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Death for Sale
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.