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Ratcatcher [Hardcover]

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007262485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007262489
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,509,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James McGee grew up in Gibraltar, Germany, and Northern Ireland. He has worked in banking, sales, newspapers, the airline industry and bookselling. He has travelled extensively in Europe, the United States, Australia and the Far East, but nowadays resides in Somerset.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Originality But Still Great Fun 3 Feb 2006
Ratcatcher is the first adventure to feature Hawkswood, Bow Street Runner, former soldier and enigmatic man of mystery. Set in London during the Napoleonic wars, in the book Hawkswood is assigned to investigate the death of a naval courier in what initially appears to be a case of simple highway robbery. Needless to say his investigation soon reveal links to a far larger conspiracy that goes all the way to highest levels of society and threatens the security of the entire nation. With assistance from old friends, current colleagues and an asortment of rogues its up to Hawkswood to save the day.
In other words this is another historical thriller in the same vein as Cornwell's Sharpe novels or Lunn's Killigrew series, and sticks to the formula set by its precursors; lone hero with a past uncovers and then foils conspiracy. On the way romantic entanglements ensue, he gains a sidekick, thumbs his nose at authority, faces certain death, has numerous fights, yet eventually comes out on top. As such Ratcatcher is hardly the most original work ever published.
Despite this lack of freshness in its approach however, it still deserves four stars for being jolly good fun, a must for books such as these. Hawkswood, the hero, is a good creation. He ticks all the requisite boxes, being simultaneously handsome, energetic, charming, mysterious, witty, serious, haunted, romantic, brave, self-sacrificing, wild, unpredictable and morally upstanding as and when the plot requires. His background is drawn in enough depth to make him interesting and the author has enough skill with dialogue and narrative to make him believable. The success of book like this depends heavily on the strength of the lead character, and in Hawkswood Ratcatcher has a winner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast paced Historical adventure 2 April 2006
By A Customer
Having tracked down every mystery/thriller I can find on the 18th & 19th centuries, I must say I haven't enjoyed a book so much since coming to the end of the Bruce Alexander series (Sir John Fielding mysteries). The well-written narrative flows at a fast pace throughout and the characterisation was excellent too, something you often find lacking in other thrillers of the period.The relationship between Hawkswood and Jago was enjoyable in the traditional protagonist and sidekick roles. Period details of London's rookeries were spot on.
I was torn between racing through the pages to find out what happens next and wanting the book to last.
I hope this will be the first of a series and we won't have to wait too long for the follow up. A great read, I loved it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent start of a Trilogy. 3 July 2009
I bought and read this book, although it's not the genre I normally opt for. But I'm so glad to have read it.
Firstly I would point out the book's style. It is, I felt, a dark and fast paced, historical action. It has excellent characters (Hawkwood, the protagonist, is superb),you really bond with the characters and care for what they are doing. There's nothing worse than a story in which you don't give a hoot about main characters or their purpose and especially the villians' role is just as important. But thankfully James Mcgee excels in making his characters' charismatic and engaging.
Ratcather has an interesting story, which moves quickly, but is structured well and keeps you involved at all times.

As the first in a Trilogy Ratcatcher is an absorbing, fun and exciting read. Moreover, the 2nd and 3rd books: Resurrectionist and Rapscallion, really capitalise on the success of the first book. I can honestly say this trilogy is one of my favorite, and if you read all three in succession you won't be disappointed. I'm on my second read of all three!
Of course this book won't be for everyone, people have different tastes and some will disagree with me. But if you like a little history, with a twist of action, a hint of dark humour, sprinkled with a dose of cleverness then read it, please.
I salute James Mcgee for writing three fine books and hope he writes many more in the future.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun!!!!! 4 April 2006
Every now and then along comes a new author that you just know is going to go places with their books and James McGee is one of them. This book was in my Amozon recomended list and I bought it, read it and thouroughly enjoyed it.
Mr McGee will not escape the comparisons to Bernard Cornwells books but that is no bad thing, if you are put in the same bracket as him you will make a lot of money.
The main character Matthew Harkwood is a Bow Street Runner who finds himself embroiled in murder, conspircies and mayhem in 19th century London at the time of Englands war with France, so the similarities with Sharpe are there but unlike Sharpe, Hawkwood is ex military but with all the traites of Sharpe, cool, enigmatic, dark, all the things that will make this character run for a long time. Great read, great debut novel and these books will be around for a long time!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tale of a Bow Street Runner 7 Sep 2006
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
James McGee became a writer after working in banking, sales and the airline industry both here in the UK and also abroad. He is now a bookseller, a very honourable profession. Where would we be without them. I am not sure whether this is his first novel or not, no matter, I found it an excellent read about a period of history, Regency London, a time perhaps that is not as done to death by authors as say medieval or Victorian. The book is fast paced, full of the atmosphere of the period.

Matthew Hawkwood, the lead player in the book is a man of complex character, feared by those who operate outside the law, loved by the ladies, a hero who is handsome, mysterious and has a ruthless streak. A man who want to do his job, helping to keep the peace on the street of a city that is rife with criminals, prostitutes, pickpockets and so-called beggars who would slit your throat for the change in your pocket.

He is a man whose past keeps haunting him. A past that worries some of the people in high places. But the Chief Magistrate thinks he is just right for a crucial mission . . .

The book has everything you could wish for in a period murder mystery. I enjoyed it tremendously. I am sure you will too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars BRING ‘EM ON
I have now read Ratcatcher after Rebellion and have thoroughly enjoyed both. Literate, well researched, strong plots, draw the reader into the chosen environments. Bring ‘em on.
Published 1 month ago by JFY
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth my time
I had seen the cover of this book for some months but when I sat down to search it I couldn't remember the name of either author or title. Read more
Published 5 months ago by martin hyde
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
Definitely worth while reading this and all of the Hawkwood books. Really sets the scene of the period well and puts you at Hawkwood's shoulder throughout.
Published 5 months ago by Donald Harvey
3.0 out of 5 stars Stock
Stock story, stock figures, stock action. It's as 'historical' as Amanda Quick's novels. And as interesting. But works as bubble gum for brain nevertheless.
Published 5 months ago by Lukasz Jezierski
5.0 out of 5 stars Rat catcher
Great book. I have now read 2 hawk wood books and I would compare him to an 18th century Jack Reacher!
Published 6 months ago by Junior Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story.
But this needs a little more sharpness on historical detail. An historical novel doesn't need to be drenched in historical detail but the detail used must be accurate. Read more
Published 6 months ago by An Imbiber
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Development as story moves along
I really enjoyed this tale and bought it as a collection of the three first stories of Hawkwood. The reader is introduced to the plot and character gradually via the run down slums... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great series
great series of books that are very well researched and written. the characters are all very believable and the plot draws you in
Published 9 months ago by Mr. W. J. D. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars 19th century MI5
The character, a stroke of genius; the plot is gripping, leading to a conclusion only McGee would conjure up. Joining my read again list
Published 10 months ago by Robmac
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story. Looking forward to next book
A good storyline. Lots of twists
It had a good beginning, middle and end.
I didn't work out the end halfway through the story.
Published 11 months ago by Lorraine
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