Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1811, and Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood is ordered by Chief Magistrate James Read to investigate the double murder of a coachman and a naval courier on the Kent Road.
Hawkwood is initially puzzled as to why Read is so concerned by this relatively mundane case, but as his investigation unfolds, another body is discovered and a higher agenda begins to emerge--an attempt by the Emperor Napoleon to bring about a crushing military and psychological blow to Britain, the means of which would bring terror to the seas for years to come . . .
"Action sequences propel McGee's rousing first of a Regency England crime series, originally published in the U.K. as Ratcatcher. When highwaymen attack a coach in a rural part of Camberwell, the villains shoot an admiralty courier dead, then cut off the courier's hand to seize a dispatch pouch secured by a chain to the man's wrist. Chief magistrate James Read assigns Capt. Matthew Hawkwood, an ex-army sniper now employed as a Bow Street Runner, to identify the criminals, though Read keeps Hawkwood ignorant of the stolen pouch's contents, which are vital to the realm's safety. Vivid and moving descriptions of the squalid areas of London more than make up for some familiar story elements, including dubious underworld allies and an attractive woman whom Hawkwood rescues from some lascivious noblemen. While the whodunit aspect is less cerebral than in the works of Bruce Alexander, historical thriller fans will look forward to the sequels. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean Naggar Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A darkly attractive hero, terrific period atmosphere and action that moves so fast." The Times
"Irresistible! Rambunctious entertainment." The Observer
" has everything--duels and derring-do, London highlife and London lowlife, French lechery and treachery--all contained in a fast-moving, cleverly constructed plot with an immaculately detailed historical background." Reginald Hill
"A richly enjoyable and impressively researched novel--also very gripping. James McGee is clearly a rising star in the historical galaxy and I look forward to Hawkwood's return." Andrew Taylor, author of The American Boy
The first historical thriller in the investigator Matthew Hawkwood series, hunter of thieves, spies, and murderers in the streets of Regency London.
About the Author
James McGee, the pseudonym for Glen Moy, grew up in Gibraltar, Germany and Northern Ireland. He has worked in a variety of jobs, including banking, the airline industry, local radio and bookselling. He lives in Somerset. Four books from his Hawkwood series have been published in England by HarperCollins UK: Ratcatcher (2006), Resurrectionist (2007), Rapscallion (2008) and Rebellion (2011).