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The Providence Rider (Matthew Corbett, #4)
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The Providence Rider (Matthew Corbett #4)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  926 ratings  ·  126 reviews
"The Providence Rider is the fourth installment in the extraordinary series of historical thrillers featuring Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver. The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew still haunted by his lethal encounter with notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 31st 2012 by Subterranean Press (first published April 23rd 2012)
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Swan Song by Robert McCammonBoy's Life by Robert McCammonThe Wolf's Hour by Robert McCammonThey Thirst by Robert McCammonSpeaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon
Best of Robert McCammon
15th out of 20 books — 41 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
277th out of 678 books — 672 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,745)
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Peter Schwotzer
Whenever I hear that Robert McCammon is coming out with a new book I can't help but get terribly excited. It seems it wasn't that long ago when a new Robert McCammon book was out of the question. He had stopped writing books and it seemed to his many fans that we would just have to reread his collection to get our McCammon fix in lieu of anything new.

Then about 10 years ago, Robert McCammon jumped back into the game in a big way, with the absolutely astounding historical thriller "Speaks The Nig
Richard Vialet
In my opinion, this is one of the most consistently exciting series I've read. McCammon is always entertaining and accessible to read and the Matthew Corbett series is one of his best achievements so far. It's very impressive how the books keeps getting better with each installment!

In The Providence Rider, the young, professional "problem-solver", Matthew Corbett, is a changed man following his near lethal adventure with the pyscho-murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. Now he has been summoned by the m
This is the latest installment in the Mathew Corbett series.
In this novel we meet Matthew's nemesis, Professor Fell.
I love how Matthew is growing throughout the series. At first in Speaks the Nightbird Matthew is uncertain and a bit naive. As the series continues, he is learning and becoming more and more sure of himself. As he takes part in the scarier and darker side of life,as in Mister Slaughter he becomes more hardened, more worldly. Now in his latest, Matthew is reminding me of that old N
Timothy Dalton
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
Randolph Carter
Aug 18, 2014 Randolph Carter rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of the Corbett series only.
Shelves: fiction, crime, thriller
I didn't enjoy this volume nearly as much as the previous ones in the Corbett series. The series has devolved into a series of very trope laden plot elements with an overall plot more outrageous than all the previous volumes, the first volume (Speaks the Nightbird still beating the rest. The characterizations outside the already established characters was very weak this time, the "criminals" all being fairly one dimensional and too easy to thoroughly dislike. The Deus ex machina is telegraphed w ...more
Jeff Strand
I love all four novels in the Matthew Corbett series, and though SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD (the first one, which is much longer and denser than the books that followed) may always be my favorite, THE PROVIDENCE RIDER is by far the most entertaining. The sense of fun from the last installment, MISTER SLAUGHTER, is ramped up even more this time, and the book is a witty, suspenseful, twist-filled, gory, action-packed historical adventure.
THE PROVIDENCE RIDER is the fourth and at this point the most recent of Robert R. McCammon's series featuring young Matthew Corbett as a "problem solver" cum private detective for the Herrald Agency, based in London and New York. I take issue with the publisher's blurb that calls this a "standalone installment", since there are constant references to people, places and events that took place in previous novels, most specifically the immediately preceding MISTER SLAUGHTER. Having just read all fo ...more
Oct 02, 2012 A rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA readers
I seem to be one of the only naysayers on this book so I best give a good “why” up front. If I had read this as a stand-alone I would have given it 3 stars, it is a book, not terrible and not notable, just a swashbuckling light read, something a young teen would enjoy.

However I have read and enjoyed all previous books. The Providence Rider is a complete disjunction, only some of the names remain the same, their action and abilities bear no relation to the series to date.

