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Death Notice (Kat Campbell #1)
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Death Notice (Kat Campbell #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  293 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Perry Hollow, Pennsylvania, has never had a murder.At least not as long as Kat Campbell has been police chief.And the first isbrutal. George Winnick, a farmer in his sixties, is found in a homemade coffin on the side of the highway with his lips sewn shut and his veins and arteries drained of blood and filled with embalming fluid.Chilling as that is, it becomes even more s ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Minotaur Books
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Jul 05, 2015 Libby rated it it was amazing
This book had the best scene in a coffin I have ever read! ha! I have actually read alot of coffin scenes in my time, come to think of it. I will enthusiastically read the rest of this series.
Mar 10, 2011 Helen rated it it was amazing
Death Notice is Todd Ritter’s debut mystery. If the way people are being killed doesn’t make you turn on the lights, then you’re a lot less squeamish than I am. I couldn’t have written this ‘cause I would have scared myself silly. Death Notice starts off with the killing of Winnick, then ratchets up the intensity by giving you just enough time between victims to catch your breath.

You get to know the people in the town and come to like Sheriff Campbell’s commitment to stopping the murderer. Your
This was a quick read, made even quicker because I scanned the pages during the last 20% of the book. By that time, I'd pretty much "gotten the message" and was eager to wind it up. I really enjoyed a later book in this series: Death Falls. This one was rather formulaic as far as the "chase" was concerned; however, it had very graphic descriptions about mortuary protocol and what it would be like to be trapped in a coffin/buried alive which might float the boats of some readers (thanks, but no t ...more
Oct 26, 2011 Dorie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Mo Hayder and Karin Slaughter
A solid debut mystery that was a bit too graphically gory for my taste. If the method that the killer uses doesn’t make you cringe, you’re a much stronger person that I am. Still, it won’t keep me from reading Ritter’s newly released second book.

A killer appears to be on the loose in Perry Hollow, Pennsylvania. The police chief is Kat Campbell, single mother of a boy with Down Syndrome. Nick Donnelly is a Lieutenant with the State Police, who arrives to assist with the case. Shortly before commi
Nov 08, 2010 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers, small-town Pa. folks
Recommended to Eric by: Todd Ritter and his Star-Ledger fans
Todd Ritter's debut novel is the kind of mystery that keeps you turning the pages no matter what else you should be doing. Ritter, a small-town guy, captures the feel of a place where everyone knows everyone else, and how inexplicable, horrifying events at once polarize and enrapture everyone. (Full disclosure: I am a former colleague of Todd's, having once hired him for a job, and grew up in the same region of Pennsylvania.) The mystery is as authentic in its emotions as in its small-town feel, ...more
May 09, 2011 Lynne rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
this was the author's first novel, so I'll give him some latitude, but... he had the bones of a good plot and originality- which isn't easy for a mystery novel. Unfortunately he took his good frame and filled in many spaces with some poorly thought-out characters/scenes It's set in a small town with a 2 person police force, yet it always takes them 20 minutes to travel across town? Overall though, it was a good first effort.
Feb 12, 2012 Yuki rated it it was amazing
Absolutely Amazing! Not too groteseque, but just enough to send chills down your spine. The story was fast paced and well balanced. Every event made you nervous, each page showered with thriller. You can't put the book down xD
Mar 14, 2011 Crini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011, g-adult
Für Kat ist schnell klar, dass dieser Fall zu viel für sie ist und schnell gibt sie die Verantwortung an die Kollegen der Landespolizei ab. Und damit soll sie Recht behalten, denn der Killer treibt ein grausames Spiel und schickt schon vor der Ermordung des Mannes eine Nachricht an die örtliche Zeitung, mit dem Inhalt einer Todesanzeige.

