Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Forbidden River: The Roaring Horde - Frederick Nebel

"The Roaring Horde", from the March 1932 issue of FIVE-NOVELS MONTHLY, finds former lawmen-turned-prospectors Clint Edwards and John Sabbath heading north into the wilds of Alaska when they run across a group of travelers in trouble. These pilgrims are all relatives from California, and they're on their way to the settlement of Hardluck Flat to claim some land they're going to inherit from a dying uncle. But out of the three guides they've hired, two have already been murdered, shot down from ambush, and the third is so spooked that he quits and abandons the immigrants. Edwards and Sabbath have no choice but to take over the chore of getting the group to Hardluck Flat. The fact that one of the travelers is a beautiful young woman plays a part in that decision, since Edwards falls for her the moment he lays eyes on her.

Getting their new-found charges to the settlement is no easy task, but even once that's accomplished, Edwards and Sabbath find themselves neck-deep in murder, lynch mobs, and more trouble. Both of them will have to risk their lives to find out what's behind the affair and set things right.

Frederick Nebel was just about perfect for the sort of short novel collected in FORBIDDEN RIVER. He packs plenty of plot into the stories, and there's room for character development, too. Although Clint Edwards is a stalwart, likable hero in "The Roaring Horde", his sidekick, the dour and deadly John Sabbath, is a fascinating character, too. I don't know if Nebel ever wrote any more about him, but he certainly could have if he wanted to.

All in all, this is another fine story in one of the best books I've read this year. You can head over to the Black Dog Books website to check it out if you haven't already.

1 comment:

Rick Robinson said...

I got it a week ago or so, but haven't opened it yet. Now I'm more eager than ever.

Merry Christmas, James!