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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 eighteenth-century New York, where a killer wields a bloody and terrifying power over a b 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 eighteenth-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, 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...while young law clerk Matthew Corbett has other obsessions in mind. Earnest and hardworking, Matthew spends his precious spare time attempting to vindicate the abuses he witnessed growing up in the Sainted John Home for Boys, at the hands of its monstrous headmaster. But Matthew's true calling lies not in avenging the past but salvaging the future -- for when the Masker claims a new victim, Matthew 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.


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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 eighteenth-century New York, where a killer wields a bloody and terrifying power over a b 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 eighteenth-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, 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...while young law clerk Matthew Corbett has other obsessions in mind. Earnest and hardworking, Matthew spends his precious spare time attempting to vindicate the abuses he witnessed growing up in the Sainted John Home for Boys, at the hands of its monstrous headmaster. But Matthew's true calling lies not in avenging the past but salvaging the future -- for when the Masker claims a new victim, Matthew 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.

30 review for The Queen of Bedlam

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Reread June 2019 ‘In this town of soon to be more than five thousand persons there was a governor who wore a dress, a reverend who loved a prostitute, a printmaster who could crack walnuts on his forehead, a high constable who had killed a boy, a magistrate who was once a tennis champion, a laundress who collected secrets, and a coroner who collected bones. There was a barber who owned a squirrel named Sassafras, a tailor who could identify a dead man from a suit’s watch pocket, and a black giant Reread June 2019 ‘In this town of soon to be more than five thousand persons there was a governor who wore a dress, a reverend who loved a prostitute, a printmaster who could crack walnuts on his forehead, a high constable who had killed a boy, a magistrate who was once a tennis champion, a laundress who collected secrets, and a coroner who collected bones. There was a barber who owned a squirrel named Sassafras, a tailor who could identify a dead man from a suit’s watch pocket, and a black giantess who would put aside her gittern just long enough to kill you. If a town, like a ship, could be given feminine attributes, then this Queen of Bedlam sat regal on her throne and kept her secrets in a golden cup. This Queen of Bedlam might smile at tears, or weep at laughter. This Queen of Bedlam saw all the swirl of humanity, all its joys and tragedies, its wisdom and madness. This Queen of Bedlam threw dice, and drank hearty, and sometimes played rough. But here she was, in her gown of night with the lamps ashine like yellow diamonds. Here she was, silent in her thoughts and loud in her desires. Here she was, on the new world’s edge.’ What a wonderful Ode to New York. This book is so intricately plotted and full to bursting with historical facts- so well written and phrased. A complete treat. First time round 2016 Absolutely amazing! Talk about quality historical fiction. I can't even..! Blown away by Speaks the Nightbird. Now blown away again by its sequel, set in New York at the beginning of the eighteenth century, when it was just becoming established. It saddens me that it is so difficult to procure copies of this series. Everyone should be able to access these wonderful books. It seems to be virtually out of print. They are available on audio but I do like to have the book as well especially with long complex novels..

