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Dead Harvest (The Collector) Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A war is brewing between angels and demons in this twisty, fast-paced, and thoroughly enjoyable urban fantasy debut... Sam is a likable antihero, pleasantly human despite being unquestionably damned, and the politics of Heaven and Hell provide plenty of material for sequels." - Publishers Weekly

"A very promising first novel." - Locus

"With a candid style that exhibits solid confidence and finesse, Chris Holm pulls readers in and pins us to the edge of our seats with a cleverly conceived story that is flawlessly executed." - NY Journal of Books

"Chris Holm’s smooth writing style and rather charming characters (yes, Sam is charming, so there), made Dead Harvest a pleasure for me. 4.5/5 stars." - My Bookish Ways

"Dead Harvest does not feel like a debut. Chris F. Holm's writing is assured and the world building is outstanding... I completely enjoyed reading Dead Harvest with its unlikely anti-hero and world painted in shades of gray. The Collector series is on my must buy list." - The Qwillery

"The first book in The Collector series, is completely fresh and absolutely distracting. You won’t be able to put it down, and you’ll want a stiff drink and a smoke to go with it." - Sacramento Book Review

“...classic mix of deduction, ultra-violence, narrow escapes, shocking revelations, and sudden turns of fortune that make noir such a satisfying genre. Also, possessions, demons, seraphs, and lucky cat statues. Just fantastic enough to be entertaining, but not so unrealistic that it stretches the bounds of credulity.” -Josh, In Order of Importance 

"A great protagonist, powerful bad guys (you have to love Bishop, the bad guy who can be anybody), pacing, tension and some really clever twists (the need for, and effects of, meatsuits is particularly cool) make this one of my favourite books."
-CheffoJeffo

About the Author

Chris Holm was born in Syracuse, New York, the grandson of a cop with a penchant for crime fiction.  It was the year of punk rock and Star Wars, two influences that to this day hold more sway over him than perhaps his wife would like. 
 
His stories have appeared in a slew of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Beat to a Pulp, and Thuglit.  He has been an Anthony Award nominee, a Derringer Award finalist, and a Spinetingler Award winner. 
 
He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and a noisy, noisy cat.  When he’s not writing, you can find him on his porch, annoying the neighbours with his guitar.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Collector (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot; Original edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085766218X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857662187
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Holm was born in Syracuse, New York to a mother from a cop family and a father from a long line of fantasy and sci-fi geeks. He wrote his first story at the age of six. It got him sent to the principal's office.

Since then, his work has fared better, appearing in such publications as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, and THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011. Chris has been longlisted for a Stoker Award and nominated for a pair each of Anthony, Derringer, and Spinetingler Awards, as well as Killer Nashville's Silver Falchion Award and a few House of Crime and Mystery Readers' Choice Awards. He's even racked up a couple wins along the way.

Chris' Collector trilogy recasts the battle between heaven and hell as old-fashioned crime pulp. His forthcoming thriller THE KILLING KIND is about a man who makes his living hitting hitmen, only to wind up a target himself. He and his wife, writer/reviewer Katrina Niidas Holm, live in Portland, Maine. No, she hasn't reviewed his books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Summerell on March 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been wanting to get my hands on a Chris F. Holm novel for a very long time. Holm's short stories in his collection 8 POUNDS 8 Pounds: Eight Tales of Crime, Horror, & Suspense knocked my socks off (and kept me awake at night), and I was looking forward to a tale that I could spend more time in.

DEAD HARVEST was worth the wait.

Holm's pacing in this novel is perfect. The action builds, the peril mounts, there's a tap of the brakes, and then POW. Sam Thornton (The Collector) is an engaging protagonist, and I connected with him easily. Throughout the book I found myself in full-on fret over the fates of the secondary characters, and when I shut the book last night I was completely satisfied with the conclusion. As DEAD HARVEST is the first of a trilogy Holm provides plenty of glimpses into Sam's life prior to his damnation, but he skillfully leaves room for us to learn more in the coming novels.

An excerpt from the second installment in Sam's tale is included at the end of the book, but I didn't read it because I don't want to go crazy waiting for the novel itself.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The Qwillery on February 28, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dead Harvest is a noirish urban fantasy with a surprisingly different and likable main character - Sam Thornton. Sam is a Collector. He's part of the careful balance between Heaven and Hell. He gets his orders and off he goes to collect a damned soul and send it off to Hell. You might say he works for the bad guys, but it's not quite that simple. In Dead Harvest, Sam is assigned the job of collecting the soul of a young woman (Kate) who has brutally murdered her family. It should be an easy job. Find her, collect her soul, go on to next job. Unfortunately for Sam, things are not as they seem. He decides something is not right about this collection and decides to figure out what is going on.

Sam is an amazingly likable character despite what he does. Through a series of well placed flashbacks we learn how Sam became a Collector. He did not have an easy life. 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions' could probably be Sam's motto. Which is not to say that he did everything on the up and up when he was alive. Nonetheless, I was on his side. I wanted him to be right and to figure out what was really on. I did not want him to have to collect Kate's soul.

In addition to Sam there is a well fleshed out supporting cast. Kate is terrific even though she's not sure what she did or didn't do. She may actually be guilty. In addition we meet some angels, demons, seemingly crazy people, and Sam's remarkably chilling co-worker, The Bishop, who is out to collect Kate's soul because Sam has not.

Dead Harvest does not feel like a debut. Chris F. Holm's writing is assured and the world building is outstanding. The story is fast-paced with several well-done action scenes. The mystery kept me guessing - did she or didn't she and if she didn't what is really going on?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting novel. The first in the Collector series. The protaganist, Sam Thornton, is a collector of souls, sentenced to this task by hell for mis-deeds in his lifetime. He has no body and normally animates the bodies of the recently dead. He can also possess the bodies of the living, forcing the inhabitants along for the ride. However, their are consequences to doing this for his soul.

The plot of the first book is somewhat predictable. I saw the ending coming from some distance away and it mirror several recent movies. But the main character is interesting and the writing is tight, well-paced, and kept me engaged. I look forward to more in this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. White on March 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Things haven't shaken out Sam Thornton's way for quite some time. Driven by desperation and good intentions, Sam made a very bad decision many decades ago. And you know what they say about good intentions. Yeah, the road to Hell. Thing is, Sam didn't make it all the way down that road, but got detoured into Purgatory and shanghaied into eternal employment as a soul collector. If your time has come and the powers that be have marked you for damnation, it's Sam's job to remove your soul and send it on its way to hell. It's a rather unpleasant experience for both parties.

Things go from unpleasant to unheard of, however, when Sam is assigned to collect Kate MacNeil's soul. At first blush is seems like a no-brainer since the young woman was caught red-handed, literally, having just butchered her family. Slaughter three people, go to Hell. Makes sense. So imagine Sam's surprise when upon attempting to collect Kate's soul he's met with an outpouring of purity so overwhelming he's convinced she didn't commit the crime; she's been improperly marked for damnation. However, one does not simply refuse to collect the assigned soul. It's never happened in the history of, well, ever. Failure to collect Kate's soul is sure to seriously piss off the denizens of Hell who've claimed it. On the other hand, improperly sending a pure soul to Hell for damnation could touch off a war with Heaven.

Unwilling to concede there's nothing that can be done about the situation, Sam takes Kate on the run until he can figure out a way to appease the demons without enraging the angels. Of course Sam and Kate also have to stay one step ahead of the humans who are after them.
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