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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    1,479
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    721
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    36
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
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Nicely Surprised!

What did you love best about The Queen of Bedlam?

It was a well written story with well developed characters.

What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

His voice was pleasing to listen to, and he performed the different characters extremely well.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No it was a long story, but it was hard for me to turn it off.

Any additional comments?

Very interesting, well written story that left me wanting more.

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Good, complex story and perfect narration

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.

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Captivating Narrator and Stories

Any additional comments?

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.

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Good second book in series

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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  • bracken
  • mocksville, nc, United States
  • 02-23-14

Another excellent Corbett novel!

A perfect continuation of the first. I never think the second or third books of a series will be nearly as good as the first, but this series is an exception. Keep them coming!
Great narration by Ballerini! I can easily identify the individual characters- great reading.

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  • Dana
  • WEIMAR, TX, United States
  • 02-20-14

Master story teller

Would you consider the audio edition of The Queen of Bedlam to be better than the print version?

told by a master teller of stories

What other book might you compare The Queen of Bedlam to and why?

Speaks the Nightbird began the Matthew Corbett story that goes on even after the mystery is solved. Robert McCammon weaves an assortment of loose threads into a rich tapestry of lives lived in colonial times in America. He is a true master story teller.

Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

None better than Edoardo Ballerini. He is a master teller of stories. How can one person deliver so many distinct voices. He brings each character to life in vivid color in the mind's eye. His performance makes the story flow through time and place. Listening to this series makes long car trips fly by.

Who was the most memorable character of The Queen of Bedlam and why?

Many interesting period characters but none more memorable than Matthew himself, the solver of puzzles

Any additional comments?

Starting book 3 and already sorry there are only 4 books in this series, hope he is working on book 5.

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  • Andrew
  • Wesport, CT, United States
  • 02-01-14

Best So Far in Series

Of the first three I have listened to this on is the best, I listened to 4:30 am as it was so engaging I could not take my earphones off. The history of early New York and New Jersey was enlightening.

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Was OK

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I wouldn't recommend as a fabulous book. It was ok... too many names and characters to keep track of and very convoluted. I don't think ill follow the next book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Slow start, but improved tremendously!

I began to wonder if I had made a mistake at the start of the book, but had trouble putting it down about a third of the way through the story. Loved the historical aspect of the period. Will be listening to more books in this series!

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  • Robert
  • McKenzie, Tn, United States
  • 01-08-14

He Did it Again! Master Storyteller

What made the experience of listening to The Queen of Bedlam the most enjoyable?

Once again this author puts you right into the action and your mind goes crazy with images. Mc Cammon, does a great job of keeping you in the book page by page. His character's come alive and you feel that you are apart of the story.

What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

Once again I love the voice of Ballerini and he is able to change characters like some people change their shirts.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt at the end the Queen of bedlam death was very moving. The sword fights were action packed and one became concerned with the hero well being.

Any additional comments?

The ending was a little slow, but good.