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.
This author was new to me (even though he has been writing for years) and I found this series addicting. After I listened to the first one, I had to hear the rest.
The characters are well developed, the dialogue is wonderful and the humor is so funny and comes out of the blue that I had many REAL laugh-out-loud moments – and a couple of almost-drive-off-the-road moments.
Absolutely delightful series with wonderful narration.
I'm a court reporter/transcriber living and working in Melbourne. It's why I enjoy McCammon's work so much, with mention of magistrates etc.
I've now listened to all four Matthew Corbett books by Robert McCammon, along with Swan Song, an earlier book. I find the Corbett stories and characters fascinating. Although mostly set in and around eighteenth century New York, don't let the historical nature of the books deter you. McCammon's writing style is full of invention, style and wicked humour.You'll find yourself chuckling one minute, the next wriggling uncomfortably as the young problem solver finds himself in yet another terrifying situation. I've lost count of how many sayings, phrases and concepts I've jotted down in my little notebook. Edoardo Ballerini narrated all four of the Corbett series, and I now rate him as possibly the best reader I've heard - sorry, Scott. The guy has to be heard to be believed. Although it's not totally necessary to read the books in order, I strongly recommend doing just that, starting with Speaks the Nightbird, then working through books 2, 3 and 4. I understand McCammon intends to write 10 books all up in the series, so I guess it won't be long before I'm back in Matthew's wonderful world once again. Do yourself a favour and start listening now.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
Yes. Clever dialogue, great characters, good plot. Just a great read.
When the hero and heroine are trapped and about to be killed, the villain notes "she's not doing very well" and our hero responds "it's her first time being murdered."
His reading is transparent - by that I mean that I can see/experience each character clearly as he creates each unique voice and personality. He manages to voice an array of extremely well-crafted characters without overacting, not once, not ever, so that the listener is never aware of his presence. He's a gem. One of the best readers I've heard.
Moving right on to the next book. I hope McCammon and Ballerini have another one in the hopper, because I'm going to be lonely for Matthew when I finish #4.
A terrific story set in early 18th century New York. Edoardo Ballerini once again does a wonderful job on the narration. And the evil that Matthew Corbett encounters and unravels will make you shudder as you listen.
It's hard to know which book I liked better--Speaks the Nightbird was the first in the series, and is one of the top 20 favorites in my library. The Queen of Bedlam will be added to that group.
I like it when an author doesn't feel the need to point you directly at the circumstances, or the joke, for you to "get it"- this author doesn't insult the reader's intelligence. It is a smart and witty novel about the hunt for a serial killer called "The Masker" in New York City. Our hero, Matthew Corbett, teams up with a detective agency just being established in the city. As was his style in the first book, Matthew goes about his business in a quiet, determined manner as he puts together the clues which ultimately lead to the truth. There are several sub-plots to keep things interesting, and a possible love interest as well. It is a slow build for the first 1/3, but after that, I didn't want to stop listening.
Set in the period around 1700, the author does a wonderful job of giving us a look at life during that time (NYC had a population of about 5,000) which is so rich in detail, it is like being there.
Bottom line--it you liked Speaks the Nightbird- you will like this one too. If you have not read the fist book- this one will stand alone, but I would highly recommend reading the first one to get the full story and rich background.
I really like this series! Robert McCammon weaves early 18th Century history into outrageous plots-what is interesting is in this violent time Matthew Corbett retains his compassion combined with responsibility of life. Corbett at heart is a quiet, thinker who it is easy to enjoy - I can't wait for the 3rd book!
As always, Mr. Ballerini brings this book to life. His ability to provide unique voices to each character really adds depth to the reading of the story. This series has been an enjoyable way to spend my daily commutes.
Addicted to Audible!
I am so happy to have discovered this series. I love historical novels especially when they are full of mystery, murder and mayhem! Edoardo Ballerini is an amazingly talented actor who is the perfect narrator for a book of this length. I was never bored- he kept me engaged the entire time. The book is funny, sad, interesting and full of great characters. I highly recommend spending time in Matthew Corbett's world!
Mr. McCammon has the uncanny ability to make unbelievable situations, plausible - and enthralling! Again, I couldn't put this down! The narration was great, and tale was gripping. He introduces the master criminal, and another unattainable love interest. I can't wait to listen to the next installment!
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