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    Full review up! Absolutely amazing!! All the stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Hot damn, I love this series. It’s the perfect formula of historical fiction, mystery, horror and humor that's all thrown together in an amazing book. I am itching to start the next book in the series because the books are just that good! Matthew Corbett is becoming one of my favorite characters. He’s complex, smart, level headed, not full of himself, understands his shortcomings, etc. I could go on and on. I’m totally fangirling on Corbet Full review up! Absolutely amazing!! All the stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Hot damn, I love this series. It’s the perfect formula of historical fiction, mystery, horror and humor that's all thrown together in an amazing book. I am itching to start the next book in the series because the books are just that good! Matthew Corbett is becoming one of my favorite characters. He’s complex, smart, level headed, not full of himself, understands his shortcomings, etc. I could go on and on. I’m totally fangirling on Corbett y'all. 😏🤣 The Queen of Bedlam starts off with Matthew living in New York before America was a country. England still owns the colonies and New York is trying to become a big city. They’ve got some growing pains going on while Philadelphia and Boston are in their element. Maybe New York needs to become it’s own identity? Matthew is working for Magistrate Powers as a clerk. Matthew is at a crossroads on whether he can become a lawyer or if he needs to look at a new profession. He doesn’t have the funds or support to become a lawyer. He’s an orphan after-all. Speaking of orphans, he’s also focused on trying to figure out how to avenge all the abused, orphaned boys that grew up with him when he was at the Sainted John Home for Boys. At this time, New York is being terrorized by The Masker. The Masker is killing influential people while leaving a strange and twisted calling card with the kills. The Masker is not on Matthew’s radar until one night he is pulled into the investigation and his course of life and profession is completely changed. Robert McCammon is just an amazing writer. His characters are fantastic and the plot never lags or gets caught up in pointless details. This book was over 600 pages but it never felt like I was reading 600+ pages. I was invested from the beginning all the way until the end. And. What. An. End!! All of the plot mysteries of The Queen of Bedlam gets tied up beautifully and it’s an epic finish!! Wow!! We’re also shown a glimpse into where the storyline will continue for Matthew, The Herrald Agency and the rest of the characters in the book. I'm so excited to continue this series! Kudos to McCammon for writing such a great character and a new series to love!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”’Twas said better to light a candle than to curse the dark, but in the town of New York in the summer of 1702 one might do both, for the candles were small and the dark large, True, there were the town-appointed constables and watchmen, Yet often between Dock Street and the Broad Way these heroes of the nocturne lost their courage to a flask of John Barleycorn and the other temptations that beckoned so flagrantly on the midsummer breeze, be it the sound of merriment from the harbor taverns or t ”’Twas said better to light a candle than to curse the dark, but in the town of New York in the summer of 1702 one might do both, for the candles were small and the dark large, True, there were the town-appointed constables and watchmen, Yet often between Dock Street and the Broad Way these heroes of the nocturne lost their courage to a flask of John Barleycorn and the other temptations that beckoned so flagrantly on the midsummer breeze, be it the sound of merriment from the harbor taverns or the intoxicating scent of perfume from the rose-colored house of Polly Blossom.” Matthew Corbett’s World Matthew Corbett our erstwhile hero from Speaks the Nightbird returns for another adventure. He is back in New York doing copy work for a lawyer by day, setting print for The Earwig in the evenings, and chasing after his nemesis Eben Ausley by night. Ausley was the overseer of the orphanage in which Matthew stayed until he was selected to be a clerk for a local lawyer. Ausley had a taste for young lads and what better place to find ready made victims than an orphanage. Corbett is intelligent, doggedly diligent, and wants justice at any cost. He is certainly a serious lad not given to frivolities. His idea of having fun is to sit down and read Increase Mather’s Kometographia, Or a Discourse Concerning Comets. In his youthful exuberance he sometimes forgets about the victims in his search for a conviction. Robert McCammon explores the idea of the cost of justice as Corbett chases down the victims of Ausley’s lust and tries to leverage them into testifying. They have moved on with their lives and are now grown men. The castigation from society they will experience by revealing what happened, even if Ausley is convicted in the process, will far outweigh any satisfaction they might feel from putting a monster behind bars. The only one with vengeance in his heart is Corbett who was not a victim of Ausley’s attentions. I understand the desire to put an animal like Ausley out of circulation, but creating victims again out of those he already hurt is not a good option. The flip side of the coin is that Ausley will keep hurting people if someone doesn't find a way to take him off the board. Matthew Corbett wants to be a lawyer, but in 1702 the only way for an American to become a lawyer was to travel to England to school, a very expensive proposition. This is long before a police force has been formed, constables and watchmen were basically volunteers, untrained, and generally drunk. Corbett is a natural bloodhound who only needs a smattering of clues to keep pursuing the truth. As it happens a serial killer is loose on New York, killing prominent members of society. Soon Corbett has put aside his investigation into Ausley and focuses on unmasking “The Masker”. He is lead into temptation: ”Polly leaned in so close her eyes, startlingly blue and clear, became the world. ‘We don’t wish to frighten you away, your very first visit,’ she all but whispered in his ear. In spite of the rigid design of his mission, Matthew had begun to sweat both at temples and under his arms. His stomach felt crawly. Polly Blossom was a handsome woman, no doubt. Her thick blond ringlets had no need of a whore’s wig, and she wore only a modicum of blue shadow-paint above his eyes. Her full, pouting lips--so close to his own mouth!--were daubed with pink. Her color was healthy, her body with its full swell of breasts and hips clothed in a rich indigo gown embroidered with lighter blue silk flowers...and perfume that smelled like peaches.” A Place of ILL Repute Matthew escapes Polly Blossom’s bordello with his virtue intact...barely. He is not so lucky when he is drugged on the estate of a notorious villain and thrown, as punishment, to a nymphomaniac. His only other sexual congress was with an accused witch in Speaks the Nightbird. He can barely remember this momentous occasion because he was under a spell which made his memories disjointed and hazy. There seems to be a pattern with Young Corbett. He has to be intoxicated in order to have sex. ”He had been thrown to Charity LeClaire and was serving as a scratch for the nymph’s itch. All he could do was be battered and beaten, tossed and trumpled, rowdied and rompled and rigidified. Up was down, and down was up, and at some point the bed broke and the whole heaving world slid sideways. A mouth sucked his mouth, a hand grasped his hair, a second hand caught his beans, and eager thighs slammed down in a spine-bending maneuver both frenzied and frantic.... Then after a respite that seemed as long as eight seconds, Matthew felt himself seized by the ankles and dragged along with the bedsheets upon the chamber’s floor, where Miss LeClaire continued her demonstration of the lusty art. Matthew swore he felt his soul trying to float free of his body. After so many explosions