that made his reputation. This story, set not long after the Civil War, is as much historical as horror, with a figure moving through the dark streets of New Orleans and the bayou beyond with a singular purpose: to find the monster who made him a creature of the night.
David Kingsley's daughter has been abducted. Desperate, he contacts Trevor Lawson and conveys an odd message--an invitation meant for him. Although it is clearly meant to be a trap, Lawson cannot refuse; this represents the best opportunity for him to locate LaRouge, the vampire queen he has pursued since the closing days of the War Between the States. He broke from the vampire horde some time ago and has killed some of them since, earning their undying hatred.
When he sets out, an unlikely ally appears, and together they will brave the deep swamps in pursuit of a girl both fear has already been turned. What lies in the swamp, however, is beyond even Lawson's dark imagination, and will push him to his very limits.
McCammon creates a fast paced and entertaining tale with this novella, constructing the world Lawson inhabits with an admirable specificity. The feel of being in 19th century New Orleans is palpable. With his credo and calling card, which reads simply "I travel by night", Lawson is a worthy protagonist who evokes the old television series Have Gun Will Travel with his forthright manner and direct approach to solving problems. He is less a detective than a force of justice and vengeance, going after a singular target.
His enemies are part of the Dark Society, who thrive by night and stage elaborate revels for themselves. Their latest nest is an unusual setting, where they are assured of privacy: a ruined and partially sunken town. But this place holds many secrets, not least of them why the Dark Society has gathered there...and what they want from Lawson.
McCammon has a winner in this book.