‘The Queen of Bedlam’ by Robert McCammon

The Queen of Bedlam

When a respected doctor is murdered in 1700s New York, a tide of fear sweeps through the city. Branded ‘the Masker’ by a local printer, a second body is soon discovered, spreading further alarm amid the community. Law clerk Matthew Corbett has questions he wants answered, but no-one is willing to listen to him – least of all High Constable Gardner Lillehorne, so Matthew takes on his own investigation and quickly finds himself in deep water.

In Robert McCammon’s second book featuring Matthew Corbett, the young clerk is faced with several challenges, not least discovering who is going around slashing throats. As with ‘Speaks the Night Bird’ the story is riveting from start to finish and demonstrates the author’s skill as a consummate storyteller. The plot weaves together numerous storylines, pitching its hero against a talented swordsman, a cross-dressing Govenor and old enemy Eben Ausley, as well as throwing him into a possible romance with his new landlord’s daughter.

The language, as always, is perfect and paints a vivid picture of early New York, as well as the vagaries and occasionally murderous habits of its inhabitants. A fascinating and thrilling read from the first page to the last.

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