of energy, probably helped along by the wicked drug, he was now only shooting forth blue air.” I left out the more saucier elements mostly for the sake of space. I think you all get the idea. I really thought that McCammon might use this moment for more than just a bit of titillation by tying it back to the sexual assaults endured by the orphan boys. Matthew did not report this assault probably because in that day and age who would believe a man could be raped by a woman. Just lay back and enjoy it, old boy. *Wink Wink* Matthew is recruited to work for the first ever detective agency in the United States. It is a London based firm managed by the widow of the originator. In the course of his investigations he digs up a roach infested body. His house is imploded and knocked down by a crazed bull. His “girlfriend,” granddaughter of the printer that Matthew helps, seems to be a curse to those around her. The case also takes him to an insane asylum to interview The Queen of Bedlam, a woman waiting for a ship, The King’s Reply, long past it’s scheduled arrival date. Somehow she is tied into the whole Masker business. Matthew has a few words with an inmate named Mister Slaughter. Since the third book bears his name I have to feel that McCammon has given us a preview of the villain for the next installment. The book is a bit bloated, but it is a rollicking fun adventure that delivers plenty of pleasures. I will certainly sign on for adventure #3. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  4. 4 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    [9/10] - “You’re a lawyer?” - “Not exactly a lawyer, no.” - “What, then? Exactly.” - “I’m ...” What would be the right word? he wondered. Deducer? No, that wasn’t it. Deductive? No, also wrong and hideous to boot. His role was to solve problems. Solvant? No. He might be considered, he thought, a sifter of clues. A weighter of evidence. A detector of truth and lies... That would do. “I’m a detector,” he said. - “A what?” Not good, Matthew thought. One should at least sound professional, if one was to [9/10] - “You’re a lawyer?” - “Not exactly a lawyer, no.” - “What, then? Exactly.” - “I’m ...” What would be the right word? he wondered. Deducer? No, that wasn’t it. Deductive? No, also wrong and hideous to boot. His role was to solve problems. Solvant? No. He might be considered, he thought, a sifter of clues. A weighter of evidence. A detector of truth and lies... That would do. “I’m a detector,” he said. - “A what?” Not good, Matthew thought. One should at least sound professional, if one was to be taken professionally. He made a word on the spot and spoke it with forceful assurance: “I mean to say, sir, that I am a detective.” - “As I said before ... a what?” Somebody must have been the first to come up with the new words needed to describe new professions. Robert McCammon nominates the hero of his historical mystery adventure series as the prototype of the private gumshoe. In the first novel (“Speaks the Nightbird”) Matthew Corbett knows that his job description is ‘magistrate’s clerk’. In the sequel, he gets the chance to put his talents to better use than the transcriptions of depositions and the recording of judicial decisions. His compatriots are reasonably baffled, since there hasn’t been one of these new-fangled detectives in town before. The location and the time are important to give context to the dialogue above: ‘Twas said better to light a candle than to curse the dark, but in the town of New York in the summer of 1702 one might do both, for the candles were small and the dark was large. The whole world is accustomed to the iconic skyline of the Big Apple, but it wasn’t always a jagged ridge of skyscapers. At the time of the events described here New York was a small community of farmers and artisans that were struggling to bring shipping away from Boston or Philadelphia. The streets were mud mixed with animal droppings and the nights were black as ink, too scary even for the voluntary group of constables who were supposed to patrol them and who preferred to hide and get drunk in one of the numerous taverns. Also responsible for the scaryness are a couple of copy-cat murders that left respectable citizens with their throats cut: It was the Thing That No One Spoke Of. The Incident. The Unfortunate Happenstance. It was the Masker, is what it was. So drink up wine from those fresh casks and blow your smoke to the moon, Matthew thought. Howl like wolves and grin like thieves. We’ve all got to walk a dark street home tonight. Young Matthew has his own private quest to pursue, an act of justice for crimes commited against children by the warden of the orphanage were he spent part of his childhood. In chasing Eben Ausley, Matthew also stumbles on yet another victim of the Masker, and before the novel is over the plot will visit, beside the Edmond Dantes and Jack the Ripper themes, several other avenues of investigation: the identity of an old lady hidden in a mental hospital, a case of smuggling and unethical business practices, the disappearance of more orphans from the same institution run by Eben Ausley, the secret that drives a fiery pastor to the steps of a bawdy house, the dark deeds of a mysterious super-villain based in London. I have already given the first book in the series a five star, and I have exclaimed enthusiastically about the rigurous research into the early years of the American colonies, about the control of voice and plot, of humour and drama, about the adrenaline rush of the action set pieces. The sequel is just as good, if a little less focused in terms of plot due to the numerous side characters introduced and the multiple investigation structure. There’s a lot to say about how alive and convincing are the numerous supporting characters, but I would rather pick up the next book in the series than over-analyze this one. I’ll limit myself to repeating the main attractions that will make me continue reading these adventure novels: the evolution of Matthew Corbett and the further exploration of the Early American historical setting. Matthew was an insecure but determinate young man in the first book, with a talent for asking the right questions. His self-confidence and his ‘deducer’ powers are developing nicely in the sequel: ... sometimes the questions easily answered are not the right questions. Sometimes the questions easily answered are meant to lead one into darkness. Therefore, to get my light – as it were – I look to the questions that no one else might ask. The unpopular questions. The uncivil, impolite questions. I harp on them and I pound on them, and often my strategy is to drive into the ground those who refuse to asnwer what I wish to know. I have to hide my favorite passage with spoiler brackets, since it explains the title and reveals some of the best moments of the journey , part of the historical enchantment of looking at New York in its inception years: (view spoiler)[ He had realized that the real Queen of Bedlam was a town on an island between two rivers. In this town of soon to be more than five thousand persons there was a governor who wore a dress, a reverend who loved a prostitute, a printmaster who could crack walnuts on his forehead, a high constable who had killed a boy, a magistrate who was once a tennis champion, a laundress who collected secrets, and a coroner who collected bones. There was a barber who owned a squirrel named Sassafras, a tailor who could identify a dead man from a suit’s watch pocket, and a black giantess who could put aside her gittern just long enough to kill you. If a town, like a ship, could be given feminine attributes, then this Queen of Bedlam sat regal on her throne and kept her secrets in a golden cup. This Queen of Bedlam might smile at tears, or weep at laughter. This Queen of Bedlam saw all the swirl of humanity, all its joys and tragedies, its wisdom and madness. This Queen of Bedlam threw dice, and drank hearty, and sometimes played rough. But here she was, in her gown of night with the lamps ashine like yellow diamonds. Here she was, silent in her thoughts and loud in her desires. Here she was, on the new world’s edge. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris Berko

