Serial Killer Smorgasbord – Part 3

Mister Slaughter by Robert McCammon

The third book in McCammon’s Matthew Corbett series is the most gruesome to date.

The book synopsis:

The world of Colonial America comes vibrantly to life in this masterful new historical thriller by Robert McCammon. The latest entry in the popular Matthew Corbett series, which began with Speaks the Nightbird and continued in The Queen of Bedlam,Mister Slaughter opens in the emerging metropolis of New York City in 1702, and proceeds to take both Matthew and the reader on an unforgettable journey of horror, violence, and personal discovery.

The journey begins when Matthew, now an apprentice “problem solver” for the London-based Herrald Agency, accepts an unusual and hazardous commission. Together with his colleague, Hudson Greathouse, he agrees to escort the notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter from an asylum outside Philadelphia to the docks of New York. Along the way, Slaughter makes his captors a surprising—and extremely tempting—offer. Their response to this offer will alter the course of the novel, setting in motion a series of astonishing, ultimately catastrophic events.

Mister Slaughter is at once a classic portrait of an archetypal serial killer and an exquisitely detailed account of a fledgling nation still in the process of inventing itself. Suspenseful, illuminating, never less than compulsively readable, it is, by any measure, an extraordinary achievement, the largest accomplishment to date from one of our most gifted—and necessary—writers.

This book really crackles and dear Lord the price Corbett has to pay for a decision really made by his partner Greathouse but to which Corbett agrees to.  Damnably so for Corbett since he has found money which could be used for the altruistic purpose Greathouse, mostly, intends to use with the lure of what Slaughter is offering.

This book leads Corbett through a trail of innocent victims whose deaths are on his hands.  McCammon also deftly ties in the over arcing storyline of Professor Fell.  This book leaves Corbett a changed man for life and not in the best of ways.  It will be a long journey for him to find his way back out of the darkness.  A journey that Corbett will likely not be able to make on his own.  And that is a parallel internal journey to the ones that Corbett will face in each book.  The answer to the internal journey is within these books but based on where things stand in the series, it will be a long time before Corbett finds it.

Slaughter is a vile creature and a worthy adversary for Corbett.

For my money, this is the best book in the series.

You may never look at sausages the same way again.

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