Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Forbidden River - Frederick Nebel

The title story of this great collection from Black Dog Books originally appeared in the June 1930 issue of FIVE-NOVELS MONTHLY. Instead of a trapper or a prospector or a gambler, the protagonist of Frederick Nebel's novella "Forbidden River" is a Chicago lawyer. Dick Berens is on his way to a friend's hunting lodge in Canada for a vacation when he encounters a beautiful and mysterious young woman on the train. When she disappears, Berens wants to find out what happened to her, which results in a tumble from the train and being stranded in the north woods. And when he does succeed in finding the girl, he also finds himself deeper in trouble involving a murder, a sinister stranger, and a couple of dogged Mounties.

This story has more of a mystery element than the first two stories in the collection, and more romance, too. Nebel keeps things perking along nicely, as usual, although I wish Berens had used his background as a lawyer more in trying to untangle the dangerous mess in which he finds himself. Overall, "Forbidden River" is a very entertaining yarn and maintains the high quality of this volume.

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