Dead Harvest

Dead Harvest

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Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls.
Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure their souls are dispatched to the appropriate destination.
But when he’s dispatched to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Souled Out | Damned If You Don’t | Collector Mania | On The Run ]
e-book ISBN: 978-0-85766-219-4

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857662187
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.26(w) x 6.84(h) x 1.04(d)

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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Dead Harvest 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
readinginmysleep More than 1 year ago
The broad genre of Urban Fantasy is not typically my thing but a good fast paced hard boiled mystery is. I picked up Dead Harvest after reading author Holm's short "The Hitter" which lead me to his anthology "8 Pounds". It's been a long time since I have been grabbed by such a powerful a writing style. Edgy, intense, somehow you can see the depth of his characters with a minimum of build-up. Dead Harvest hit all of my buttons & wow, what an action ride. I went back to read it again as in retrospect the action scenes seemed so incredible yet the launch of each was entirely plausible. Holm is a strong story teller...I dare you to read one of his shorts '"A Better Life" and then try to look longingly at that beautiful old country house of your dreams. Can't wait for more of his work to come out
Qwillery More than 1 year ago
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? 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. File Under: Great writing | Excellent World Building | Intriguing Mystery | Terrific Characters I give Dead Harvest 5 Qwills. (Originally posted at The Qwillery)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a fun book. I won't go rehashing the premise as that's covered above, but I will say this: 1) It would make a great summer movie (one with explosions and monsters AND a plot). 2) Fans of Buffy, Supernatural, and the like will probably enjoy this one. Much of the same mythology forms the supporting cast and despite the main character's "age" his voice remains young enough for a broad audience. 3) Chris F. Holm is a helluva writer so if you can't wait until THE WRONG GOODBYE, look for his collection of short stories or the phenomenal "The Hitter" in a back issue of NEEDLE magazine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must-read for urban fantasy fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a great plot, characters were interesting, writing style flowed nicely. Will be reading the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KaneH More than 1 year ago
When you're a soul collector, you've got one job, and you better do it right. On one job, Sam decides to ignore the sole (soul) requirement and take initiative, which lands him in the middle of a conflict between demons and angels, both of which want his bloody hide for his disobedience. A host of powerful opponents try to end Sam and his new charge, and he gets repeatedly smashed up, but hard to do away with entirely. Great dark urban fantasy with pulse-pounding action, and reflections on how our choices determine our future. Shootouts, bloody fights, and ravenous, devouring demons galore.
Openbooksociety_dot_com More than 1 year ago
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Angie This book is everything I would want in the first of a series. It had action, romance, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and most importantly an awesome plot! I loved this book from the moment I read the synopsis to the moment I finished the last paragraph. Sam is a soul collector whose job it is to remove the souls of the damned before their death. But unlike what we sometimes think about Angels being the soul collectors, Sam is a demon. To walk the earth, he must inhabit the body of a human. Although he can take over the body of a living person, he chooses to take over the recently deceased (VERY recently) so that the host isn’t aware of what is happening to him… what a nice demon Sam is! In fact so much of what happens in this story changed my concept of demons and demonic possession. Sam became a collector when he “made a deal with the devil” so to speak to save someone he loved. He just didn’t realize at the time that what he was doing, and he’s regretted his decision ever since. Normally Sam just gets his orders and does his job. It’s what has to be done, but when he gets orders to take the soul of Kate, a 17 year old who has just murdered her father, mother and brother, Sam realizes that something is very wrong and he has to protect Kate at any cost. What happens next is an action packed story that contains all the best elements of any good story. There are car chases, foot chases, breaking and entering, an unraveling mystery and a love story. Not just romantic love, but also friendship and loyalty. The ending did not disappoint. Holm did not rush the ending and it felt like just the right amount of story was written. I didn’t feel let down in the slightest and I literally could not put this book down until I’d finished it. And I am thrilled to find out that Book 2 is coming out in less than 2 weeks!! I can not wait to get my hands on that one!! This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
Zelgadas More than 1 year ago
