Matthew Corbett is a professional "problem solver" in colonial Manhattan. He's not quite a private investigator, because the cases he gets himself involved in tend to be bigger, and more bizarre, than simple murders--and The Providence Rider
plunges him into his weirdest adventure yet. The mysterious criminal mastermind Professor Fell, whose plans Matthew has already thwarted on more than one occasion, summons his enemy and makes the proverbial offer you can't refuse: Someone in the highest ranks of Fell's underworld network is a traitor, and Matthew must figure out who it is... or those closest to him will suffer Fell's wrath.
This is the fourth novel Robert McCammon
has written about Matthew Corbett, so there's no small degree of comfort and familiarity in his handling of the young problem solver and his supporting cast. But you can pick up The Providence Rider
without having read any of the earlier books and still follow along perfectly well, just like you don't need to watch the James Bond films in the order they were made to enjoy them. The comparison to Bond is an apt one, too. When Matthew is captured by one of Fell's assassins and brought to his castle on a remote Bermudan island, it's impossible not to think of a supervillain's fortress, right down to the torture chambers and death traps. (The plot Fell wants Matthew to uncover even hinges on the 18th-century equivalent of a futuristic weapon.)
It's great fun to see the action film dynamics play out in McCammon's vividly detailed historical setting, especially with a Character Approved hero like Matthew to root for and a theatrically flamboyant archnemesis like Professor Fell. Best of all, there's a promise at the end that Matthew will have his share of problems to solve in future stories...
[Image: Robert McCammon]