The Listener by Robert R. McCammon Review

McCammon never disappoints me.

The Listener by Robert McCammon
Dark Fiction, 380 pages
Released February 2018
Goodreads | Buy A Copy Here 

Businesses went under by the hundreds, debt and foreclosures boomed, and breadlines grew in many American cities. 

In the midst of this misery, some folks explored unscrupulous ways to make money. Angel-faced John Partlow and carnival huckster Ginger LaFrance are among the worst of this lot. Joining together they leave their small time confidence scams behind to attempt an elaborate kidnapping-for-ransom scheme in New Orleans.

In a different part of town, Curtis Mayhew, a young black man who works as a redcap for the Union Railroad Station, has a reputation for mending quarrels and misunderstandings among his friends. What those friends don't know is that Curtis has a special talent for listening... and he can sometimes hear things that aren't spoken aloud.

One day, Curtis Mayhew's special talent allows him to overhear a child's cry for help (THIS MAN IN THE CAR HE'S GOT A GUN), which draws him into the dangerous world of Partlow and LaFrance.

This gritty depression-era crime thriller is a complex tale enriched by powerfully observed social commentary and hints of the supernatural, and it represents Robert McCammon writing at the very top of his game.

These Are My Thoughts:

I have had a terrible and stressful few weeks (months, really) and am having a difficult time focusing or finding the energy to write a review so this will be much shorter than it deserves.

First off, I have to say that The Listener has an opening scene that will cement the villain as one of the worst of all time in my mind. He is truly one of the vilest, evilest, most selfish of monsters that my eyeballs have come across in quite a while. Be warned, be warned, beeeee warned! If you can get through that scene you are good to go.

Anyhow, without spoiling things, that vile creature sets off to do more evil and pairs up with a lady who is just as monstrous as himself. Together they plot to hurt innocents for their own selfish gain. But what they don’t expect is a little supernatural twist between the innocents caught in their twisted little plan.

This story is disturbing and horrifying and 100% captivating. McCammon is one hell of a beautiful writer and he draws you into his world of villains and innocents and prejudice and pain and kindness and if you don’t root for the good guys to win after all they’ve been through, you might just be a monster as well.

The writing in this novel is simply beyond compare. My heart broke time and again and all of my emotions were engaged. This is a story that I will never forget and I say that about almost nothing because things no longer stick in my brain unless they engage my heart.

I don’t know what else to say besides READ THIS BOOK. I do not think you will regret it.

5 Stars out of 5

About Author Robert McCammon

Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

The sixth book in his Matthew Corbett historical fiction series, Freedom of the Mask, was published in May 2016.

The second book in the Trevor Lawson I Travel by Night series, Last Train from Perdition, was published in October 2016.

His latest novel, a standalone book called The Listener, was published in February 2018 by Cemetery Dance.

McCammon resides in Birmingham, Alabama. He is currently working on the seventh Matthew Corbett novel, Cardinal Black.

Learn more at his website:


  1. Oh man. This book would stress me out! But I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    1. It's done sooo beautifully written but, yeah, it will do its best to destroy you.

  2. McCammon does horror AND history so well, I have no doubt this would be a compelling read. Onto the TBR list it goes.

  3. The era for this thriller has me intrigued, but a truly vile villain that is fleshed out well can also grab me. Thanks for sharing about it, Laurie!

  4. My dad was a fan of this author years back but I've never read any of his stuff. I think I'd get too fed up with the MCs to try this one though!

  5. You got me with the worst villain of all time! This is going on my list!

  6. Greatest villain of all time...that sure got my attention. I love villains. Sorry to hear things are rough for you.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  7. Sorry that things have been stressful for you! I hope things get better very soon.

    I have quite a few of his books but haven't read a single one. I really need to get started with his one. I don't have this one but it sounds fabulous! I would pick this one up just to see what that opening scene is all about.

    1. The book is fabulous but that opening scene will scar you.

  8. I have a really rough time reviewing McCammon in general. I'm usually left speechless, and I can't do him justice anyways.

    1. Same here. The best of the best are so hard to do justice to in a review.

  9. Oh goodness that's quite the warning! And pfft you did a great job with the review. :)


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