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4.4 out of 5 stars42
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 March 2009
Most things in life that can be owned are going to be collected by someone be it stamps, beer cans, or butterflies. However, one of the darker sides of memorabilia collecting is those that collect things linked to serial killers. Detectives Caron and Nautilus stumble across this world in `The Death Collectors' as they try to uncover what a recent murder has to do with a serial killer who has been dead for more than 30 years. Jack Kerley is able to introduce a very real feeling world of legal (and illegal) macabre item collecting. For about three quarters of the book Kernick keeps things in the realms of possibility only becoming more sensationalist in the final section. This works as the book becomes silly, but also fast pace and fun.

Another reason why Kerley's Detective Carson novels work is because of Carson and his partner Nautilus' relationship. Carson is a bit eccentric, but he always gets results so is allowed to carry on; whilst Nautilus is more world weary and old school. In other books in the series Carson's deranged brother plays a major role. Here he takes a back seat and the book benefits from being able to concentrate on a story rather than this odd character. I enjoyed the book, and although it was somewhat generic, the insight into death collectors was good and the story was a fast and fun read.
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2007
Jack Kerley is not one of the best known crime writers, but on the evidence of his first two books, has enough original material to establish himself in the genre. The Hundredth Man was a good debut, and The Death Collectors is the second case for Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus. The lead character, Ryder, is entertaining yet sensitive.

This is quite a complex plot, harking back to a series of murders committed a few decades earlier, and prominently featuring collectors of serial killer 'memorabilia'. The addition of the character Danbury is not entirely welcome, but fortunately this does not grate to the extent of putting one off the book altogether. If you can stick with it, The Death Collectors is a good story and worth a read.
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VINE VOICEon 8 September 2006
I enjoyed Kerley's first novel and was curious to see how he would follow it up. The Death Collectors comes across as a fairly standard crime book, never really scratching more than the surface or plunging into deep dark corners like it's predessesor.

Carson and Nautilus continue to entertain and solidify their foundations as likeable characters, however the introduction of Danbury as a third partner all just seems a bit unnecessary. It feels the Kerley's attemt to create a plucky and fiesty female character slightly backfires as she comes across as just rather annoying.

The plot, although entertaining somehow feels rather diluted and slightly unfulfilling.

A good read but somehow falls just short of the mark.
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on 28 March 2014
My findings so far: -
I'm new to Jack Kerley books, having discovered both the first and second within the past week (loved them both) and now on to the third!
I love psychological thrillers and really enjoy the way Kerley writes: there is substance to the characters and the plots are good, keeping you guessing without being overly convoluted, whilst also maintaining the most imortant why/whodunnit. Yes there is gore (inescapable with headless corpses!), but not so much so that it feels gratuitous.
Keep going Mr Kerley - I understand you're on book number 10, but I'm a fast reader and am hot on your heels!!
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on 12 May 2015
The author is in same category as Karin Slaughter and Michael Connelly....almost. enjoyed the book but preferred the first. I do like the back story and his relationship with his partner which I hope we delve into more.
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VINE VOICEon 12 May 2010
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.
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on 14 November 2012
On the strength of the first book, the comical bits,the suspense, the laid back attitude ,i purchased this book second in the series. On the strength of this book i have purchased the rest of J.Kerley's books, all five of them, so i'm looking forward to lots of time hurtling round Mobile,Alabama behind the demon driver Harry and his companion Carson.Not a James Bond story just down to earth everyday men doing the best they can in this sometimes mad world.
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2006
Having recently read 'The Hundreth Man', I was looking forward to the second story featuring Carson Ryder and his senior partner, Harry Nautilus. Jack Kerley is such an underrated author. The story of yet another serial killer moves along at an artistic pace and I'm always surprised at how much knowledge Ryder has tucked away in his little grey cells! His psychotic brother features again, though not so vividly this time, although, as before, without him, Carson would be struggling to find the answers. Ryder's found a new girl and I have to say she seems a much better deal than the strange Ava he saddled himself with last time round. Between them, they manage to find the killer though it's very difficult for the reader to come up with the same conclusion, given the lack of clues. My only gripe here is that I have to stretch imagination to believe that killer really is the killer, if you see what I mean? I'll say no more on that so as not to spoil the outcome for others. Suffice to say, this is an eminently readable book, well-crafted, well-written and the bonus is the reader will definitely want to buy The Broken Souls - well, this reader certainly did and has done!
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on 20 January 2013
I have read all but one of this series and I enjoyed all of them. Some are great, some are good. Enjoyed this one but not the best. Very easy to read, a bit predictable sometimes but I do enjoy the characters and their partnership. I think these would make a great TV series... not quite Hollywood blockbuster material but highly enjoyable entertainment with good storylines and character interaction. Am ready for the next new Carson n Harry adventure.
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on 25 August 2012
Carson and nautilus are a great team. I read buried alive first and really enjoyed it so decided to read the series from the start. This is the second book i believe in the series. I found it to be too far fetched, bordering on the ridiculous but enjoyed getting to know the characters, ie carson, nautilus and of course the mad bad but 'good' jeremy. Its worth reading if just to get the background for the better stories coming in the series.
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