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 really enjoy historical fiction and this book is very satisfying (and also a mystery which just makes it even better). It seems quite well researched as far as clothing, food, housing, etc. It is a great story and every time I thought, OK that should wrap it up, we are at a logical conclusion, a twist came up to extend the book. But the extensions were not just filler, they really made sense and added more enjoyment to the book. So even though it is really long, it is entertaining to the end.
I enjoy historical novels. This did not disappoint, although was somewhat drawn out at times.
In 1699 a young woman is convicted of being a witch and destined to be burned at the stake.
A magistrate's assistant is determined to prove her innocence. But he is the ONLY one who believes in her innocence. Is she truly innocent or is his opinion skewed by her beauty.
A good story, but also very depressing.
When this book first started, I thought,"a historical turn of the century'. It doesn't take long for the action to start and then you need to hold on. This was a great story, full of intrigue and suspense. You aren't quite sure of where it will take you. The hero, Matthew, is alone in his quest to find out the truth and uses his deduction skills to get to the bottom of some murders that happen in a creepy little town. This is a little like Sherlock Holmes meets deliverance. Great story and plan on some sleepless nights listening to this one!
There's no way I'd listen to it again...Ballerini does an adequate job with the voicing and accents, but his delivery is dreadfully slow and exceptionally inconsistent in its volume.
Solid mystery with interesting historical context.
Quiet, slow, dynamic
You can't hang evil.
I finished the story in book format, as I simply couldn't wait any longer.
Historical fiction that has all the trappings of a mystery novel with a little romance.
The author's sense of humor does not beat you over the head, it is subtle and clever.
Loved this story. It was well written and the narration was outstanding. I fully intend to read more of Mr. McCammon, and Mathew Corbett's adventures. While I thought the book was overlong to begin with, once into it, I couldn't imagine any part which could have been eliminated. I hope the next one is as good.
All mysteries all the time, that's what I read. I joined Audible when I started having a long commute. Now I listen everywhere!
This was an well-crafted mystery as well as being interesting as historical fiction. I really felt as if I could see how the village and environs appeared and truly felt the flavor of the times. I love the character of Matthew and how his confidence in himself grew through the investigation.
I loved the part when Matthew realizes what the Indian Chief has in the walls. I also enjoyed knowing that the evil innkeeper got what was coming to him.
Mr. Ballerini's voice and reading were perfect accompaniments for this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I haven't checked yet, but I'm hoping this is a series character.
This would be a good work of historical fiction if not for excessive sexual fantasy, making this more a trash novel. I am not doubting that such things occurred, but the author's fixation and repetition of the most lurid details and unlikely scenarios rob this book of any historical setting. After many scenes, I felt like I'd just read a gossip session from a junior high locker room. The author could eliminate 90% of this, and more subtly infer the rest, and be left with a powerful work of historical fiction. Instead, the reader is jolted out of the plot to endure a misplaced fantasy that just doesn't fit with the time period.
The narrator does an excellent job except for one thing, and I'm not sure how to write it. His 's' pronunciation, in about a third of the book, turns into an irritating hiss. Maybe if he hydrated more before speaking it would help. This is a shame, because otherwise his performance is very good.
I'm a father of four. I am a big fan of The Pendergast series by Preston and Child as well as Dan Brown's Robert Langd
While listening to this excellent book, I got the feeling I was watching the early developement of an American Sherlock Holmes. Matthew Corbett is young, exeedingly clever, and tenacious to a fault. The supporting characters do a wonderful job of completeling the picture if 1699 American back country.
The plot is well paced and the resoluion is satisfying. Some of the pieces come together a bit too easily in the end; therefore the climax is a bit predictable, but not so much as to lessen the enjoyment of the listen.
The narrator gets top marks. His reading is fantastic. The next time I'm in search mode for an audiobook I've yet to enjoy, I will definitely look for some of his other readings regaurdless of the author.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
"Speaks the Nightbird" is a mystery. Is Rachel really a witch, or is she being framed?
Because the story takes place in 1699, there are no modern methods of testing for fingerprints, no Internet for background checks, no telegraph or telephone ... so an investigation takes legwork and time. LOTS of time. Perhaps it is my modern world impatience with the main character's slow approach necessitated by the era, but this book was difficult for me to get through.
Audible divides this book into four parts. At the end of Part I, I thought, "This is painfully slow. I'll never get to the end." There was virtually no suspense to encourage my interest and persistence.
However, the fourth quarter made it all worthwhile. Most of the action, all of the explanations, and of course the big reveal of "who dunnit" were in this quarter.
I should also add that the main character is fabulous, and the narrator is spectacular. Almost all of the characters had British accents, so Ballerini had to create a different tone and rhythm of speech for each. Absolutely perfect.
If you like really BAD bad guys and really GOOD good guys, you will enjoy this book.
Just be patient.
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