Speaks the Nightbird: A Novel

Open Road Media
33
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Murder sparks a witchcraft charge and mob fury in this “absorbing historical mystery” set in seventeenth-century America from a New York Times–bestselling author (Publishers Weekly).
 
It’s 1699 in the coastal settlement of Fount Royal in the Carolinas when Rachel Howarth is sentenced to be hanged as a witch. She’s been accused of murder, deviltry, and blasphemous sexual congress, and the beleaguered, God-fearing colonial village wants her dead. But Matthew Corbett, young clerk to the traveling magistrate summoned to Fount Royal to weigh the accusations, soon finds himself persuaded in favor of the beguiling young widow.
 
Struck first by her beauty, Matthew believes Rachel to be too dignified, courageous, and intelligent for such obscene charges. The testimony against her is fanatical and unreliable. Clues to the crimes seem too convenient and contrived. A number of her accusers appear to gain by her execution. And, if Rachel is a witch, why hasn’t she used her powers to fly away from the gaol on the wings of a nightbird?
 
God and Satan are indeed at war. Something really is happening in the newly established settlement—of that Corbett is certain. As his investigation draws him into the darkness of a town gone mad, and deeper into its many secrets, Corbett realizes that time is running out for him, for Rachel, and for the hope that good could possibly win out over evil in Fount Royal.
 
From the award-winning author of Boy’s Life and Gone South, Speaks the Nightbird is, in the words of Stephen King, “a rarity in popular fiction, a book that manages to be thoughtful as well as entertaining.”
 
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More by Robert R. McCammon

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Robert R. McCammon
New York Times Bestseller: A young girl’s visions offer the last hope in a postapocalyptic wasteland in this “grand and disturbing adventure” (Dean Koontz).
 
Swan is a nine-year-old Idaho girl following her struggling mother from one trailer park to the next when she receives visions of doom—something far wider than the narrow scope of her own beleaguered life. In a blinding flash, nuclear bombs annihilate civilization, leaving only a few buried survivors to crawl onto a scorched landscape that was once America.
 
In Manhattan, a homeless woman stumbles from the sewers, guided by the prophecies of a mysterious amulet, and pursued by something wicked; on Idaho’s Blue Dome Mountain, an orphaned boy falls under the influence of depraved survivalists and discovers the value of a killer instinct; and amid the devastating dust storms on the Great Plains of Nebraska, Swan forms a heart-and-soul bond with an unlikely new companion. Soon they will cross paths. But only Swan knows that they must endure more than just a trek across an irradiated country of mutated animals, starvation, madmen, and wasteland warriors.
 
Swan’s visions tell of a coming malevolent force. It’s a shape-shifting embodiment of the apocalypse, and of all that is evil and despairing. And it’s hell-bent on destroying the last hope of goodness and purity in the world. Swan is that hope. Now, she must fight not only for her own survival, but for that of all mankind.
 
A winner of the Bram Stoker Award and a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, Swan Song has become a modern classic, called “a chilling vision that keeps you turning pages to the shocking end” by John Saul and “a long, satisfying look at hell and salvation” by Publishers Weekly.
 
Robert R. McCammon
An “impressive” tale of psychic power, Native American mysticism, and an ancient evil in Alabama, from the New York Times–bestselling author of Swan Song (Associated Press).
 
Born and raised in rural Alabama, Billy Creekmore was destined to be a psychic. His mother, a Choctaw Indian schooled in her tribe’s ancient mysticism, understands the permeable barrier between life and death—and can cross it. She taught the power to Billy and now he helps the dead rest in peace.
 
Wayne Falconer, son of one of the most fervent tent evangelists in the South, travels the country serving his father’s healing ministry. Using his unique powers to cure the flock, Little Wayne is on his way to becoming one of the popular and successful miracle workers in the country. He helps the living survive.
 
Billy and Wayne share more than a gift. They share a dream—and a common enemy. They are on separate journeys, mystery walks that will lead them toward a crossroad where the evil of their dreams has taken shape. One of them will reject the dark. The other will be consumed by it. But neither imagined just how monstrous and far-reaching the dark was, or that mankind’s fate would rest in their hands during an epic showdown of good versus evil.
 
From the author of Gone South, Boy’s Life, and the Matthew Corbett series, a master of suspense who has won the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Awards, Mystery Walk offers “creepy, subtle touches throughout [and] splendid Southern-town atmosphere” (Kirkus Reviews).

