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The Song of the Night Owl Tom1, The Trial of the Witch - Robert McCammon

Summary : New England, year of grace 1699.
The citizens of Fount Royal, a small village of Caroline, believe their city cursed by a witch. How else to explain the spontaneous fires, spoiled harvests and terrible murders? Convinced that the too beautiful Rachel Howarth, the widow of the recently deceased pastor, is responsible for these evils, they throw in jail awaiting trial and execution.
The circuit judge comes Isaac Woodward botch the investigation and wrote to preside over a trial advance with the help of his clever Matthew clerk, who, despite everything, believes in the innocence of Rachel. And what he discovers will indeed upset his beliefs and his vision of the world ... he will succeed in saving an innocent? Or will he instead fall into the trap of a woman with deceptive and devilish charms?

Edition : Bragelonne

My Opinion : I have to say the cover of this book, directed by FBDO, challenged me.Without being exceptional I thought it opened an interesting atmosphere. Then after reading the back cover I'm tempted by this book. This is actually a story published in two volumes which I find my reading, tends more towards the thriller to fantasy.

The plot here revolves around the investigation by Isaac Woodward circuit judge and his young clerk Matthew Corbett who called Fount Royal to conduct the trial of a woman accused of witchcraft. I must say that the author is well fed and well writing is slowly revealing the author taking his time leading the reader to subplots or bounce which one often has trouble untangling the lies from the truth , vacillating between logical explanation and fantastic explanation, to the delight of the reader. difficulty was to release this book gasping and turning page after page hoping to find the clue that will lead us to the truth. But the author is talented and fluent in its history that exudes nothing easily.

The author of the document is tremendously to place the novel in the historical context of 1699 in New Angeleterre in the new world filled increasingly by the British to fight against the territorial influence of Spanish and also bring trade with the West Indies.One feels that the author has worked with ease transcribing this murky world the most authentic possible that it is in religion, in superstition, slavery and racism ... But where the author excels is in the transcript of the city of Fount Royal stifling, suffocating or everyone has lost hope because of the witch and her evil spells. It quickly feels trapped in this town full of lies and secrets.

The characters are engaging and very well worked, especially dense and far from any Manichaeism each with a view of the heavy secrets hidden in him. Each character offers a fascinating portrait gallery and so real. Indeed between lies and betrayals it becomes really difficult to sort fact from fiction and thus whether the witch is really one or if another person is guilty. The judge and the young clerk form a frankly interesting and complementary investigative duo.

The pen of the author is fully controlled from start to finish, dynamic, sharp beautifully controlling the wheels of its plot for the pleasure of the drive. His transcriptions are alive and realistic all with a touch of humor. This is the pen that makes you does not feel the weight of the highly documented universe, indeed one feels that very few lengths, except perhaps at times in the descriptions or author lingers by the time too much, not enough to be disturbing. Indeed the book once started it is hard to let go.What is most disturbing is that once finished the first volume we want to jump directly to the second.

In Summary : An excellent thriller pointed fantastic and superstitions placed in a historical period of territorial conquest fully documented with exciting characters, engaging and interesting but also a captivating plot and so dark that it's hard to separate fact from wrong and find a culprit. A first volume that I advise you to read.

My rating : 9/10

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