A frigid, damp breeze blows in from the swamp, dappling your shivering body with sharp pins of unforgiving moisture as an unseasonable fog unfolds over the village. One by one, marsh lights blink into existence over the haunted mire, illuminating the decomposing, alligator-torn remains of escape attempts forever fettered by their unlucky quicksand tombs. The shocking whiff of befouled rum and gunpowder, coupled with the relentless ache that smolders in the base of your skull can mean only one thing: the pirate ghosts have arrived early this year. Though they have been designated by multitude appellations over the generations – the Hoary Huntsmen, the Charnel House Charioteers, the Abattoir Tormenters, Gobblers, Satan’s Fingers, and the Hospital Bombers – one name has remained immutable since the beginning of time. If you find yourself in the vicinity of BookPeople’s cafe this Tuesday July 15th at 8PM, then take cover, futile though it may be, because the Nightmare Factory Book Club is coming for your soul.
Last month, these cretinous conquerors cremated the first volume of Robert McCammon’s Speaks the Nightbird (pages 1-415), and, this month, they have unveiled the ultimate evil by immolating the final 377 pages of this blisteringly brutal murder mystery. In the first volume, originally published as Speaks the Nightbird, Volume I: Judgment of the Witch, a cavalcade of creepy colonists in a Carolina township at the dawn of the 18th Century had discovered an apparent plot to infiltrate their struggling village with an army of devils. The witch at the helm of this betrayal had been imprisoned and awaited eradication. All that stood between the innocent townspeople of Ft. Royal and redemption was one tenacious legal clerk who had his doubts.
Now, in Speaks the Nightbird, Volume II: Evil Unveiled, that selfsame clerk has sniffed out almost certain skulduggery, and it is up to him to sabotage the subterfuge that immolates an innocent woman in less that a week – all within the bounds of English law, naturally. His only opponents are a conspiracy of circus freaks, a rat-catcher with a quintuple-bladed nightmare sword, bureaucracy stifled by Georgian morality, slavery, a mad arsonist, a rabid bear, torture, and pirate treasure. Speaks the Nightbird is the first installment in Robert McCammon’s popular Matthew Corbett series of historical mysteries, and the author is a pedigreed veteran of the penny dreadful genre of monster fiction that has paid the bills for struggling literary fiction writers since time immemorial. Join the Nightmare Factory Book Club on Tuesday July 15th at 8PM in the brand new colony of BookPeople’s swampland cafe to muck through the brilliantly complex Speaks the Nightbird and squeeze the fiery grip of book club justice.
The Nightmare Factory Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 8PM in the BookPeople cafe to discuss horror fiction in all its incarnations. We’re on a perpetual witch hunt for new members, so, if you find your month lacking in gossip about ghouls, ghosts, goblins, green men, Garfield, or Gretchen Mol, swing by BookPeople this Tuesday July 15th at 8PM, where we will be using Robert McCammon’s Speaks the Nightbird as an excuse to gab about whatever we want.