Reviews

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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Oct 8, 2013
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Pages
812
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ISBN
9781480448469
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Horror
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Robert McCammon
His epic masterwork Speaks the Nightbird, a tour de force of witch hunt terror in a colonial town, was hailed by Sandra Brown as "deeply satisfying...told with matchless insight into the human soul." Now, Robert McCammon brings the hero of that spellbinding novel, Matthew Corbett, to eighteenth-century New York, where a killer wields a bloody and terrifying power over a bustling city carving out its identity -- and over Matthew's own uncertain destiny.

The unsolved murder of a respected doctor has sent ripples of fear throughout a city teeming with life, noise, and commerce. Who snuffed out the good man's life with the slash of a blade on a midnight street? The local printmaster has labeled the fiend "the Masker," adding fuel to a volatile mystery...while young law clerk Matthew Corbett has other obsessions in mind. Earnest and hardworking, Matthew spends his precious spare time attempting to vindicate the abuses he witnessed growing up in the Sainted John Home for Boys, at the hands of its monstrous headmaster. But Matthew's true calling lies not in avenging the past but salvaging the future -- for when the Masker claims a new victim, Matthew Saulis lured into a maze of forensic clues and heart-pounding investigation that will both test his natural penchant for detection and inflame his hunger for justice.

In the strangest twist of all, the key to unmasking the Masker may await in an asylum where the Queen of Bedlam reigns -- and only a man of Matthew's reason and empathy can unlock her secrets. From the seaport to Wall Street, from society mansions to gutters glimmering with blood spilled by a deviant, Matthew's quest will tauntingly reveal the answers he seeks -- and the chilling truths he cannot escape.
Dan Simmons
"CARRION COMFORT is one of the three greatest horror novels of the 20th century. Simple as that." --Stephen King

"Epic in scale and scope but intimately disturbing, CARRION COMFORT spans the ages to rewrite history and tug at the very fabric of reality. A nightmarish chronicle of predator and prey that will shatter your world view forever. A true classic." --Guillermo del Toro

"CARRION COMFORT is one of the scariest books ever written. Whenever I get the question asked Who's your favorite author? my answer is always Dan Simmons." --James Rollins
"One of the few major reinventions of the vampire concept, on a par with Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, and Stephen King's Salem's Lot. --David Morrell

THE PAST... Caught behind the lines of Hitler's Final Solution, Saul Laski is one of the multitudes destined to die in the notorious Chelmno extermination camp. Until he rises to meet his fate and finds himself face to face with an evil far older, and far greater, than the Nazi's themselves...

THE PRESENT... Compelled by the encounter to survive at all costs, so begins a journey that for Saul will span decades and cross continents, plunging into the darkest corners of 20th century history to reveal a secret society of beings who may often exist behind the world's most horrible and violent events. Killing from a distance, and by darkly manipulative proxy, they are people with the psychic ability to 'use' humans: read their minds, subjugate them to their wills, experience through their senses, feed off their emotions, force them to acts of unspeakable aggression. Each year, three of the most powerful of this hidden order meet to discuss their ongoing campaign of induced bloodshed and deliberate destruction. But this reunion, something will go terribly wrong. Saul's quest is about to reach its elusive object, drawing hunter and hunted alike into a struggle that will plumb the depths of mankind's attraction to violence, and determine the future of the world itself...

Julia Rochester
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2016

Part mystery, part psychological drama, Julia Rochester's The House at the Edge of the World is a darkly comic, unorthodox and thrilling debut

When I was eighteen, my father fell off a cliff. It was a stupid way to die.

John Venton's drunken fall from a Devon cliff leaves his family with an embarrassing ghost. His twin children, Morwenna and Corwin, flee in separate directions to take up their adult lives. Their mother, enraged by years of unhappy marriage, embraces merry widowhood. Only their grandfather finds solace in the crumbling family house, endlessly painting their story onto a large canvas map.

His brightly coloured map, with its tiny pictures of shipwrecks, forgotten houses, saints and devils, is a work of his imagination, a collection of local myths and histories. But it holds a secret. As the twins are drawn grudgingly back to the house, they discover that their father's absence is part of the map's mysterious pull.

The House at the Edge of the World is the compellingly told story of how family and home can be both a source of comfort and a wholly destructive force. Cutting to the undignified half-truths every family conceals, it asks the questions we all must confront: who are we responsible for and, ultimately, who do we belong to?
'A story that carries you along - clever plotting and a startling outcome. An impressive first novel' Penelope Lively

'Wonderfully crisp and funny and it's so full of vivid, surprising images that the reader almost doesn't notice the moment that deep secrets begin to be revealed' Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing

Julia Rochester grew up on the Exe Estuary in Devon. She studied in London, Berlin and Cambridge and has worked for the BBC Portuguese Service and for Amnesty International as Researcher on Brazil. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.

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