Audie Award Nominee, Fiction, 2013
Judgment of the Witch
The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies - and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....
After hearing damning testimony, magistrate Woodward sentences the accused witch to death by burning. Desperate to exonerate the woman he has come to love, Matthew begins his own investigation among the townspeople. Piecing together the truth, he has no choice but to vanquish a force more malevolent than witchcraft in order to save his beloved Rachel - and free Fount Royal from the menace claiming innocent lives.
©2002 Robert McCammon (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“Edoardo Ballerini performs this story of accusation and fear flawlessly. He effortlessly switches his pitch, accents, and timbre to suit the unfortunate Rachel Howarth, the endless curious Corbett, and the various determined characters, good and evil.” (AudioFile)
"a compelling story that should find a wide readership. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections." (Library Journal)
"An excellent story, full of tension and suspense.” (Stephen King)
I loved this book it was so well written and narrated. I found it difficult to stop listening. The author painted such a vivid picture of 1699, rural America, you felt like you were there. I love the British accents which was done beautifully by Ballerini. The protagonist Matthew Corbett made many
keen verbal observations., and his inquisitive nature, took him in to many strange situations. I'm looking forward to his next adventure.
This book was so slow for me to get into but once I got into it, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I am so glad to have discovered Robert McCammon and will be reading more of his novels. This one about a small village in the New World and the Magistrate and his clerk sent to it for the trial of an accused witch. Murders have occurred and the crops have failed and obviously this means a witch is causing this evil. Obviously??? They pick the woman who is different from them, a Portuguese beauty with dark skin, and decide she must be a witch. If not for one man who insists that he will not allow punishment without a trial, she would have been burned the next day. The town was created by him so he has final say. He is no great hero, he is a bit of a tyrant, but at least he keeps the woman alive until the magistrate can conduct a trial. What leads up to the trial and follows the trial is the crux of the story. Matthew Corbett, the Clerk, is the hero of the story and appears in four later books. He is known as the Fixer and he is determined to get to the bottom of the reason this woman has been accused of witchcraft. He doesn't really believe in witches but he's only 20 and not experienced in the law or at least that is what the magistrate tells him for why he believes the way he does. This is a very long book and has lots of twists and turns but Matthew is the key to the whole story. It is a story of love and redemption and then more as Matthew grows into a young man. The story takes place in a few weeks time but covers lots and lots of ground. A very good mystery, thriller, and ending.
I started this book on my mom's recommendation, and she did not steer me wrong. What a wonderful book! It was nice and long, had perfect narration, and a great story line that kept you hooked until the end. I cannot wait to start his next one.
Eclectic bookworm...I listen to a little bit of everything. Give up after listening to something for 20 minutes and don't like it.
I was blown away by this audiobook. It is probably the best audiobook I've ever listened to, and I've listened to a lot. The story is absolutely amazing. In his beautiful writing, McCammon perfectly captures the simultaneously wild and civilized essence of this era in early American history. The descriptions were so rich that I really felt I was there, and the diction was so good that I was constantly looking up definitions in my Ninja Words app (I love learning new words).
Our hero Matthew is precocious young man who is committed to finding truth and justice even in the most convoluted of situations, as in the scapegoating of the "witch" Rachel. Drawing upon his own tenacity and cleverness, he starts to unravel a very complex mystery that has worked its way through the psyches of the townspeople in the town of Fount Royal.
The Eduardo Ballerini does a phenomenal job of narrating the book and conveying the personalities of the characters using different voices. He really could not have done a better job, except that I did find the pace to be a little fast so I listened to most of it at .75x speed.
I'd recommend this to lovers of historical fiction and literary thrillers, or anyone for that matter who just wants to listen to a good book.
This book, this author, this narrator...excellent. Thank you for being so talented and providing a book worm like myself with something so entertaining, griping, unique, alive. Best narrator ever. Ever.
I don't think I have enjoyed a book as much in a very long time. I could not put it down. Narrator is impeccable. The story masterfully written. Characters all uniquely crafted. This is my first McCammon book, but not my last. A must read.
This was a very pleasant book. It's is a murder mystery with a twist. It's not like other murder mysteries that I have read or listen to. Trust me this book is great from story to character development.