    Holy amazing characters, Batman. Corbett is no longer an aide, no longer someone's assistant, he is now his own man living in New York (a city of almost 5000 people!?!?), and by the end of this he is heading his own investigations. This was a spectacular read, I liked the setting of the first book more so than this, but it barely took away from my overall enjoyment. Hours would go by with scenes unfolding in my head and McCammon's writing is so cinematic, I would forget I was reading. Of course Holy amazing characters, Batman. Corbett is no longer an aide, no longer someone's assistant, he is now his own man living in New York (a city of almost 5000 people!?!?), and by the end of this he is heading his own investigations. This was a spectacular read, I liked the setting of the first book more so than this, but it barely took away from my overall enjoyment. Hours would go by with scenes unfolding in my head and McCammon's writing is so cinematic, I would forget I was reading. Of course I know there are more books in the series and I gotta point out how McCammon sets up these narratives and drops hints and clues as to what these might be elegantly, it never feels heavy-handed or gratuitous. Well worth the price of admission and good for hours of fun!!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Estelle

    This is honestly one of the best series I've read / listened to. Can't recommend it enough! This is honestly one of the best series I've read / listened to. Can't recommend it enough!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Although The Queen of Bedlam is the 2nd book in the terrific Matthew Corbett series, this is the novel where the series truly kicks off! The first one, Speaks the Nightbird is a great book, but might have possibly been written as a stand-alone novel and can be read that way. But not only is this the tale that really introduces Matthew and his world the way we know it now, but this is where author McCammon also ratchets up the excitement and doesn't let up all the way through the latest installme Although The Queen of Bedlam is the 2nd book in the terrific Matthew Corbett series, this is the novel where the series truly kicks off! The first one, Speaks the Nightbird is a great book, but might have possibly been written as a stand-alone novel and can be read that way. But not only is this the tale that really introduces Matthew and his world the way we know it now, but this is where author McCammon also ratchets up the excitement and doesn't let up all the way through the latest installment, The River of Souls. Don't get me wrong, it's hard to have a plot more interesting than Speaks The Nightbird's witch hunts, but this novel is a faster-paced adventure! In this installment, it's 1702, three years after the events in the first novel, and Matthew has settled in the growing colony of New York City working as a clerk. A serial killer is terrorizing the city and no one can figure out how to catch the guy. Soon, Matthew gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he's recruited to join the famous London-based Herrald Agency in it's newly-formed New York team as a professional "problem solver," and must travel to a creepy mental asylum where he might find the clues he needs to solve the killings. McCammon is a playful, energized writer that makes reading these novels irresistible! The historical details of the world in early 18th century NYC is fascinating. We also get introduced to what will become Matthew's circle of allies and friends, including the spunky Berry Grisby and Matthew's resourceful new partner Hudson Greathouse, while you also get hints of the evil that will plague Matthew in the future in the form of an arch-nemesis! While long and detailed like the first novel, I found the book fast-paced, never boring, and filled with great moments (the heart-pounding hawk sequence is still one of the best scenes in the series). The book also sets the stage beautifully for the action packed 3rd installment, Mister Slaughter. You will want to read it immediately after finishing this one, trust me!

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    If you haven't invested your reading time with Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series, you are really missing out. THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM is one of the best books that I've ever read. Highly recommended. If you haven't invested your reading time with Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series, you are really missing out. THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM is one of the best books that I've ever read. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Twerking To Beethoven

    All right, I know this book, being awesome, needs a review an'all. Only I'm so awfully lazy, I just can't be arsed. You should read it because it's terrific...and that ending, wow! That's all. You have a good one and stay safe. All right, I know this book, being awesome, needs a review an'all. Only I'm so awfully lazy, I just can't be arsed. You should read it because it's terrific...and that ending, wow! That's all. You have a good one and stay safe.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I listened to this one on audio and loved everything about it. This is shaping up to be an epic series. Matthew Corbett. Robert McCammon. That's all you need to know. I listened to this one on audio and loved everything about it. This is shaping up to be an epic series. Matthew Corbett. Robert McCammon. That's all you need to know.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul O'Neill

    Probably one of the best endings to a story I've ever read, and Corbett is such a detailed and intriguing character. All the stars!! Probably one of the best endings to a story I've ever read, and Corbett is such a detailed and intriguing character. All the stars!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Sven

    Robert McCammon follows up his atmospheric, hard to beat Speaks the Nightbird with a story that catches up with Matthew Corbett 2-3 years down the track in 1702 New York. Oh yes, this is where it all began for Matthew. This is where he ran with the stomper boys before being taken in at the orphanage to meet his arch nemesis, the child molesting Eban Ausley. This book starts off with Matthew working as a clerk for Magistrate Powers in a New York whose streets have become the hunting ground for th Robert McCammon follows up his atmospheric, hard to beat Speaks the Nightbird with a story that catches up with Matthew Corbett 2-3 years down the track in 1702 New York. Oh yes, this is where it all began for Matthew. This is where he ran with the stomper boys before being taken in at the orphanage to meet his arch nemesis, the child molesting Eban Ausley. This book starts off with Matthew working as a clerk for Magistrate Powers in a New York whose streets have become the hunting ground for the serial killer dubbed "The Masker." Off course, our inquisitive clerk applies his analytical mind to hunt the hunter and in the process exposes an underbelly of conspiracy and corruption that threatens to destroy everything Matthew holds dear. So does The Queen of Bedlam live up to McCammon's first book in the series? Hard to say. It is in a sense a different sort of book. Book one built dramatic tension through atmosphere and suspense, bordering on horror, while this book relies more on the plot and more closely resembles a private detective story. In any case I found this book as immersive as it's predecessor, and again found as much pleasure in the story telling as in the story itself. All this was aided no doubt by Edoardo Ballerini's divine audio narration and superb voice acting. I can't imagine experiencing these books any other way. I'm giving it... 5 stars. My review of Speaks the Nightbird

  14. 4 out of 5

    The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)