‚Das Schweigen der Toten‘ beschreibt das absolute Grauen einer jeden Kleinstadt: Plötzlich ist die Kleinstadtidylle gestört und ein möglicher Serienmörder geht u
Feb 07, 2011 Marie rated it it was amazing
In Death Notice, George Winnick is found dead on the side of the highway. He's in a coffin and it looks like someone tried to embalm him. If that's not bizarre enough, Henry Goll, the obituary writer for the Perry Hollow Gazette, received a death notice for Winnick before he died. The town's police chief, Kat Campbell, has never handled a murder case simply because there hasn't been one. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Investigation is called in to take over the case. They have been looking for the " ...more
Giovanni Gelati
Nov 08, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing
Right off the bat, this doesn’t read like a freshman effort at all. Death Notice is an excellent novel and I am really looking forward to the follow up, if there is one. Todd Ritter has put together a fun, compelling read that contains all the right elements to make just about anyone that enjoys this genre of novel happy. Have I piqued your interest at all? Hopefully. Here is a look at what to expect once this novel grabs you and pulls your inside: ”Perry Hollow,Pennsylvania, has never had a mur ...more
Inhalt: In der Kleinstadt Perry Hollow wird am Straßenrand eine Kiste aufgefunden, die große Ähnlichkeit mit einem Sarg aufweist. Als Sheriff Kat Campbell am Fundort eintrifft, muss sie schnell feststellen, dass die Ähnlichkeit nicht nur äußerlich ist, denn in der Kiste befindet sich ein Bürger ihrer Stadt, tot, blutleer und mit zugenähten Lippen sowie einer genähten Wunde am Hals.
Zudem erhält Henry Groll, der bei der Lokalzeitung für die Nachrufte verantwortlich ist und sich nie groß Freunde in
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 Thomas Bruso rated it it was amazing
With a cast of eccentric, engaging characters and a haunting plot that will keep you turning pages, new kid on the block, Todd Ritter, has created a marvelous debut novel in DEATH NOTICE. This is riveting dark fiction at its best.

Ritter handles the atmosphere of small town life to a tee. The fictional town, Perry Hollow, is a character in itself: brooding stretch of highways and farmland. For the mystery genre and aficionado, it is a perfect setting.

From the town of Perry Hollow to its police ch
Jul 04, 2012 KRM rated it it was amazing
New to the crime fiction scene is Todd Ritter and what a debut novel he has came up with here! The sleepy town of Perry Hollow has never had a murder, that is until one cold winter's morning when police chief Kat Campbell gets called out to a scene where a home-made coffin has been left at the side of the road with a body of a local farmer inside, embalmed, with his lips sewn shut and a deep cut across his throat. With help from the state police and an obituary writer for the town's paper who re ...more
Kimberly Hicks
Jan 23, 2013 Kimberly Hicks rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kimberly by: Goodreads
Shelves: read-on-kindle
WOW, if you ever wanted to know the correct way to write a murder mystery, Todd Ritter is your man! Wooo Weee, what an emotional roller coaster ride this story took me on. AWWWWWWESOME!

Chief Police Kat Campbell lives in a nice and quiet suburb of Perry Hollow where crime has taken a back seat and the most action Kat may see is for a traffic violation or disorderly conduct. So when her sheriff calls and advised that he got word there was some sort of strange box sitting off to the side of the ro
Nov 09, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Death Notice is Todd Ritter’s debut novel and first in the Kat Campbell series. Kat is the police chief of small town Perry Hollow, Pa., where crime is a rarity. She and the townspeople are shocked when their tranquility is shattered by a brutal murder. Knowing she is out of her league, Kat calls in the help of the state police, which arrives in the form of Lieutenant Nick Donnelly and his task force. Terror is added to Kat’s shock when Nick tells her the murder appears to be the work of a seria ...more
Tea Time with Marce
Nov 27, 2011 Tea Time with Marce rated it liked it
Shelves: review-request
From my blog

Overall a good debut, I can see Todd Ritter becoming an author that has a formula and gets his execution down to perfection. There was one scene, (cemetery) a total edge of your seat, not breathing moment. That was up there with the best authors in my opinion, definite potential.

