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 18th-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 and 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...and when the Masker claims a new victim, hardworking young law clerk Matthew Corbett is 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.
©2007 Robert McCammon (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I love the way McCammon twists the plot so you are never sure where it is going to end up. The story kept me on the edge of my seat!
I do not know what other book to compare this to since it is so unique.
Yes, Edoardo Ballerini performed in "Speaks the Nightbird" . Really excellent performer.
The Queen of Bedlam
The series thus far, I have "read" two books has been wonderful. The intricate plots and characters and the depth of the characters is very appealing, engrossing. Very nice!
Speaks the Nightbird was one of my favorite books of the past year and I really enjoyed this second adventure with Matthew. I think the story was slow in a few places, something I did not feel in the first book. Still, Matthew is a wonderful character, a thinking man who will take great risks in his adventures. I enjoyed the narrator, also, and look forward to listening to him again! I will definitely read all Matthew Corbett novels. You should, too, if you love historical fiction, mystery and adventure!
Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!
This is truly a special series. I loved the first book, and while this second installment may not be 100% the equal of the first, it is probably 98% of it! Just a great capture of a by-gone way of life. The storyline is amazing, and is very engrossing, but the way that the author captures the feelings and the speech patterns and the ambiance of the time period is so, so good. I just love being immersed into this world.
The narrator, Edoardo Ballerini, is exceptional. I don't think I have ever heard a narrator and a novel that fit so perfectly together. I don't think there is another narrator that could have performed this book as well. Edoardo simply IS the voice of these novels. Absolutely perfect.
This is a great series, and I can not wait for the next on! Actually, I can't wait to indulge in the first two again, if you want to know the truth.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, its characters, and the wondrous narration of Edoardo Ballerini.
Set in 1702 in a quite young and rough New York City, our main character is an orphan who has set out to seek his way as a young adult. He encounters charming and likable characters as well as sinister denizens of the criminal underworld. He becomes an apprentice to a small detective agency that bills itself as solvers of problems. From there various crimes needing solving are presented. They eventually knit themselves together in a rather satisfying way, All of this is brought to life by Ballerini, one of Audibles premier narrators.
Much of the storyline is charming with a youthful innocence appropriate to the primary character. Yes, there are some violent and dark parts, but they complement the storyline. For much of the book I was certain that, although this is part of a series, the story would stand on its own and not need to be read in sequence. And then I got to the end of the book which leaves a large open hole in the plot -- clear evidence that the reader/listener is intended to follow on to book 3.
I recommend this book. It's good as a standalone, but clearly wants to be read/heard as part of a series. And, btw, without the ending "hole", this was a clear 5 star in my mind.
No, I would not listen to it again or at least not in the very near future. I very nearly do read books twice.
Maybe the books about the Hangman's daughter by Oliver Potzsch or the Bryce Cortenay's stories about Solomon the London thief. not so very similar apart from the timeframe. I do like stories from the 16th and 17th hundred.
Edoardo Ballerini is absolutely great!
This story made my stay awake longer than was health for me and my work!
Now that I have read/listen to Speaks the Nightbird and the Queen of Bedlam, I will take a brake from Matthew Corbett. But I will com back to him after awhile for sure.
Say something about yourself!
I read the first title in this series and mostly enjoyed it. However, I quit listening to this one about halfway through; I was done. The author has a rather gory imagination and I realized I wasn't really enjoying but instead, tolerating it. I am into dark fiction, and have a high tolerance for anything gross, but something about this book was just depressing. Don't bother unless you're having such a wonderful week that you need a reverse pick-me-up.
It was a well written story with well developed characters.
His voice was pleasing to listen to, and he performed the different characters extremely well.
No it was a long story, but it was hard for me to turn it off.
Very interesting, well written story that left me wanting more.
I bought this book right after finishing Speaks the Nightbird, fully intending to start listening to it as soon as I had the time. Then time disappeared into a busy life and a few months went by; I listened to other books and forgot about this one. ...Until last week, when I remembered it again. Five minutes into the book I remembered how good the last book was, and couldn't believe I had waited so long to find out what happened to Matthew Corbett after the events in the Carolinas.
Matthew is three years older, but nothing has really happened in his life since we left him in 1699. He is obsessed with finding evidence against the head of his old orphanage, and still works as a magistrate's clerk. The town of New York has recently been the scene of the grotesque murder of a doctor, and as another murder victim is found killed in the same way, the serial killer the local newspaper names the Masker must be found. Matthew can't help it, he has to ask the questions he knows the local High Constable will not think to ask, and starts his own investigation. At the same time he's approached by the Herrald Agency, to join them as a problem solver.
I won't try to outline the plot of the whole book, since that would take a long time. The wonderful thing about this book is that it's not just one story; there are several mysteries for Matthew to solve. And despite the complex mysteries, the book is not slow at all. There is so much more happening in this book compared to Speaks the Nightbird, and it works really well. I loved Speaks the Nightbird, but I think part of my reluctance to start reading the sequel was that two similar books of that length would be a bit too much. Fortunately for me then, The Queen of Bedlam is very different than the first book in the series (much lighter!), but just as good.
The narrator is one of the best I've ever listened to. I have the Kindle version of the book as well as the audiobook, but unlike most books I read/listen to I chose to listen to the entire book this time, only reading a few chapters. Edoardo Ballerini puts a lot of emotion and personality into the characters' voices, and his narration of the story and Matthew's thoughts makes the book even better than it already is. I have no idea what he does differently than other narrators I've listened to, but I have listened to this book for a whole day while cleaning the house (10 hours) and wouldn't have been able to do that unless the narration was very good.
I finished the book in just three days and kept finding excuses to do "audiobook-friendly" activities (the house is now very clean...). The last part of the book was almost impossible to stop listening to, and after finishing the book I just had to get the next one. The mystery is solved, but Matthew's story is clearly not finished and continues in Mister Slaughter.
Adventure and suspense please!
The main character of this series, Matthew, is one of my favorite character's ever. He is good, but not sickeningly good. He really grows throughout the series. The narrator is by far my favorite audible narrator yet. Truly talented, he brings the characters and story to life like no one else. This was another great mystery, however, I liked the first one better because it had more passion. Matthew cared personally about that mystery more than this one and it made a difference in how interesting it was. Still, it was very good and you should listen to it.
A really intriguing historical novel that has apt descriptive action scenes which makes you feel like you are actually seeing them with your own eyes!
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