    This is the second book of a very interesting historical fiction (mystery) set in the English Colonies of North America at the turn of th 17th century. This book, more than the first reminds me of Sherlock Holmes though Matthew Corbett's 18th century world proceeds Holmes by over 100 years. He even tried to use the label "I'm a detective." but it fell flat. I liked this book more than the first one. The first book was very good and very dark with McCammon's signature grittiness. This series ten This is the second book of a very interesting historical fiction (mystery) set in the English Colonies of North America at the turn of th 17th century. This book, more than the first reminds me of Sherlock Holmes though Matthew Corbett's 18th century world proceeds Holmes by over 100 years. He even tried to use the label "I'm a detective." but it fell flat. I liked this book more than the first one. The first book was very good and very dark with McCammon's signature grittiness. This series tends to come across like "Steampunk" sometimes, but then so did Swan Song. More humor in the second and I loved the addition of Berry Grigsby (Formerly known as Berryl). McCamon's introduction of Berryl was fabulous, funny and well done. Berry took several chapters of hints and tidbits here and there before she came in and when she did I had to laugh. It's pretty complicated humor which I tend to like the complicated, and very well executed. Then his first really "walk" with Berry made me pull my car over because I was laughing too hard. We get other new characters in this to help set up the Harold Agency and since it looks like he's settling down in New York, we were introduced to some likely regular fixtures that will be part of the background setting and characters for the growing, bustling city of 5,000. The Governor's a Hoot too. Corbett, for his part delivers his lines with dry and sometimes caustic wit that worked very well given his almost arrogant thinking. Of course, Berry and his esteemed colleague are always around to chop him down to size when he gets too big for his britches. I love the way the plot unfolded a piece at a time, always enough to keep us from seeing the full picture and to know we didn't have the full picture. The clues were honestly given and hard. I even predicted the villain wrongly (that rarely happens with me). Readers should remember that this is a "mystery" series, first. It's not a dystopian magic show or sci-fi or anything else. It's also not action/adventure, though there is plenty of both. The history is rich and well incorporated and even though the cast around Corbett sometimes comes across as a freak show, it's a very good freak show. This series reminds me a lot of Marc Frost's strange Sherlock Holmes tale of mystery and mayhem, "The List of Seven." If you liked that, you'll love this and vice versa. Now if Corbett can actually get laid without being so stoned off his gourd... Overall good read 4.5 stars (and the series is getting better) Warnings Violence - well managed, not overdone or over present, but there is some violence. I would also say that even though, once you break it down, it's actually mild compared to violence I've dealt with in other books, McCammon's gritty, slap in the face realism makes it "pop" like bright coloured chalk on a sidewalk. It's just how it is and it is still good Sex - not for kids. Probably manageable by the adult Amish though they might have to burn it over sins of the flesh. It's not all over the book just in a few places and there is more a theme of relationships than sexual stuff. There's just enough of it you don't want your 12 year old reading it. Weird and unusual descriptions. I love the descriptions. That said, they are unusual like those movies where they use close and awkward camera angles to make the characters look strange. You get used to it and, if you are like me, you'll appreciate the artistic nature of each description of even the most mundane thing. Very creative, but, a little weird. Just be prepared for the artistic and you'll be okay. Great Audiobook. Balentini does a great job with the audio book. I can see a Johnny Depp type playing Corbett.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    It's now 1702, three years after young Matthew Corbett solved the mystery of the first novel. He's now 23 years old and clerking for a magistrate in New York, still a burgeoning little town of only a few thousand residents travelling mostly dirt roads. Matthew soon finds himself embroiled in a new mystery - and possibly facing a different future than the one he'd always envisioned for himself - when a couple of prominent men are found murdered in similar fashion. While I like the setting of the s It's now 1702, three years after young Matthew Corbett solved the mystery of the first novel. He's now 23 years old and clerking for a magistrate in New York, still a burgeoning little town of only a few thousand residents travelling mostly dirt roads. Matthew soon finds himself embroiled in a new mystery - and possibly facing a different future than the one he'd always envisioned for himself - when a couple of prominent men are found murdered in similar fashion. While I like the setting of the story and the author does a commendable job of portraying life in colonial America, I'm still not sure I entirely like Matthew. A lot of the time I find him arrogant, irritating, and a bit hypocritical. He will hound people with questions, even if it's about something personal and thus none of his business, demanding that they answer him but when someone asks him questions he bristles or else decides it's not necessary to answer. He feels entitled to everyone else's secrets but no one is entitled to his. He also thinks he's smarter than anyone else, a belief that he uses to elevate himself above those around him, the "weak minded" (as he internally refers to another character who is not book smart but who has a lot of real world experience in the profession to which Matthew aspires). And yet, upon his first meeting with a new character he openly informs that character that she perhaps uses her "curse" as a way to place herself above the mundane events and people around her. That's the pot calling the kettle black. I actually only really like Matthew when he's just going about normal life and isn't doing anything necessarily connected to the mystery. That said, now that Matthew seems to be permanently based in New York, the story introduces several new characters that I hope stick around and become fixtures in Matthew's life. I feel strongly that they may be a means to making Matthew less insufferable. In any event, I liked them all more than I do Matthew. As for the mystery angle, there are actually a few mysteries going on...some more connected to the central murders while others are just a side plot. The cases were interesting, though the side plot mystery was pretty transparent. I was actually a bit sad about how the murder mystery played out. I was hoping for a different ending, I guess. I'll move on to the next book in the series because I do like the writing style, the time period, and the introduction of some colorful, secondary characters. Those all help to compensate for an irritating ( to me) main character. It's also of note that the author intended the first book to be a stand-alone story. It was only a few years after its publication that the author decided to re-visit Matthew Corbett and make a series out of it. It's therefore evident in this installment that elements of a long arc have been put in place and I'm curious to see that play out. P.S. And if, like me, you've been wondering about the fate of Fount Royal, the setting of the first book, you get the answer here.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Review of the audiobook narrated by Edoardo Ballerini. Another great cast of colorful characters in a dark and gritty turn of the 18th century setting. I love the way that McCammon writes these books, with well fleshed out characters and a real sense of the time they are based in. The colonial period doesn't seem get enough attention from fiction writers. I do have to say that I found this book to be a step down from the first book in the series. Whereas Speaks the Nightbird had a distinctly uniqu Review of the audiobook narrated by Edoardo Ballerini. Another great cast of colorful characters in a dark and gritty turn of the 18th century setting. I love the way that McCammon writes these books, with well fleshed out characters and a real sense of the time they are based in. The colonial period doesn't seem get enough attention from fiction writers. I do have to say that I found this book to be a step down from the first book in the series. Whereas Speaks the Nightbird had a distinctly unique storyline, I started to notice some oft used detective tropes creep into the plot in The Queen of Bedlam. I still enjoyed the book and am excited to read the rest of the series though. Edoardo Ballerini is an absolute pleasure to listen to. He has a great voice and is spot on with the voices and cadences of the many characters. Final verdict: 4 star story, 5 star narration, 4 stars overall

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Queen of the Undead

    I never though Mr. Corbett would be my saving grace during a real shitty time in my life but this one character, and this series, has been just that. I haven't been able to read really BUT I have been able to listen to audiobooks. Listening to an audiobook where I know the characters makes it easy, and it makes it something that can distract me from everything else. Better review coming later. I never though Mr. Corbett would be my saving grace during a real shitty time in my life but this one character, and this series, has been just that. I haven't been able to read really BUT I have been able to listen to audiobooks. Listening to an audiobook where I know the characters makes it easy, and it makes it something that can distract me from everything else. Better review coming later.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth McKinley

