Sunday, November 2, 2014

THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM by Robert McCammon


*Book 2 of the Matthew Corbett series*

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!

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