The Providence Rider is the fourth installment in the extraordinary series of historical thrillers featuring Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver. The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew still haunted by his lethal encounter with notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, Matthew finds himself forced to confront a new and unexpected problem. Someone is trying - and trying very hard - to get his attention. That someone is a shadowy figure from out of Matthew's past: the elusive Dr. Fell.
The doctor, it turns out, has a problem of his own, one that requires the exclusive services of Matthew Corbett.The ensuing narrative moves swiftly and gracefully from the emerging metropolis of New York City to Pendulum Island in the remote Bermudas. In the course of his journey, Matthew encounters a truly Dickensian assortment of memorable, often grotesque, antagonists. These include Sirki, the giant, deceptively soft-spoken East Indian killer, Dr. Jonathan Gentry, an expert in exotic potions with a substance abuse problem of his own, the beautiful but murderous Aria Chillany, and, of course, the master manipulator and "Emperor of Crime" on two continents, Dr. Fell himself. The result is both an exquisitely constructed novel of suspense and a meticulous recreation of a bygone era.
Filled with danger, narrative surprises, and an almost tangible sense of place, The Providence Rider is historical fiction at its finest and most developed. It is the novel that McCammon's many devoted readers have been waiting for. They will not be disappointed.
©2012 Robert McCammon (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I've read all four Corbett books to date. Thanks audible for making these available! I highly recommend checking out the entire series. Matthew Corbett is a fantastic character. The colonial America setting is unusual and well written, and the stories are engaging and fun.
I've been looking forward to Book 4 for a few months. Thankfully, McCammon seems to churn these out quickly. All of your favorite characters are back, AND most importantly we finally get to meet Professor Fell. Lots of action.
This isn't high art by any stretch, but it is a really fun read. Well worth your listening time and credits.
In vino veritas
of four books and am looking forward to more by this author and this narrator. Unlike many characters, this protagonist, although very intelligent, is not superhuman. He possesses weaknesses as well as strengths, petty emotions as well as generous ones. He learns from experiences. The author is very descriptive, so I had no difficulty visualizing the scenes and the action taking place.
The narrator is excellent. I am picky about narrators, so that is saying something.
English major. Love to read
I just finished this fourth book of the Matthew Corbett series and I haven't read anything else besides the series for the past few weeks. I have to preface this by saying that I rarely read murder mysteries or detective novels unless I am starting on a long road trip and need incentive to stay in the car or need a book for a plane flight and am in the airport. It is because I feel they are a basically shallow read. BUT this series is different: to start with, it is very well written,a must for me. The characters are well developed, the plot is riveting and the twists are very imaginative. Then you have the narrator who is one of the best I have heard on Audible. What is best is that once you have read the first book and loved it, then you have four more! VERY satisfying read.
Love the series. Characters are real and fully embodied. Villains are bad and heroes are people faced with hard choices. Story line is not repetitive. This book is no exception.
I believe, HOWEVER, that language is everything. The books are set in the late 1600s and early 1700s. What began for me as a bit eccentric became very irritating. Many of the idioms for example, did not exist at this time. Surely, there is a happy medium between using the antiquated language of the Bronte sisters, to the extreme modern expressions like “are you an item?” or “are you together?” and many others I can no longer remember.
And there are modern conveniences that were not available at the time – like “chocolate chips”, baking soda for toothpaste or a tooth powder flavored with peppermint. Although there were cultures using various things as dentifrice from ancient times, it was not widespread in England, nor in the colonies until the late 18th century -- certainly not in 1702. This lack of dental hygiene was notorious in this period and many people were toothless.
While I understand it is impossible to research absolutely everything for an historical novel, it is nice when a writer tries to think outside our modern world box.
Did McCammon get tired of writing somewhere between the third and fourth novels in this series? Sings the Nightbird was fantastic. The Queen of Bedlam was good. Mister Slaughter was okay. The Providence Rider was marginal. It had its moments, but it doesn't stand up well to the standard set in Sings the Nightbird. Nonetheless, I will probably continue with Matthew Corbett if/when the next installment is available.
Five stars for Edoardo Ballerini's performance. Such a voice!
I loved this whole series by this author. Also the narrator was amazing. I could visualise all the characters and even bought more books with this narrator. He did an excellent job. I will look forward to more from this series.. I LOVED IT
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I have become a fan of Edoardo Ballerini's work. It's so easy to listen to him. He makes characters come alive. And just when I think he can't possibly come up with another one, he does. They are remarkably consistent not only from the beginning to the end, but from book to book.
As for the series ... the first book was stellar. As the series went on, each book became a little less magical for me. It's still a terrific listen - no question. But after the first book, each one goes down by about a 1/2 star in my opinion.
I rarely give up on a book or a series and, on the basis of book 2, really wanted to see this one through. Book 2 had introduced many wonderful characters and plot lines which were mostly abandoned in book 3. Book 4 started off really well -- some great new characters, a return to the central mystery introduced in book 2, some new settings (aboard ship and on an island in Bermuda). But Matthew is a bore by this point -- helpless in almost every situation (he's always being saved by others or by circumstances beyond his control) and hardly the smart "problem solver" of books 1 & 2. The stereotypes come thick and fast -- the giant ex-slave who's always there to save the white folks' hides, the noble "savage", the silky but deadly Indian, the drunken and rowdy Irishmen, etc. etc. The ending was truly galling. Unfortunately, the author felt the need to repeat information from the other books numerous times, which slowed the pace further. And those tortured metaphors! This is the worst-written of the 4, by far. Such a disappointment after a decent start and a very strong 2nd book. I won't be looking for any more in the series or by this author.