The story is very well written with a variety of complex characters and sub plots. The detail the author gives regarding the descriptions of everything from the clothing to food to the illnesses which were present during this time in history make the read so interesting. There is ample historical detail that you can easily find yourself present with the characters before you realize it's just a book. Great mysteries are woven with many of the characters. The narrator is incredible. He is masterful in his ability to fully distinguish voices and nuisances with each character. I will be reading all of the Matthew books!
"A beautifully read, chilling tale."
I have always liked stories about the 17th Century, but good ones are few and far between. This is one of the good ones.
I often find that novels which are so long struggle to remain gripping throughout, so I approached this one with some trepidation. I don't like to waste my monthly credit! I should not have worried.
Ballerini's narration is superb and he has a great way of changing his voice for every single character so you know just who they are. This, coupled with McGammon's detailed and, sometimes, startling revelations which are revealed steadily throughout the novel make for an fascinating audiobook which thrills and entertains in equal measure. The thirty-odd hours have all but skipped by and, with only another four to go, I can't wait to find out what happens. I'm about to download the next novel in the series - I'm assuming this is the first in the 'Matthew Corbett' novels (Come on, Audible, make your labelling more helpful! This is not the only series poorly labelled. How about some more specific, advanced genre labels?) - because I'm looking forward to seeing in 1800 with Matthew in the colonies.
A top quality read, highly recommended.
"speaks the nightbird"
This was a very long book and took most of a month to listen to it! but was well worth it in the end. It took it's time in drawing you in and you felt you knew the characters personally. Robert McCammon has a unique insight into the way people lived and their intolerance of anything or anyone different while they were building their America. Also how religion and superstition held sway over their lives .Edouardo Ballerini., as narrator was excellent his voice leading you on and very charismatic. An excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to listen and enjoy.
After the first couple of hours of listening I decided I was not enjoying this book, but as soon as I stopped listening to it, I needed to know what happened. I then found it compelling listening, with no hitting the fast forward button.
This is a very descriptive book, with characters I could admire, empathise with and detest, a good storyline.
"A good listen and value for money...but very long!"
I would say that this is an enjoyable listen and I didn't guess the ending at all so it did keep you guessing throughout, however I feel it was slightly too long and drawn out for me. I found myself forcing myself to listen to it during the end of the the 2nd and the 3rd sections as the pace had really slowed. Having said that the narration was fantastic and I'm glad that I stuck with it. A good story....but not necessarily a great one!
I downloaded this after reading other reviews and was not disappointed. The story is a little slow to get going, but it soon sweeps you up and has many twists and turns to keep you guessing. I shall look out for others by this author.
"Great stuff from south of Salem."
An interesting take on the idea of the Crucible moulded into a detective novel. It's a great listen with one or two minor irritations( why the hell does our hero never tell anyone of what he has found out until the end?) However it's a well crafted novel and well appreciated.
From the very first chapter McCammon's detailed and skilled narrative transports the listener into the mud, humidity and brutal reality of life in 17th century Carolina. With witch trial hysteria, intrigue and deception thrown into the mix this is a superb novel which twists and turns it's way through to a satisfying conclusion. I can't wait to listen to the next in the series.
"Very, Very Clever"
This story is not generally my kind of subject matter, but both the author and narrator have gripped me with a very, very clever story, that is as factual and historic as it is murder, mystery.
I only really downloaded this because I was absolutely blown away by Swan Song which after 34 hours of listening, I was left wishing there were another 34 hours remaining, I was that enthralled.
I have already downloaded the next 2 instalments in the Matthew Corbett series and I cannot wait. Summed up in 1 sentence ' Robert McCammon doesn't just write, he paints images that immerse you into the very fabric of the story'.
"Speaks the Nightbird"
I really enjoyed this book. It set the stage from the beginning and kept me enthralled throughout. I felt I was right there the whole time.
"Wonderful historical, mystery, thriller"
This slowly developing, detailed and descriptive novel brings alive an historical period while weaving a web of mystery. Drawing pen portraits of a collection of frontiers people, all with an unusual history, McCammon introduces the reader to witchcraft and ignorance, murders and an underlying sense of threat. But striding through this grim and frightening landscape is the determined and morally sound Matthew Corbett, judge's clerk. The reader sees the characters and the new town through Matthew's eyes, shadowing his perseverance as he investigates the crimes being blamed on Rachel's witchcraft. Beautifully read too. I will be looking out for the other books in this series!
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