The basic premise of th
I have read all of Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett novels. They are all great. This is the best since Speaks the Nightbird. Mr. McCammon truly transports you to a different time and place. He creates interesting and terrifying characters, describes fascinating and scary places and brings the world in his books truly to life. This book, to me is more than just historical fiction, it is historical adventure. The book takes place in New York of the early 1700's. Matthew is immediately in peril fr ...more
Karen Patterson
This is a good read as are all of McCammon's books especially this series, however, I wished I could have found a synopsis of the previous one, Mr. Slaughter, as I had forgotten quite a few things since I had read it over a year ago. He does reiterate some of what happened which helps bring back memories, but if you can either read Mr. Slaughter right before this one or find a synopsis it would help you transition into this all the better. He brings in some new interesting and some very deranged ...more
What a great way to continue the series of Matthew Corbett. How this one slipped past my radar for the past 9 months is beyond me, but I'm so thankful I found it.
I won't get too lengthy in my review but I will say I enjoyed this book immensely. To take Matthew out of NY and place him in unknown territory was a risky move that, for me, paid huge dividends. Meeting new (albeit shady) characters as well as focusing on some older ones, provided a great read. Without spoiling anything, I will say I
While the setting is probably my favorite so far, I found the resolution to be a bit anti-climactic; everything was wrapped up more quickly and neatly than I would have expected. This definitely felt like a mid-series book, concentrating more on character development (and setting the stage for future adventures) than on the individual plot.

Still a very enjoyable read, and a couple of the funniest moments in the series to date. (view spoiler)
After the very memorable - and thrilling - events in the third volume of the Matthew Corbett series, this fourth installment picks up just after the end of Mister Slaughter. Those events weigh heavily on the series’ central character, Matthew, leaving in a foggy state. The nefarious tentacles of Dr. Fell reach out to the young problem solver, drawing him closer to him than ever. It’s an exciting novel with a change of scenery outside of the young colonies. The sea voyage and the overall aquatic ...more
Did McCammon get tired of writing somewhere between the third and fourth novels in this series? Sings the Nightbird was fantastic. The Queen of Bedlam was good. Mister Slaughter was okay. The Providence Rider was marginal. It had its moments, but it doesn't stand up well to the standard set in Sings the Nightbird. Nonetheless, I will probably continue with Matthew Corbette if/when the next installment is available.
3.5 stars
This went much further into the fantastical. While it was good, I missed the grounding in history from previous books. This could have been set at any time--and frankly, felt very action movieish. There's no "magic" per se, but I think this fits better into fantasy, or at least speculative fiction. Maybe that's the evil villain/superhero vibe coming across.

...Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I just don't like this direction as much, personally.

P.S. I'd appreciate it if McCammon tried t
Brian Lee
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McCammon at the World Horror con in Salt Lake city last month. He signed all 13 books I brought and couldn't have been a cooler dude. As for The Providence Rider--its awesome. Like the previous 3 Matthew Corbett neo els this is just typically super well written and just superb. But I'm a McCammon fan who thinks the guy can do no wrong
David Marshall
This is the weakest of the four Matthew Corbett novels to date. It abandons the murder mystery format of the first two and lacks the claustrophobia of Mister Slaughter. Rather it becomes a weak-kneed historical thriller.
Bruce Cable
I have read this series in chronological order, and although each book has been outstanding, I believe that I enjoyed this one the most of all. It wasn't because the story was necessarily any better, it's simply a matter of how Mr. McCammon has continued to bring each and every character and their personalities to life in what I would define as an evolutionary process that very fewer writers are able to achieve successfully. James Lee Burke certainly can, perhaps Bernard Cornwell as well, but af ...more
3.5 Stars.(view spoiler) ...more
MaryJude Schmitz
One of McCammon's best. I can't wait for the next one. He never disappoints.
Matt Braymiller
I am still a fan of this series. I really liked how some of the previous events from other books carried forward into this one and found the resolution to one minor character's story very satisfying. The action was set at a really good pace in this book. There were the usual cringe-worthy moments of sudden violence.
However, (view spoiler)
Providence Rider is a definite for anyone going through the series. Few are likely to rate the book the best or the worst of the series. As with the other books, the story set-up changes. And so do most of the bad and good guys. As a result, the author does not repeat too many of the sub-plots or get ups that worked previously. In other words, the story moves in a refreshingly original ways because Matthew is not confined to the same old city with same old neighbours. And he will surely move to ...more
Bryan Winchell
Man, these Matthew Corbett books are something special. Every one of them has been good in their own right, but at this point, I think this one might be my favorite. Not only is it filled with tasty villains, including the long-awaited meeting of Professor Fell, but the story sees a lot of growth in Corbett's characters and the minor characters that have been in this series for the past few books. It is also probably the most exciting of the plots with an adventure that is filled with tension an ...more
Rob Donovan
The Providence Rider was one of my most anticipated novels this year. It is marks the 4th entry into the superb Matthew Corbett series and see Matthew finally meet the mysterious Professor Fell. As fans of the blog know, Robert McCammon is rapidly becoming one of (if not is) my favourite authors.

