From Publishers Weekly
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.
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Marsden Hexcamp was murdered in a courtroom 30 years ago by one of his devoted acolytes. It wasn't considered a tragedy. Hexcamp, who would surely have been sentenced to death for a series of grisly murders, painted pictures depicting the crimes he committed, and these "works of art" have become extraordinarily valuable with underground collectors. Mobile, Alabama, police detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus infiltrate this macabre art world to find clues for a series of contemporary murders that suggest Marsden's handiwork, both in their details and because the killer is leaving behind small pieces of Marsden's art. Assisting Ryder and Nautilus in their investigation, as he did in The Hundredth Man
, last year's well-received series debut, is Carson's brother, Jeremy, himself an institutionalized serial killer, who both provides his brother an entree into the world of serial-killer memorabilia and--a la Hannibal Lecter--offers insight into the mind of a killer. A genuinely creepy journey into madmen and their devoted followers. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved