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I Travel by Night - Robert R. McCammon
Trevor Lawson
Hotel Sanctuaire
All Matters Handled
I Travel By Night

Trevor Lawson, Captain in the 19th Alabama Confederate Army, last seen ALIVE at the battle of Shiloh, has been turned into a creature of the night. Unlike most people who have been turned he desperately hangs onto the last shreds of his humanity. In fact, instead of embracing the darkness he has been infected with, he works days and nights to destroy the very creatures that have handed him this god forsaken curse. 

When a rich man comes to him distraught, because his daughter has been kidnapped, Lawson knows he will have to help him. The man has instructions to have Lawson bring 666 gold pieces to the town of Nocturne, a hurricane destroyed town deep in the swamps of Louisiana. Lawson knows it is a trap. Before he can even leave New Orleans, one of the coven gets in a hurry and decides to try and take him down 

”He was still grinning as his legs and arms lengthened and thinned and the black duster flew away from the changing body like the wings of a raven. The flesh darkened to the color of a bruise in the space of a several seconds. There was the noise of bones cracking and reshaping. Ripples of pain shot across the shapechanger’s damp face because nothing in this world--or even the world to which this creature belonged--was born in the absence of agony.”

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So why would an astute young man vampire like Lawson be willing to walk into such an obvious trap? Because he is looking for the one who made him. 

”He smelled the blood of ages on LaRouge’s breath. He smelled the ruination of souls and the dirt of the grave.”

He has been told there is a way to be human again. 

There are benefits to being a vampire such as incredible strength, ability to stay young forever, immortality, and no need to spend money on such human fallacies as food, but there are also disadvantages. 

”No one would have thought that indeed he had secured a room early this morning and had slept not in its rather moldy bed but in its much more moldy closet, away from the broken shutters that allowed in a little too severe a sun for the gentleman’s comfort.”

Not exactly the Life of Reilly. 

Lawson does have a secret weapon that he hopes will be the difference maker. He has enlisted the help of a priest who makes the silver bullets dipped in holy water that can actually finish the job that death alone was unable to accomplish. 

”The vampire’s long blonde hair caught fire and sizzled away in a matter of seconds. Her face rippled and turned black as it burned. She clutched at her throat as if recalling the moment of her turning, and as she spun around and around in a mad and agonized parody of the dance her eyes sank inward and burst into black pools that bubbled and smoked before they became dried craters, her burned facial features imploded, and her head began to wither like a grape left out in the blazing sun.”

I had decided to take a cognitive hiatus on Memorial Day and read something that would be pure unadulterated fun. A Gothic western, infested with vampires, and set in Louisiana seemed to me the perfect mental vacation spot. Robert McCammon hasn’t added anything new to the Vampire Legends with this book, but he created a character I wouldn’t mind experiencing a few more adventures with. Besides I can sleep on the moldy bed since he is sleeping in the moldy closet.