Synopses & Reviews
Magnus "Steps" Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him "The Human Bloodhound," since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there's a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability — a kind of synesthesia — where he can see the 'essence' of a person, something he calls 'shine,' on everything they've touched. His ability is known to only a few people — his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.
When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes — the mark of a sad face. At the same time, another killer, one Steps has dubbed Leonardo and has been trying to track for over ten years, appears again, taunting Steps. But while Steps tries to find a clue that will lead him to Leonardo, the case of the Sad Face Killer heats up. The team uncovers eleven possible victims: missing women who fit the same pattern. Using his skill and the resources of the Bureau, it is a race against time to find the killer before it's too late.
FBI agent Magnus “Steps” Craig the narrator of Kope’s compelling debut and series launch can see the psychic residue—the “shine”—that people both dead and alive leave behind them. He uses this peculiar gift as the lead investigator in the FBI’s Special Tracking Unit. Steps is obsessed with a killer he’s dubbed Leonardo because of the way the murderer who’s still at large displays his victims as the Vitruvian Man. More urgently Steps’s attention is focused on a prolific killer with a penchant for murdering young women in Northern California. After finding a frowning face etched in shine—think of it as colorful paint invisible to everyone but Steps—the agent and his team begin calling the serial killer the Sad Face Killer. Steps knows that Sad Face’s latest abductee is still alive thanks to the shine on a locket of hers so it’s a race against time to find her before Sad Face kills her. Kope the crime analyst for the Whatcom County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office has introduced a tortured soul who’s a welcome addition to the library of crime fiction heroes. Agent: Kimberly Cameron Kimberly Cameron amp; Associates. (June) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Collecting the Dead introduces Magnus 'Steps' Craig, a member of the FBI’s Special Tracking Unit who has a special gift known only to a few, but will it be enough to stop a killer who seems to be one step ahead of everyone? Kope’s debut is a well written thrill ride that introduces a very appealing hero. Hopefully Steps will be back in action soon." Phillip Margolin
"I read this book in two sittings, ignoring my work and family until I turned the last page. Mark my words, 'Steps' Craig is poised to take his place among our most popular and cherished thriller heroes. I can’t wait for the next book." Chelsea Cain
"Fascinating and compelling! Spencer Kope’s Collecting the Dead reenergizes the crime genre with the introduction of "human bloodhound" FBI Agent Magnus Craig whose special skills puts him on every serial killer’s trail, but also in at least one psychopath’s sights. The twists and turns will leave you breathless!" Lisa Gardner
About the Author
Spencer Kope is the Crime Analyst for the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. Currently assigned to Detectives Division, he provides case support to detectives and deputies, and is particularly good at identifying possible suspects. In his spare time he developed a database-driven analytical process called Forensic Vehicle Analysis (FVA) used to identify the make, model and year range of vehicles from surveillance photos. It's a tool he's used repeatedly to solve crimes. Collecting the Dead is his first novel. One of his favorite pastimes is getting lost in a bookstore, and he lives in Washington State.