I preordered this book based on a Twitter recommendation that described it as a cross between Jim Butcher and Charlie Huston, both authors I like quite a bit. I was disappointed when I finally got to read the book. It's an interesting enough premise: a dead guy whose job it is to collect the souls of the wicked for Hell, but his current job is not what it appears to be. Neat. Even after it didn't initially grab me I kept reading for sixty pages or so before giving up on the book because I liked the premise. However, after having read sixty pages I found that I didn't care about any of the characters. None of them seemed like real people, none of them reacted to situations like real people would, all of their actions and dialog seemed forced, none of them had any relatable motives. The story was interesting but there were no good characters to hang it on; they all felt like cardboard cutouts. The second thing that irked me was the swearing. I'm not opposed to swearing in a novel. Heck, I love Charlie Huston and he drops f-bombs liberally throughout all of his books. That said a swear word, like any other word, has weight and deserves to be used deliberately rather than just thrown into a sentence to make it seem edgy. The latter, unfortunately, is what the author did here. Every time an f-bomb was dropped it felt forced and out of place. It didn't seem like characters swore the way real people would swear. And really, f-ing used as an adverb is still an adverb, and still probably unnecessary. In the end I gave up on this book and started reading a Charlie Huston book I hadn't yet read. I cared about the characters within five pages. That's what I wanted out of Dead Harvest but didn't get.
TerryWeyna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chris F. Holm¿s first novel, Dead Harvest, is supernatural noir at its best. Sam Thornton, who is as surely named for Dashiell Hammett¿s Sam Spade as he is for the Hebrew judge of the Bible, is the best sort of hero to serve as the basis for a series (THE COLLECTOR): despite being damned, he still has a strong sense of right and wrong, and refuses to do wrong whenever he has the option. The novel is based on one occasion when Sam has that option. His job is to collect damned souls to speed them on their way to their eternal punishment. His boss, Lilith (whom he always calls ¿Lily,¿ which she hates), has assigned him to collect the soul of Kate MacNeil, who has just killed her entire family. There is no doubt about this, because she tortured her mother until the police showed up, when she ended it by slitting her mother¿s throat in their full view. But when Sam reaches into her chest to collect her soul, he is nearly blinded by the bright white light of her innocence ¿ and more, he learns that something took possession of her body to commit those murders. Sam doesn¿t know how this could have happened, but he does know that if an innocent soul is damned to hell for all eternity, it will set off a battle between angels and demons that will destroy the world. He kidnaps Kate from the hospital in hopes of giving himself time to figure out what to do. That is adventure enough, but things get much messier very fast. First, Sam¿s superiors in the realms of hell (hell being situated here on earth, as well as everywhere else; it¿s a condition, not a place per se) try to convince him to complete his task. Next, an angel ¿ one of the seraphim, no less ¿ attempts the same bit of persuasion. But when all manner of persuasion fails, things start to get ugly very quickly, and they get uglier by the second. Sam is one of those guys who doesn¿t give up, no matter what. Send angels and demons after him; bash him with a car; stab him with a knife; he still won¿t go down. In the midst of a whirlwind of action, Sam is also trying to figure out why anyone would want him to collect a soul that doesn¿t warrant damnation, a thorny problem causing Sam ¿ and the reader ¿ to consider the questions of free will and eternity. Dead Harvest will make you stretch your lunch hours and stay up far later than is good for you, as the action propels the book along at a good clip. And the heavier philosophical and theological questions posed will keep you thinking about Sam and his universe long after you¿ve turned the last page. I¿m already looking forward to the next book in the series, The Wrong Goodbye, which is scheduled for publication in September. One more note: I thought I was completely over the ¿distressed¿ cover motif, but this cover, apparently the brainchild of Marc Gascoigne at Angry Robot and executed by a group called Amazing 15, is really a lovely example of the genre. It looks like a beat-up old paperback of 1940s vintage. Very nicely done.
eenerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written with an interesting premise--a being which collects souls of the evil newly dead to deliver them to the afterlife is ordered to collect the soul of a known murderer. However, when "he" goes to collect the soul of this girl, he finds her soul is bright and shiny, and knows there is something amiss. So instead of letting the girl die and taking her to hell, he keeps her alive and begins to try and solve the mystery. It was getting interesting until demonic possession came into the mix, which I'm totally not interested in. So I didn't finish the book. But if you like demons and the like, this would be a great read.
B-Cyr More than 1 year ago
A fun genre crossing book for fans of noir, horror and fantasy. Check out my full review here:
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Because of religion skip