I gave the performance a 4 because this narrator is very good. I will look for other books that he's narrated.
I admit I'm a Smut Glutton, I prefer Male Narrators, Sexy Book Covers get me and I'm 32 years Happily Married.
ALL OF THEM!!! Edoardo Ballerini is amazing as a narrator. "Performed" is an understatement. There are A LOT of characters in this series and Mr Ballerini has a unique voice for everyone of them. It is worth your credit to see his voice...not hear it but see it because that is what he does with his narration, he creates a vision of the words written. It was because of his narration of "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter, that I searched other books by him and came across this series. Now that I've finished these, I'm on to searching some of his other works as I know my credits won't be wasted. He could make a phone book come to life!
Just finished this, the last of the series offered to date and while the stories were VERY enjoyable AND I love to get my credit's worth from a lengthy book, I would not have purchased the 2nd, 3rd or 4th book had they been as long as the 1st (30 hrs!). At times, even the shorter books seemed to drag on. Matthew Corbett ages gradually through the series both physically and mentally and it is a refreshing and somewhat realistic approach to have him fumble along the way...
63 y/o psychologist with two sons, living in SF Bay Area. I absolutely love all the feedback I've been getting for my reviews. It's very gratifying. Thanks to all of you.
I think it makes sense to review all four books in this series together, but the length of such a review would parallel the length of just a chapter of one of them. Mister Slaughter, the Queen of Bedlam, Speaks the Nightbird and Providence Rider: all four of these are the adventures of Matthew Corbett, a young man in his twenties who lives and works in and around New York City at about the year 1700. There is almost no limit to the imagination of Mr. McCammon, and my feelings about the skills of Edoardo Ballerini should be obvious to anyone who has read any of my reviews of his work. I'm not sure I could have gotten through one hundred hours of listening (roughly) to anyone other than Mr. Ballerini.
What Mr. McCammon has done is tell an enormously complicated tale, with major and minor plots, characters who move in and out of the spotlight, with plot twists that often defy the logical sense, and so forth. Often I felt that Matthew must have felt something like Alice in Wonderland, because of all of the strange and weird doings all around him. Mr. McCammon will throw in an interesting character and then once we get pulled in to this person, the author just drops him or her right down through the hole in the stage floor. There are utter improbabilities piled up upon each other everywhere. The grand conceit, that Matthew is the first private detective ever, is a clever one. His dalliances with a series of women is off-putting, as the women tend to be so interesting that I wanted one of them to take up more of our time (as Susan Silverman does in the life of Spenser). We are titillated by each one of these smart beauties, and then each of them just fades away.
It is not possible to rate these books one through four, at least for me. I think you read and like the entire series, or you don't. There is a lot of explicit violence in them, but if you think about the collected group of detective stories in existence, you see a lot of explicit violence there, too. McCammon's observational powers, particularly for minor details of clothing and settings, is almost mesmerizing. If he has actually witnessed all of the places, then he is one heck of a researcher, as good as Tim Hallinan. I feel a little frustrated that I am not giving you the sense of the plots of all four of these books, but there is just too much plot for me to be able to do that in a sensible way. So, I'll say: read the first one. If you like it, then read all four. You will, like Alice, fall down into a remarkable world, one full of sense and nonsense, and unforgettable for all that.
"Matthew Corbett Books 1 to 4"
I have listened to all of the Matthew Corbett books and enjoyed them all. I first came upon Robert McCammon in the late 70's when he wrote his first book Baal and I enjoy his style of writing he really plants you into the brain of the character and even more so in the Corbett books. I started with book one Speaks the Nightbird which is brilliant. All books are standalone and the author does provide enough information in all books so as to not to leave you scratching your head wondering what is going on here. As for Edoardo Ballerini who narrators all four books he really does the business (Well done) . I listened to these books in my car on long journeys and I found myself sitting in the car at the end of the journey waiting for the end of the chapter. I cannot wait for the next one.
"Can't wait for more"
This book is very much the same as all other McCammon's stories: exciting,intelligent,keeping you on the edge,fiery detective work. This one however is so well written that I wasn't able to stop until the story finished.
Great adventure in a good all style, no nonsense only fantastic story. Edoardo Ballerini to me is the most wonderful narrator!
"MacCammon does it again"
I love these books following the exploits of unlikely hero Mathew Corbett. They leave me hanging in anticipation of the next book in the series.
"I love these books!!!!!!!"
I guess in that Eduardo has the most beautiful and entrancing narration.
The prose, the story, the characters everything in fact!
The most amazing inflection for each character and his diction seems to be of the time - 1700's. It ipure listening pleasure or is it the quality of the writing? I think both.
Yes! I also did not want it to end, especially as it is the last in the series. Please can we have more of Matthew Corbett?
If you enjoy exquisite use of the English language, fast paced and original storylines with interesting historical details; a rich variety of characters you can see before you; narrated in a voice so sublime your other senses fade into the background, then this series of books are for you. But please see for yourself :-)
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