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Ratcatcher (Matthew Hawkwood 1) Paperback – 4 Sep 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (4 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000723645X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007236459
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Irresistible… rambunctious entertainment.’
Observer

‘Rumbustious…a darkly attractive hero, terrific period atmosphere and action.’ The Times

‘Atmospheric and well researched… try it.’ Daily Mirror

‘“Ratcatcher” has everything: duels and derring-do, London highlife and lowlife, French lechery and treachery – all contained in a fast-moving, cleverly constructed plot with an immaculately detailed historical background. Add a hero who is ruthless, mysterious and sexy, and it's a safe bet that “Ratcatcher” marks the start of a series that will run and run…and run!’ Reginald Hill

‘“Ratcatcher” is a richly enjoyable and impressively researched novel – also very gripping. James McGee is clearly a rising star in the historical galaxy and I look forward to Hawkwood’s return.’ Andrew Taylor, author of ‘The American Boy’

Book Description

You don’t send a gentleman to catch vermin. You send Hawkwood.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not quiet what I was expecting from the tittle. It soon became clear once I started reading it. The ratcatcher is after the unlawful fraternity of London and not rats. The hero Hawkwood s a Bow Street Runner with a military background simular to that of Sharpe if you know the books and series. In this book he is involved in resolving how a naval ship suddenly blows up and sinks, which then leads him into a den of espionage and treason. This is all set during the Neoplonic war but entirlu in and around London. Dispite alot of Hawkwood background being so simular to that of Sharpe (a favourite of mine) I found the story grippng and did not want to put the book down, it was one nailbitter after another. Give it a try it will be worth it. I was loaned this copy and had ordered my own before half way through and also the next three books in the series. I am now on book 3 and still enjoying them very much.
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By W. Black VINE VOICE on 28 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a tale of the late Napoleonic Wars set in the stews and slums of London and populated by both historic and fictional characters all of whom are very familiar.

The main characters are, let's be brutal about this, Sharpe and Harper from David Cornwell's novels transposed into slightly different timelimes, but its none the worse for that and could have been a great deal worse.

The writing isn't as good as Cornwell's, but this is the first novel and it could well improve. It often reads as if you're getting your details second hand rather than watching and the characterisation is poor. There's also some excruciatingly bad sex...

I wonder if David Cornwell gets a royalty for inventing the characters?

Anyway, in the final analysis, it's fun undemanding stuff and you end up not giving a damn who dies.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this a few years ago and decided to read it again as I remembered enjoying it. I have to say that, 2nd time around, it's def a book of 2 halves - in so much as I preferred the first 50-70%. And before someone picks me up....I know that's a slightly mixed metaphor.

I like the Hawkwood character and the author's descriptions of the filth and depravity of people living in very close quarters and ready to kill each other for very little is just detailed enough to turn your stomach. But doesn't go on so much that it slows down the pace.

There are some parts that are a bit of a stretch - but it's an enjoyable romp and I loved the "note and surprise" at the end.
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