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The Providence Rider Hardcover – May 31, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Matthew Corbett Series

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean; Deluxe Hardcover Edition edition (May 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596064668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596064669
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
BOTTOM LINE: This is a damn fun book that will make you gasp, laugh, bite your nails to the nubs, and cheer out loud.

This is a SPOILER-FREE review that will focus on my impressions as a reader, with little to no references to the brilliant plot points of the novel, which can be found in the book description above. To reveal anything further would be a disservice to both you, the potential reader, and the author of this absolutely dynamic adventure.

Simply put, this novel is at once everything you could hope for from a historical thriller, and everything you've come to expect from a Matthew Corbett mystery. From the quite literal opening salvo that propels our young "problem solver" into his latest escapade, to the final sigh of relief that Matthew has once again narrowly escaped the jaws of death, the reader is plunged into an adventure filled-to-bursting with nefarious plots and international intrigue, populated by a cast of superbly developed characters who offer Matthew unflagging friendship, unmitigated evil, and sometimes both.

The novel itself is a hybrid tale somewhere between the action-packed cat-and-mouse game that filled the pages of Mister Slaughter and the layer-upon-layer mystery of The Queen of Bedlam. Whereas Mister Slaughter focused on the brute mayhem and violence that could be inflicted upon Corbett's physical person in his pursuit to uncover the evils of the world around him, Providence Rider takes a backdoor approach in which Professor Fell wages psychological warfare on Corbett in order to first get the young man to acquiesce to his demands, and then to further sink his teeth into Matthew's psyche as Corbett is exposed to the ruthless horrors of Fell's inner circle of villains.
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Format: Hardcover
The Providence Rider was one of my three most anticipated novels of the year, and I was thrown off guard when it arrived nearly a month early while I was in the middle of reading the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Only through extreme willpower, did I slog through Monte Cristo before eagerly devouring the latest installment of Matthew Corbett.

It's by far the shortest of the four novels, but it packs a walloping punch, hooks you from the opening, and doesn't let up until you read the final page.

I would highly recommend reading the first three novels of McCammon's epic series before tackling The Providence Rider, but you could follow this tale without the first three novels. You'll just miss out on some salient details and a pretty large number of subtle nods to previous events and characters. Still McCammon does pretty well in providing previous key plot points in high-level detail.

The novel starts out in New York with Matthew Corbett still reeling from his brutal adventure against Tyranthus Slaughter and Lyra Sutch. Against this backdrop, Matthew is quite reluctant to attend a dinner invitation extended by an emissary of the infamous Professor Fell. Fell, however, is not one to take No for an answer. Soon, explosions begin rocking buildings around the city and promise to continue to do so until Matthew takes Professor Fell up on that meeting.

Fell is looking for Matthew to be a Providence Rider, someone who can ride in and deliver a much-needed boon to the Professor. The setting for this adventure, however, is far from New York. Instead Matthew must travel to the mysterious Pendulum Island where the criminal Master Bosses of Professor Fell's empire are gathered for a meeting.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver, is a fine fellow to follow. His first two appearances in this (so far) four book series were great history/mystery fiction. The third entry, as with this one, lose me when Matthew strays too far from old New York. McCammon deftly uses the town to great advantage as a backdrop and semi-character so it is shame to leave it. Also in The Providence Rider we get to know Corbett's Moriarty, the criminal grand master, Professor Fell. But he is all too omnipotent and his looming presence has puffed up the series so much that it has lost is provincial charm. Without a doubt, colourful characters are in abundant supply with fun Dickens' like names. The action suffers from repetition. The dialogue has some stand-out bon mots but overall tends to drag. Everything picks up when Matthew's partner Hudson Greathouse appears (note to Mr. McCammon). I remain faithful but also hopeful that the author will shrink the canvas but remain liberal with the brushstrokes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, once again the legendary wordsmith writes another fantastic tale regarding the life and times of "problem-solver" Matthew Corbett. The latest installment follows Matthew as he is forced to do work for the director of evil, Professor Fell, in the Godfather-esque fashion - I'll make you an offer you can't refuse. For the first time Corbett meets him first-hand rather than through a proxy.

In the normal flair Robert McCammon is able to beautifully script his thoughts and put them to paper for his readers to enjoy. However, there are differences in this newest segment in the saga story-wise as compares to his first novels. Speaks the Nightbird, and The Queen of Bedlam, contained more plots that needed to be "figured out" and both involved great mysteries of the classic whodunit style. Everyone was a suspect and there was not a soul to trust who didn't have ulterior motives. Yet with the last two books in the series, Mister Slaughter and The Providence Rider, much of that Sherlock Holmes panache, "I must use deduction to solve this mystery" was absent and the last two books both were like a plowing tornado ripping through the land carrying with it more of an action packed yanked-by-the-seat-of-your-pants and quite possible perhaps part of the dangly bits with it.

I still feel compelled to grant this book 5 stars. I do feel think 4 and a half better suits this one, but I won't grant it 4 because the site does not allow the half star ratings. Therefore by default The Providence Rider gets a perfect score. Fans of the series may be a little let down, by the lack of mystery but as I said, only a little let down. Perhaps in the subsequent novel/novels the old formula will be returned and restored.
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