    McCammon is simply amazing. The man takes a decade off from writing in the prime years of his life when many authors hit their stride. You'd think when he came back there would be some rust he'd have to knock off the wheels. Nah, he comes out of the gate with a fury and a vengeance and the first slab of goodness he throws on the table is Speaks the Nightbird. Speaks is so unique in that it provides us with such a wonderful story and characters in a setting that isn't typically done by the master McCammon is simply amazing. The man takes a decade off from writing in the prime years of his life when many authors hit their stride. You'd think when he came back there would be some rust he'd have to knock off the wheels. Nah, he comes out of the gate with a fury and a vengeance and the first slab of goodness he throws on the table is Speaks the Nightbird. Speaks is so unique in that it provides us with such a wonderful story and characters in a setting that isn't typically done by the masters of horror. The setting is late 17th century in the Carolina colonies and we're introduced to a young lad with a penchant for questioning everything. A curious teenage colonial Sherlock Holmes, if you will. I won't get into the details of Speaks. By now, you should've already read it. If not, get your butt off this review and go read it...immediately! Now, for the rest of you. If you loved Speaks the Nightbird, as much as I did, then you will not be disappointed with Queen of Bedlam. We find Matthew a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and in a new setting. New York City circa 1690s. A town with 5000 inhabitant, all with dreams and aspirations for wealth and prosperity in the new world. But, not all is well in the fledgling colony. A murderer is loose and carving up his victims, one by one, while leaving his calling card, the shape of a diamond carved around the eyes of the murdered. The constables are clueless, but what would you expect from the unqualified blow hards that were appointed by their friends in high places? Matthew, now a clerk for a local magistrate, stumbles across one of the victims moments after he was butchered by The Masker, the name the killer has received from the local start up news sheet. He is plunged head long into the mystery of identifying the unseen murderer. Matthew's "problem solving" skills are also noticed by Katherine Herrald, the head of a newly started detective agency that has come from London to NYC. Matthew accepts the invitation to join the agency and must pass certain tests to show that he is worthy of the position. What he finds is that there are many mysteries floating around, including the identity of the Queen of Bedlam, an unknown woman who was dropped off at a progressive asylum with the instructions to never try and discover who she really is. For Matthew, all paths seem to lead back to this mysterious woman who is locked up in her own mind. Who is the Masker and is she connected to the murders somehow? Will our young detective get to the bottom of this or will he find himself on the business end of a blade? The Queen of Bedlam is a wonderful roller coaster ride through the historical world McCammon has created. Matthew is such an engaging character. You constantly root for him around every twist and turn. You cringe and hide your eyes when he's thrust in harm's way. I can't express how good McCammon is at building this colonial world of mystery. One of the questions I do get is "but is it horror?" If you've ever read McCammon's earlier works that put him on the horror map during the 1980s, you know that his "horror stories" all had horrific elements in them, yet they were so much more. The same is true with the Matthew Corbett series. Don't get caught up in being able to pigeonhole the tales into a nice, neat category. Simply read it. I can't make it any more plain than that! 5 Carving Knives out of 5 You can also follow my reviews at the following links: https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Klaas Bottelier

    Another masterpiece by Robert McCammon, after having enjoyed 'Speaks the Nightbird' so much I had high expectations for this one, and it did not disappoint. Such a great read. There is a serial killer on the loose in New York, 1702, and so our nosy magistrate's clerk Matthew Corbett takes it upon himself to look into this matter. I think Corbett is a great character, he investigates, sticks his nose in where it doesnt belong, he aggravates people, he is very smart and once he sinks his teeth into Another masterpiece by Robert McCammon, after having enjoyed 'Speaks the Nightbird' so much I had high expectations for this one, and it did not disappoint. Such a great read. There is a serial killer on the loose in New York, 1702, and so our nosy magistrate's clerk Matthew Corbett takes it upon himself to look into this matter. I think Corbett is a great character, he investigates, sticks his nose in where it doesnt belong, he aggravates people, he is very smart and once he sinks his teeth into a case he won’t let go. A parade of colorful characters populate this book and the backdrop, New York in 1702, is beautiful, described minutely as it was back then. I simply love McCammon's writing style and the story is really good as well. The Matthew Corbett series (luckily there are 5 more to look forward to) is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Very happy I started this series reading book number one. I was already invested in the fate of Matthew Corbett, so I was better able to consume (though not entirely digest) a surfeit of what seemed unnecessarily detailed background of most of the population of 5,000 souls in the New York of early 1700's. McCammon has populated the environs with a mostly colorful group of characters. When last we left Matthew we assumed he would be looking for and finding work as a magistrate's clerk in this new Very happy I started this series reading book number one. I was already invested in the fate of Matthew Corbett, so I was better able to consume (though not entirely digest) a surfeit of what seemed unnecessarily detailed background of most of the population of 5,000 souls in the New York of early 1700's. McCammon has populated the environs with a mostly colorful group of characters. When last we left Matthew we assumed he would be looking for and finding work as a magistrate's clerk in this new setting. It is page 308 when we learn of his new fate: Magistrate Powers announces to Matthew, "You are done. For today and tomorrow and forevermore. I release you from all duties of this office. You are now in the full employ of the Herrald Agency and Mr. Greathouse has an announcement for you." Prior to this development Matthew had been tracking a murderer who struck at night along the dark and dangerous streets, nearly catching him after the murder of his old nemesis from orphanage days. The toll had been 3 deaths it was thought, but Mr. Greathouse had taken Matthew on a trip to unearth a corpse whose death had preceded the three city victims. Mrs. Herrald and Mr. Greathouse were familiar with a murderer in England who left the same marks on his victims. Thus we are introduced to "the evil" of a Professor Fell...as yet unmasked, only to be continued. Yup, it's an epic. Plots aplenty. His career as investigator has been launched, and Matthew somehow survives the first major puzzle of determining the identity of an older woman (the "queen" of Bedlam) living in secluded asylum and the link to the NY murders and criminal activities that involve many orphan "graduates." For most of the book the reader must worry about his wisdom/welfare as he steps right in it time after time. At least Mr. Greathouse teaches him a thing or two with fencing lessons. Yes, those lessons are essential to the plot. Clearly this is a time commitment, but I do plan to check out book three and carry on.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Dalton

