The year is 1811, and Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood is ordered by Chief Magistrate James Read to investigate the double murder of a coachman and a naval courier on the Kent Road. Hawkwood is initially puzzled as to why Read is so exercised by this relatively mundane case, but as his investigation unfolds, another body is discovered and a higher agenda begins to emerge – an attempt by the Emperor Napoleon to bring about a crushing military and psychological blow to Britain, the means of which would bring terror to the seas for years to come…
RATCATCHER the first in a major new series of historical novels featuring Matthew Hawkwood, part of an elite team of feared investigators who sometimes operate on a national level – an early 19th Century MI5. It is a wonderfully crafted Boy’s Own thriller – an absolute page-turner with a racing, extraordinary climax, all the more extraordinary given its basis in well-researched fact.
"Irresistible… rambunctious entertainment." - Observer
"Atmospheric and well researched… try it." - Daily Mirror
"Rumbustious…a darkly attractive hero, terrific period atmosphere and action." - The Times
"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