Robert McCammon, June 2021
I finished The King of Shadows toward the end of April. Since then I’ve been resting up because as I think you’ll understand when you read the book, it was quite a lot to put together. For one thing, it took me a while to refine what began simply as a ‘what-if?’ idea that at first seemed so outlandish and ‘out there’ it couldn’t possibly work. Well, I’m happy to say it did, but not without a lot of thrashing and gnashing. Matthew and Company came through for me once again. I’m pleased to say it’s a hefty book too, running about 560 pages.
I wanted The King of Shadows to be completely different from anything that had come before, and I wanted it to have that ‘weird’ and ‘otherworldly’ edge. Also I became very interested in the backstories of both Cardinal Black and Maccabeus DeKay…how did they become what they are? So you’ll find in The King of Shadows the stories of how the young Adam Black became the infamous Cardinal, and how “Mac” DeKay devolved from being a wealthy young man faithful to his father and involved in the sport of horse racing to being the scarred—and soul-scarred—and masked creature of the ‘present’.
Another thing I wanted to play with was the idea that instead of a human antagonist, a physical place could be antagonistic. Thus you’ll find in The King of Shadows a beautiful Mediterranean island called Golgotha that hides a multitude of secrets, and puts both Matthew and Hudson at risk like never before…but maybe not in the way you would expect!
Next up will be a book of seven short stories involving Matthew, Hudson, Minx Cutter, and Katherine Herrald titled Seven Shades of Evil. Some of these stories have previously appeared in other places, but I believe there will be at least three new ones and two of those will be “novelette” length. Seven Shades of Evil will be sort of a compendium of various “problems” Matthew and Company are called upon to solve during Matthew’s career with the Herrald Agency—these being done in the time between the spans of the regular books—and we’ll begin with one of the earliest events and end with one in his later life.
And so we are moving toward Leviathan, the last book in the Matthew Corbett series. It will be set in Italy and will involve—must involve—the worst of the worst that Matthew has yet to face. As someone from the realm of the past tells Matthew in The King of Shadows: “I have a feeling that Professor Fell will seem as a kindly old uncle bouncing baby Corbett on his knee when you meet who’s waiting for you in the future. Because take it from me, my boy…the worst is yet to be.”
You can take that as truth, because the person who tells this to Matthew is none other than Tyranthus Slaughter, returned from the dead.
So…on we go!
Publication of The King of Shadows is probably not going to be until early in 2022, but I hope you’ll feel the wait was worth it when you read the book. Until then, I’ll be working on Seven Shades of Evil and putting Leviathan together.
I hope everyone has a happy summer, and thank you again for your readership and support. I’m certain that in some other realm Matthew and his companions wholeheartedly thank you as well!