    McCammon!! You make me want to smack my Grandma into a coma! In all forms of the word, you are badass! Once again, masterfully, you delivered another story of epic proportions. This one was a breath of fresh air, as I usually read multiple books at once, this one was paired with Stephen King’s, Cell. The horrendousness of that book only made this one all the better! So as it is, The Queen of Bedlam lies in her personal asylum, drifting alone in her mental prison. But were she to speak from the d McCammon!! You make me want to smack my Grandma into a coma! In all forms of the word, you are badass! Once again, masterfully, you delivered another story of epic proportions. This one was a breath of fresh air, as I usually read multiple books at once, this one was paired with Stephen King’s, Cell. The horrendousness of that book only made this one all the better! So as it is, The Queen of Bedlam lies in her personal asylum, drifting alone in her mental prison. But were she to speak from the depths, what a secret story she would tell! Thus, Mr. Matthew Corbett is at it again. He embarks on a trek to uncover the murders of three profound members of New York City. (Errr, well population 5,000 at the time) Now, I’m not talking about the Butcher, the Baker, and the Candlestick maker, but you get the drift. The night assassin makes quick work of cutting masks into their faces as well as slicing their throats. Which causes the denizens of New York to give the murderer his fitting moniker, The Masker. Here lies the mystery of who is The Masker, and why has he selected these specific targets selected for his nocturnal pleasures? Once again there is mystery, there is adventure and there are comedic moments. Matthew seems to always find trouble at his doorstep, and not only is it there, but it’s thundering loudly against his door with Thor’s hammer! In this novel, Matthew moves another rung up the ladder and now begins working for the Herrald Agency. Further reeling me in and given me pause to wonder in the next novel will he indeed take on the characteristics of Sherlock Holmes himself? McCammon blends action and dialogue, history and fiction, and intrigue with mystery; throws them all in a bowl mixes them up and serves up the perfect tale of cordon bleu mystery stew! The only puzzling question I have now is at what tender age did Mr. McCammon sell his soul to the Devil for such talent, and if not his soul the purchasing price what was the cost? Cause’ I might be willing to get in on that! Anyway, as before Robert doesn’t fail to entertain and as always this novel ends on another moment of piqued interest in what sort of shenanigans will Mr. Corbett get himself into during his next adventure.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    It's been a couple of years since I read Speaks the Nightbird, one of my all-time favorites of any genre, and I confess to stalling quite a bit before tackling this one. After all, how could the second in a series ever live up to that previous masterpiece? So as you can probably tell from my rating, my fears were groundless, and I can safely shelve Robert McCammon on my exclusive best-of-all-time authors shelf. This is technically the second in the Matthew Corbett series, although could easily be It's been a couple of years since I read Speaks the Nightbird, one of my all-time favorites of any genre, and I confess to stalling quite a bit before tackling this one. After all, how could the second in a series ever live up to that previous masterpiece? So as you can probably tell from my rating, my fears were groundless, and I can safely shelve Robert McCammon on my exclusive best-of-all-time authors shelf. This is technically the second in the Matthew Corbett series, although could easily be read as a standalone novel as only slight references to the first book are made, none of which relate to the plot of this book. Matthew Corbett has now come to the city of New York, still in its infancy in the year 1702. There are a multitude of plots and subplots here, from murders to political intrigue, from romantic entanglements to insane asylums, all masterfully woven together with an absorbing prose that made it difficult for me, as a reader, to tear myself away to do less important things...like eat and sleep and go to work. Despite being a relatively lengthy novel (656 oversized paperback pages) it was thoroughly engaging throughout; no boring middle section and no excessive minutia for padding. Somehow Mr. McCammon manages to combine the best of historical fiction, action/adventure, an intriguing mystery plot, and a bit of effective horror, while all the time telling a darn good story. Matthew Corbett, as the protagonist of the novel, is a young chess-playing law clerk who attempts to solve several murders and eventually evolves into a more formal detective of sorts. One reason I like historical mysteries is the very nature of crime solving in the past, not having access to modern forensic techniques of D&A sampling and blood splatter analysis but rather being forced to make do with more visible clues and old fashioned brain power. There are numerous secondary characters as well but once again the author somehow makes it easy for the reader to keep track of them. That's not an easy feat I think; many times I've read mysteries only 1/5th as long where I can't keep track of who's who. So overall, yeah, this is a keeper. This second book really begins the "series" part of the series; by the end, young Matthew is pretty well set-up for future cases/stores. In fact we briefly get a glimpse of the titular character from the next book in the series Mister Slaughter, and with a name like that it's gotta be good. I will definitely not be waiting 2 years to read that one! Highly recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pamellia

    he Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon April 29 (Approximately) to November 13, 2014 Second book in the Matthew Corbett Series Recommended by internet friends Earlier this year I started perhaps the most enjoyable book series I have read. I wanted to quickly read the second in the series, The Queen of Bedlam, but never seemed to find the time due to other obligations. I have gradually read this book and have completed it. This is the best book I have read this fall. Again, Mr. McCammon offers a beauti he Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon April 29 (Approximately) to November 13, 2014 Second book in the Matthew Corbett Series Recommended by internet friends Earlier this year I started perhaps the most enjoyable book series I have read. I wanted to quickly read the second in the series, The Queen of Bedlam, but never seemed to find the time due to other obligations. I have gradually read this book and have completed it. This is the best book I have read this fall. Again, Mr. McCammon offers a beautifully written story over 600 pages. I travel when I read Mr. McCammon's work...I see the blue sky with clouds floating around, walk the warm and humid streets of New York, feel the fear in the town as the murders ensue, smell some unpleasant smells and hear the voices of characters I will never know in real life. The setting is per-Revoluntary war, early seventeen hundreds. Our hero, protagonist Matthew Corbett, has rearranged his life and now lives in Long Island a small town where most everyone knows everyone else or at least a little gossip about everyone else. Matthew has a decision to make and that is whether to continue being a judge's clerk or join a private detective agency. This novel was more involved with various characters and settings than the first Matthew Corbett novel. There were actually two different puzzles to be solved and Matthew was involved with both. He jumps right in, thinking nothing of his own personal comfort. He is a well respected young man in the community. I enjoyed this story a lot. Matthew was probably my favorite character in this story. He had some unusual things happen to him and during these happenings he got through them with as much grace as possible. Some of the book had very funny parts. Matthew's character continues to develop and are we seeing him actually becoming interested in the fairer sex? I enjoyed the way Mr. McCammon developed all the characters in this book. There were some odd ones in this story. Overall this book was well researched and written. It held my interest all the way from page one until the end. I give The Queen of Bedlam five stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good solid story, but especially to lovers of historical fiction.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maxine Marsh