The blurb:

When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, Matthew finds himself forced to confront a new and unexpected problem. Someone is trying--and trying very hard--to get
My favorite yet in the Matthew Corbett series. Mister Slaughter (book 3) was so entirely captivating because of the horrid, incomprehensible actions of Tyranthus Slaughter. In The Providence Rider, we finally encounter the psychological evil and freakiness of Professor Fell- though have no fear, there are still plenty of sordid and gut-cringing deeds to be witnessed, as well.

Perhaps the unluckiest problem-solver in the world, trouble continues to follow Matthew Corbett wherever he goes. A number
Bob Price
The Providence Rider is the fourth Matthew Corbett book to date. While not perfect, it is a pretty entertaining yarn.

The beauty of the Matthew Corbett series is the different nature of each book. Speaks the Nightbird was a good introduction and a rousing mystery. The Queen of Bedlam followed up with a great conspiracy story. Mister Slaughter provided a very different story centered more on action and adventure.

With that in mind, Robert McCammon's fourth story wants to combine action with myster
Teresa Shippey
This is the 4th installment of the Matthew Corbett series and possibly my favorite. We finally get to meet Professor Fell and get to learn a little about his background and why he took the "evil" path. The author, McCammon, is so brilliant that he has you briefly emphasize with the Emperor of Doom.


My only complaint, if I can even call it that, is there isn't a conclusion to the Professor Fell saga. You're still left with questions at the end, and excited to see what happens next.
This book disappointed me. It had the action, although this time it almost seemed comical, the intrigue, and the romance.

The romance is where the novel stumbled into a dark pit.


Our fine gentlemen Corbett, after enduring another go round with evil, wild circumstances and assorted outlandish thugs, still decides to push Berry away from him.

Corbett did this before, which made sense. This time he has unburdened himself to Berry yet he still thinks the right recourse is to treat her lik
SPOILER! I enjoy the writing and the historical settings of this series. Certainly not serious fiction, but a good read. These books would make excellent movies. The characters use language appropriate for the time, which makes it more interesting. I had to look up "fearnaught" in the OED! (by the way, it was a coat made of rough, heavy wool) This wasn't his best book, simply because the earthquake on Pendulum Island was too predictable.
Ray Palen
Robert McCammon is one of my all-time favorite writers. After firmly establishing himself as a master of horror (read the classic SWAN'S SONG to find out why) he has leisurely moved into the realm of terrific historical fiction.

THE PROVIDENCE RIDER is the fourth novel in the Matthew Corbett series that takes place in NYC during the early 1700's. It is a dangerous and unpredictable world and Corbett along with his partner at the Herald Agency, Hudson Greatstreet.

This installment is firmly a solo
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Robert McCammon: The Providence Rider Group Read 22 31 Jun 14, 2014 11:44PM  
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Why is this book in his series sooo expensive. 3 11 Apr 01, 2014 12:21PM  
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Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

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“How many times had he felt alone at midnight, with the hard dark pressing in and no sign of morning? Many times before, and with luck he would survive this one as he had survived the others. No, he decided. With more than luck. With every skill of reasoning and power of concentration he had. That, plus some good old fashioned lowdown strength of will.” 1 likes
“Better not to walk upon a garden made of quicksand.” 0 likes
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