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The Death Collectors by Jack Kerley
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The Death Collectors (2005)

by Jack Kerley

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287562,219 (3.59)6
"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 evident that at the intersection of art and madness, death is beauty, tragedy a memento, and suffering suitable for framing."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
loaned to pop. ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
i liked it. a lot. ( )
  tinfoilspider13 | Mar 7, 2013 |
Kerley has matured with his writing style since The Hundredth Man, with less jarring dialogue and more engaging narrative. The industry is pumping these novels out at an incredible pace and this story is typical of the genre, a suspenseful journey to uncover the murderer, with additional bodies along the way. The Death Collectors does not offer any insightful and new content, it relies on the banter of its central characters to hold interest beyond it's mediorce plot. It has some decent moments and readers will surely return for further helpings in the future. ( )
  SonicQuack | May 12, 2010 |
One of the earlier outings for Nautilus and Ryder. Here they investigate a horrific murder that carries strong similarities to the murders committed by a long dead serial killer.

The underlying ploy here is the fairly horrific idea that there is a small group of weathy people who choose to collect serial killer memorobilia - an idea Ifound distastful and difficult to rid myself of upon finishing the book.

The resolution of the crime requires several leaps of faith but is a good read for all of that. I'd like to see more of the relationship between the 2 leads develop further. ( )
  itchyfeetreader | Jan 13, 2010 |
I admit to an unabashed enthusiasm for novels about serial killers, so a Mansonesque cult led by a poisonously attractive maniac with delusions of divinity should be just my kind of thing.

Yet The Death Collectors falls short. The plot is interesting, the story good, but in the end the writer is not quite skilful enough to make the convoluted coincidences necessary to the genre believable. The book deals with rich weirdos who collect the deadly artefacts of serial killers. When Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus investigate a bizarrely staged death scene, they discover links to the rumoured auction of the memorabilia of serial killer Marsden Hexcamp, who was slain in court by his most devoted follower 30 years previously.

And in the best tradition, the killer strikes again, and again and again; what made me uncomfortable was not the deaths, but that Ryder has a brother who is also a serial killer, and unwittingly provides a valuable lead. The coincidences come thick and fast, interspersed with a few romantic clichés, until, in the end, Ryder is lured into danger by a scenario that wouldn’t fool an infant.

Okay, quite a few people die, there are perverts and blood and guts aplenty, but I won’t be adding any more books by Jack Kerley to my serial-killer collection. ( )
  adpaton | Nov 29, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Detective Jacob Willow dodged a sign proclaiming DIE YOU DAMN MURDERER, ducked another saying REPENT SINNER!
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