    Wow, this one took a long time for me to read but boy was it worth it. Queen of Bedlam is the second in the Matthew Corbett series and actually much better than the first book, Speaks the Nightbird. Matthew's onto new mysteries, each somehow linked to the next and involving a whole new cast of characters, each well drawn and far from cliche (Berry was my personal favorite). Matthew is his usual upstanding, unbreakably moral self, sleuthing for justice and narrowly avoiding mishap after mishap. T Wow, this one took a long time for me to read but boy was it worth it. Queen of Bedlam is the second in the Matthew Corbett series and actually much better than the first book, Speaks the Nightbird. Matthew's onto new mysteries, each somehow linked to the next and involving a whole new cast of characters, each well drawn and far from cliche (Berry was my personal favorite). Matthew is his usual upstanding, unbreakably moral self, sleuthing for justice and narrowly avoiding mishap after mishap. The background in pre-independence New England is fascinating; McCammon must have done a boatload of research to create such an authentic historical setting. In summation: sword fighting, cross-dressing, whore houses, a mysterious code to break, sanitarium visits, the first private investigation agency in the new world, a serial killer mystery, criminal underworld organizations and autopsies! The last 15% was a nailbiter and quite horrifying. If you liked Speaks the Nightbird, you'll love Queen of Bedlam.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book was such a fantastic read. The characters jumped from the pages and the story was breathtaking. I literally could not put this book down, and when I was doing things other than reading, I was thinking about getting back to this book. Matthew Corbett is such a great character and his adventures are wonderfully enjoyable. Definite 5 star read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Saurabh (सौरभ)

    *Matthew Corbett #2* THIS SERIES HAS BECOME MY NEW THING!! It's Intricately woven and meticulously detailed. Matthew is fascinating - as always- with his Raw and blatant curiosity and his knack for getting himself DANGEROUSLY involved in investigations. I never had a single doubt that I'd rate it any less than 5. *Matthew Corbett #2* THIS SERIES HAS BECOME MY NEW THING!! It's Intricately woven and meticulously detailed. Matthew is fascinating - as always- with his Raw and blatant curiosity and his knack for getting himself DANGEROUSLY involved in investigations. I never had a single doubt that I'd rate it any less than 5.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This was absolutely brilliant and I’m so glad I found this series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dave Edmunds

    The Queen of Bedlam, the second in the Matthew Corbett series and sequel to the brilliant Speaks the Nightbird. My favourite book of 2021 so far, absolutely amazing! Ok, so it's my first novel of the year, but quite frankly I can see it being right up there at the end. A number of associates of mine have finished the series as it stands and put this at the bottom of their ranking. I'm absolutely not having that! In no way can a book this good be at the bottom of any list. In fact, I personally en The Queen of Bedlam, the second in the Matthew Corbett series and sequel to the brilliant Speaks the Nightbird. My favourite book of 2021 so far, absolutely amazing! Ok, so it's my first novel of the year, but quite frankly I can see it being right up there at the end. A number of associates of mine have finished the series as it stands and put this at the bottom of their ranking. I'm absolutely not having that! In no way can a book this good be at the bottom of any list. In fact, I personally enjoyed it more than the first installment. Maybe it's getting to know the chief protagonist and debener Matthew Corbett more fully and learning the story of his character. Maybe it's the setting of New York, standing on the verge of greatness with sinister dark vibes mixing in it's under current. Maybe it's the introduction of (again in my opinion) a slightly better set of characters. Then again, its probably the inclusion of two of the most exciting back to back chapters I've read in a book so far. I'm talking gripping the book with white knuckles and leaving a mess in your pants. It really is that good! This book is full on mystery and suspense with a good amount of humour and heart thrown in to the mix. McCammon knows exactly how to do this this, he's an absolute master, and always manages to add spice when fleshing a novel out and giving you the full range of emotions. Honestly, there's an moment with the good Reverend Wade that almost...almost brought a tear to my eye. That never normally happens, so after reading this I now feel even less of a man. So all I can say is, if you have read Speaks the Nightbird, then you absolutely, positively have to read this. And if you haven't read Speaks the Nightbird what are you seriously doing with your life? I'm off for some self flagellation for feeling emotion while reading a book. What the hell is wrong with me? Peace out!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rick Slane

    Not quite as good as Speaks the Nightbird. The main reason I read this was to see if Rachel was in it.(view spoiler)[ She isn't. (hide spoiler)] Not quite as good as Speaks the Nightbird. The main reason I read this was to see if Rachel was in it.(view spoiler)[ She isn't. (hide spoiler)]

  30. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    This book was very different from the first in the series. Granted, the main character, Matthew is a few years older and lives as an adult, but the trials he gets into are of a different nature. This book is more action -based, where the first was more contemplative. The first addressed questions of ethics, morality, and philosophy. The second doesn't do this so much, so there is less character-building in that sense. However, the plot is equally (maybe more so) intricate and calls on Corbett's This book was very different from the first in the series. Granted, the main character, Matthew is a few years older and lives as an adult, but the trials he gets into are of a different nature. This book is more action -based, where the first was more contemplative. The first addressed questions of ethics, morality, and philosophy. The second doesn't do this so much, so there is less character-building in that sense. However, the plot is equally (maybe more so) intricate and calls on Corbett's superb problem solving skills. Again, we have all of the town's people (but in a bigger town) playing roles throughout most of the story. In the first book we see Corbett combating irrational, archaic thinking with his own stubborn unending skepticism and logic, while demonstrating nearly impervious ethics. Suffice to say, in the first book, I sort of fell in love with him. However, in this one, he is solving mysteries related to crime, which is (for me) a bit less gripping. He is a little less righteous of mind in this one, which I found natural (as life invariably becomes more colorful when dealing with crime and as we get older) but I didn't feel as drawn to his thoughts as a result. However, there are many more books in this series, and we are introduced to some characters that continue on into them, so I look forward to seeing how Corbett grows from his endeavors and what other shenanigans he gets into (and out of)!

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