The Death Collectors [NOOK Book]

Overview

In 1972, on the day of his sentencing, renowned artist and serial killer Marden 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...

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The Death Collectors

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Overview

In 1972, on the day of his sentencing, renowned artist and serial killer Marden 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Thirty years ago, Marden Hexcamp was shot dead in the courtroom on the day of his sentencing. For the demonic art/serial killer, death was an optimal career move. Martyrdom solidified his cult status, driving up prices of Marden artwork and memorabilia. Unfortunately, now, decades later, a person or persons unknown are seeking to create a corpse-ridden Marden Hexcamp renaissance. To thwart the Death Collectors, homicide detective Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus must descend into their eerie sanctums.
Publishers Weekly
On the trail of a serial killer, Alabama detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus uncover a network of wealthy collectors who'll pay top dollar for celebrity slayer artifacts. There is some irony that Kerley calls attention to our nation's unhealthy fascination with murderers in the course of a serial killer novel. Reader Hill aids the author's intent by employing a smarmy, supercilious voice for a key broker of the murder memorabilia and other unpleasant vocal characteristics-arrogance, brutishness-for the collectors. He also provides authentic and distinguishing accents for a large cast of mainly deep South dwellers, including gruff African-American Nautilus and Ryder, who narrates the novel with an unwavering easy-going, slightly whimsical drawl. But Hill's most impressive achievement is in turning Ryder's brother Jeremy, an incarcerated homicidal madman who, as written, is essentially one more Hannibal Lecter clone, into an original, mood-swinging nightmare whose 180-degree shifts from croon to rant can add a chill to the hottest summer weather. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Reviews, May 30). (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Perhaps Kerley's 25 years in advertising explain his delight in the macabre, what he calls the shadowy side of human nature. In his debut thriller, The Hundredth Man, he introduced Detective Carson Ryder (small, white) and his partner Harry Nautilus (large, black), who make up a special unit of the Mobile, AL, police force focusing on weird or psychological cases. Here, they investigate a series of murders that seems tied to a dead serial killer whose Charles Manson-like influence may be continuing in his followers. Ryder immerses himself in the bizarre world of wealthy collectors of serial killer leavings, the "death collectors." As in the first book, here he gets help from his brother, himself in a psych ward for multiple killings. 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; readers will expect to see more of Ryder and Nautilus. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/05.]-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101651384
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/2/2006
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 478,475
  • File size: 476 KB

Meet the Author

Born in Covington, Kentucky, in 1951, Jack Kerley studied art history and philosophy at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, before going into advertising as a writer and creative director. He left ad-agency work several years back to pursue novel writing, simultaneously writing on a freelance basis and substitute teaching. He lives in Newport, Kentucky. Mr. Kerley is married and has two children.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    Very well done

    I don't often read murder mysteries but this novel is very well writen and a pleasure to read. A real page turner. Excellent character development and a truely unpredictable ending.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    excellent thriller

    In 1972 in Mobile Alabama Circuit Court, as he sentences Marden Hexcamp, Judge Penfield does not hide his repulsion for the convicted serial killer, whose trial led to the hospitalization of two jurors with nervous conditions. The Judge makes it clear that the electrocution at Holman Prison will somewhat clean this evil. Marden states that only art is worth living for. However, before he can be escorted out of court, the ¿Crying Woman¿, who sat outside the courtroom with a vigil during the trial, pulls out a gun, tells Marden she loves him and kills him before shooting herself to death.................. Three decades later Mobile Police Detectives Harry Nautilus and Carson Ryder spend 99% of their time on homicides but the remainder of their work involves the only specialists assigned to the renowned 'PISS' squad, the Psychological and Sociological Investigation Team. Currently, they investigate the murder of a hooker; other killings follow. The link appears to be Hexcamp¿s paintings. Apparently, they, as are other items of famous serial killers, become valuable collectibles; one death collector apparently has crossed the homicide line to obtain the blood memorabilia of his or her diabolical heroes................. This is a weird police procedural that starts with a bang and never slows down while fascinating the audience with the ghoulish memorabilia that THE DEATH COLLECTORS covet. Making what seems a farfetched tale realistic is the recent pack of cards that showcased infamous serial killers and mass murderers that sold rather gruesomely fast. Harry and Carson (NY football Giants fan?) are two solid cops whose PISS case leads to good citizens collecting the macabre. Jack Kerley writes an eye opening grisly dark thriller..................... Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

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