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The Death Collectorsby Jack Kerley
Synopses & Reviews
In 1972, on the day of his sentencing, renowned artist and serial killer Marsden Hexcamp is shot dead in the courtroom. Members of his Mansonesque band of followers are imprisoned or simply disappear.
Fast-forward more than thirty years: A suspected prostitute is found murdered in a candlelit motel room, the first in a series of horrors suggesting Hexcamp's art remains alive and treacherous. Following a trail of beautiful — and profoundly disturbing — artwork, homicide detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus descend into the shocking world of the Death Collectors, people who spend vast sums to collect serial-killer memorabilia. As Ryder and Nautilus race to solve a thirty-year conspiracy, it becomes sadly evident that at the intersection of art and madness, death is beauty, tragedy a memento, and suffering suitable for framing.
"The promise shown in Kerley's first book, The Hundredth Man, is borne out in the second in the series featuring Mobile, Ala., PD detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus. Carson and Harry are the department's psychopathological and sociopathological investigative team, nicknamed Piss-it by the other detectives. When a naked female body buried beneath flowers and surrounded by candles is found in a seedy motel, the crime is weird enough to be assigned to them. More bodies turn up, each accompanied by a tiny but beautiful oil painting. Retired police detective Jacob C. Willow hears of the murder/painting connection and tells Carson he thinks it has something to do with a serial killer case he worked early in his career. That madman, Marsden Hexcamp, has been dead for years, but a peculiar group of collectors specializing in murder memorabilia is keeping his memory alive. Carson is aided once again by his brilliant, homicidal brother, Jeremy, who, though held in a high-security insane asylum, proves instrumental in solving the case. Jeremy is a terrifying character, and we just know he's going to escape someday, at which point Kerley will truly scare the pants off his readers. This one's another winner from a writer moving toward the top of the thriller heap. Agent, Aaron Priest. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A genuinely creepy journey into madmen and their devoted followers." Booklist
"Kerley has a subtle touch for complex plotting and employs a shotgun's force of action, a wildly exotic group of characters, and an unusual locale to great effect. As page-turners go, this is a beauty..." Library Journal
The Hundredth Man was universally praised as the debut novel in a series to watch. Now, author Jack Kerley returns with The Death Collectors, which will establish him as one of the most innovative thriller writers today.
Following a trail of beautiful — and profoundly disturbing — artwork, homicide detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus descend into the shocking world of the Death Collectors, people who spend vast sums to collect serial-killer memorabilia. As Ryder and Nautilus race to solve a 30-year conspiracy, it becomes sadly evident that at the intersection of art and madness, death is beauty, tragedy a memento, and suffering suitable for framing.
About the Author
Jack Kerley is a writer who lives in Newport, Kentucky. He is the author of The Hundredth Man, also published by Dutton.
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