Ratcatcher (Matthew Hawkwood #1)
McGee, James – 1st in series
***Matthew Hawkwood, a former soldier and a sharpshooter, is now one of ten Bow Street Runners. When Highwaymen stop a coach and kill a government courier, Hawkwood is called in to find them. In time, he finds what he is really seeking is the contents of the couriers pouch and those behind a plot to destroy the strength of England’s war fleet.
*** Hawkwood, for all this reputation as a top ...more
This is the first of a series following Matthew Hawkwood, ex-Ranger sharpshooter (a la Sharpe's Rifles) with a shady past and now one of the elite and still shadowy Bow Street Runners.
The story gets a bit wacky. It begins with a highwayman and his apprentice robbing a coach and brutally killing the coachman and a courier for no apparent reason. Hawkwood is assigned to find the murderer and this case keep ...more
Jumping into the Thames.
Removing your own fingernails.
Inviting the Westboro Church over for dinner.
Reading Fifty Shades of Gray Freed. Not just the sex scenes - ALL OF IT.
I know that can seem harsh, but let me explain.
This books seemed to have it all - mystery, adventure and history! It had clever little turns of common modern phrases (It's Greek to me >> it could have been in Hindusta ...more
This is a historical and mystery novel which is based on the Regency London.
The most interesting part of this book is showing the first attempt of the construction of an undersea boat by Robert Fulton, in December of 1799.
The idea of this American inventor was to use his weapon by the French government a giant the British Navy after Bonaparte fall.
The Nautilus was then built at the Perrier workshop in Rouen and was successfully tested and sailed first in July...more
And that is the case Matthew Hawkwood, an ex-army officer and now one of the best Bow Street Runners, is assigned to solve.
I loved how the hero is introduced. Two urchins pick-pocketed some officers and then ran to the place they live. Mother Gant lets them live with her as long as they bring whatever they steal. ...more
A very satisfying historical mystery/thriller and a very promising start to this series set in Regency England.
I adore the name Hawkwood, it being the surname of one of my original characters, and so obviously enjoyed the story of Matthew Hawkwood, a skilled thief-taker for the Bow Street Runners.
McGee does an excellent job with the setting and you can tell he understands the history and culture of the period and can convey that well to his readers.
Ratcatcher while being quite enjoyable is a ‘Goldfinger’ book. Have you ever watched Goldfinger? Have you noticed that James Bond doesn’t really do anything. He falls into nearly every trap, and in the end, one of the other characters (Pussy Galore) saves the day. Okay, Bond was the catalyst for Pussy’s change of allegiances, but really Bond didn’t do to much. That brings us to Ratcatcher by James McGee.
Ratcatcher is a historical adve ...more
I love the concept of the Bow Street Runners, and I must admit that I was a little disappointed that apart from the fact that Hawkood is one, we really didn't learn all that much about them. They were an awesome elite police force, almost like the Pinkertons, an ...more
The only thing that stops me from rating this as four stars is the blatant rip off from Bernard Cornwell’s ‘Sharpe’ series. The author even expressed some concern of the similarities between his Hawkwood and Cornwell’s Sharpe. So why the hell didn’t he change it? Here are a few examples so you know ...more
If you're accustomed to the coupling of the word 'romance' with the word Regency in your novels, don't expect handsome earls and virginal beauties in 'Hawkwood.' What you'll get instead is revenge, intrigue and submarines coupled with a hero that could go toe-to-toe with those found in the novels by Crichton, le Carre, or Clancy. Hawkwood is a well paced, intriguing and tension-filled read that is grounded in actual events, has been well researched and well-written. Th ...more
The story begins with the murder of a naval courier by highwaymen, which Hawkwood is commissioned to investigate. From the beginning it looks like more than highway robbery gone wrong and, as these things usually do, the ...more
When I read mysteries, I expect the MC to lead the action, instead of the action leading him, which was happened in this book. Hawkwood gets caught with his pants down, not once but TWICE, has to be rescued, clues falling on his lap and the villains conveniently sharing all their plans while at the same keeping Hawkwood alive when they should have killed him.
My first inkling that this guy wasn't as smart as he's portrayed to be came when he decided to fight a duel for no reason. He' ...more
While it was not a piss-poor book, and certainly was worth the read, it was not original and failed to really captivate. It was very reminiscent of Sharpe, even down to Hawkwood's description ( the scar, and the way his smile 'transforms his face') and his history in the rifles. It felt as if he was taking Sharpe and putting him into a new line of work - as a Bo ...more
Set during the late Regency period, this is the era of the Napoleonic Wars, Affairs of Honour (i.e. forbidden duels), Highwaymen and the Bow Street Runners. Starting with the robbery of a coach, this builds up into a plot surrounding a (historically correct) invention that agents of France hope to use ...more
An interesting enough plot with interesting enough characters, and yet at times it sort of dragged. It was like all the parts in between the action scenes felt like filler, and although the characters had good backstories, they still seemed superficial or artificial at times. I also didn't find McGee's portra ...more
I read some comments that the characters didn’t behave like Regency people, I would say that McGee is writing a book set in Regency times, not writing like a Regency novelist. Do they re ...more
There are a lot of similarities in this the first books of the series about a Bow Street Runner. Matthew Hawkwood is a former officer of the 95th Rifles, who following a duel, is wisked off to become one of Wellington's exploring officers. Now, out of the army he has turned his many manly skil ...more
I was an easy read with a somewhat straightforward story unencumbered by a variety of story lines, which is perhaps part of why I was disappointed.
The main character, Matthew Hawkwood, wasn't developed enough for me to really sink into the story. And it was plenty long enough to develop him. I will say I did enjoy his relationship with Sergeant Nathani ...more
Matthew Hawkwood is a former soldier turned Bow Street Runner. Britain is at war with Napoleon, Wellington is making advances on the continent and the Navy has a new ship about to be launched. With his old war buddy Jago, Hawkwood must solve several crimes.
I was hoping for a better story or maybe just another 100 pages would have made it seem less rushed at the end. Also, maybe a more capable character, not ...more
"London, 1811. Der Krieg mit Napoleon hat seinen Höhepunkt erreicht. In der düsteren, von Gesindel bevölkerten Metropo ...more
Our Bow Street Runner (Matthew Hawkwood) is taken into a world of espionage with French secret agents and a villinous American who i ...more
James McGee was born into an army family. He was educated in Gibraltar, Germany and Belfast, giving him a love of travel, which is evident in his meticulous, vivid portraits of diverse people and places. His career has encompassed banking, bookselling and thirteen years in ...more