Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Freedom of the Mask

by Robert McCammon
530 pgs  (Matthew Corbett series #6)

Speaks the Nightbird, the first book in Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series, is a massive book. It's over 700 pages long, and it's excellent. I've remained a big fan of the series ever since reading it several years ago, but I've worried as I've noticed each successive installment get shorter and shorter. The last book is only 257 pages, a trend I was happy to see reversed with this latest one. Freedom of the Mask is over 500 pages long, and each one is fantastic.

The last time Matthew Corbett's associate Hudson Greathouse saw him, was when he left New York for Charles Town, on what should have been a simple mission for the Herrald Agency. It's now been months since anyone has heard from Matthew, so Greathouse concludes something must have happened to him and he begins retracing Matthew's steps in an effort to find him.

Matthew has been taken against his will to London, where he now stands accused of murdering the man who kidnapped him. He's placed into the infamous Newgate Prison, where men quickly lose their minds due to the conditions there. Matthew must somehow find a way out of Newgate and get back to New York and the woman he loves. As an aside, I enjoyed the fact that McCammon inserted the famous author Daniel Defoe into his story and has Matthew interact with him while in Newgate, where Defoe actually spent time in 1703.

I can't recommend the series enough. It's set in the early 18th century, where Matthew works as a "problem solver" for the Herrald Agency in colonial America. His sharp mind and tenacity have pitted him against the enigmatic and ruthless Professor Fell throughout the series, a figure who I can best describe as an 18th-century version of a James Bond villain.

Like the rest of the books in the series, Freedom of the Mask has a captivating plot and a host of fascinating characters. It's proof that the series as a whole is progressing at full speed and that McCammon is on top of his game. I finished it anxious and impatient for the next book to come out.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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