There were some areas of the story that felt like the norm, I had read it before and other times the tension was built up nicely. A small town dealing with a serial killer, this was done well but when you re
Mar 02, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It's a pretty effective thriller. The prose can be a bit flat and the dialogue was often matter-of-fact, uninspired or cliched, but I cared about the characters and the plot was very well constructed. It had the right number of twists and turns, lulls and frantic action scenes. It was neither completely predictable - there were enough plausible red herrings to keep you guessing - nor so determined to surprise you that the reveal felt like a cheat - I had the identity of the ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
Whew, this book wore me out. Like the characters, Kat, the sheriff, Nick the State investigator and Henry the obit writer, but the serial killer crimes were too graffic for my taste, I don't like all those gory details, plus everyone in the story had something tragic in their past, all their parents died when they were young, which I thought was a bit much. The story takes place in a small town outside Philadelipha, where after years of people leaving and stores being boarded up it was now thriv ...more
Sheila Beaumont
Excellent whodunit and thriller set in a small, quiet town in Pennsylvania that's threatened by a brutal serial killer. Characters are vividly portrayed, among them Kat Campbell, the police chief, who's a single mom with a Down syndrome son; Nick Donnelly, an investigator with the state police who has been obsessed with pursuing serial killers ever since he lost his sister to one 30 years ago; and especially Henry Goll, a reclusive, facially scarred newspaper obit writer with a tragic past. Perf ...more
Aug 04, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would! I picked it up from the discount shelf at the book store, read the blurb, and put it back... was in two minds whether to buy it or not, but decided to give it a go.
It took me a while to get 'hooked', but once the story develops, I found it hard to stop reading!

Warning: it's pretty gruesome! I'm a forensic science student and I see pretty grizzly things on daily basis, but this book actually gave me nightmares! Not for the faint-hearted. I als
Charlie' (Ohana means family)
I found this book in 'The Works'. It was on offer, but I left the book. Not sure about the story line after I bought the book. I finally read and finished it this week. I was left wanting more, but.. I didn't really love the book. I love all gory bits in the book and I was always surprised at what happened next. I loved the characters, I felt very sorry for Kat Campbell, who was the Chief of Police and also a single mother to a downs syndrome child. Each character has their own sad story, the to ...more
Randy Broshar
Jul 12, 2016 Randy Broshar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down

I'm more a cozy mystery person, and this book is darker, scarier, and a lot more gruesome than a cozy. But I couldn't put it down once I started.

The characters were nicely developed, although it's hard to believe so many of them have a major trauma in their life. I particularly liked Kat, the local sheriff, and Henry, the obituary writer.

The writing was nice and smooth, with no misspellings or grammatical mistakes, although there were occasionally spaces in the middle of a wo
Leanne Keenoo
Really enjoyed this.
A small town has just experienced it's first murder. And it wasn't a straight forward one either. The killer has attempted to crudely embalm the body and also notified the local obituary writer of the death before it actually happened.
Kat is the local police chief in charge of this investigation and is disturbed by a second similar murder....
The story was fast paced and the characters interesting although not sure of the relevance of some of their complex back stories.
eastwood  (do you feel lucky punk,well do ya)
very easy reading this book, good characters and good storyline, a few mistakes here and there but kept me interested through out the book,the serial killers name i thought was bit corny but that for me was all that was wrong, i believe this his first venture into this genre, hopefully it won't be his last would definitely recommend this one.
Sep 25, 2013 Yve-Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It's a really good crime story which has some likeable characters who you grow to care about. I particularly liked Henry. The plot kept you guessing a good way through the book and even when I had guessed the name of the killer, I wanted to know why... I hope that there is a follow-on book and I hope that Henry comes back.
Rosemary (grooving with the Picts)
A serial killer terrorizes a small town. Yes it has been done many times before, but there was enough of a story and enough original nastiness in this book to keep you gripped and keen to ind out what happened next. The characters were fairly believable, if perhaps a little stereotypical, and the story had a decent pace.
Author and journalist Todd Ritter holds very little back in his first novel, Death Notice. It’s gritty and suspenseful—and it’s often surprisingly, stomach-churningly graphic.

Read the full review at
Sasha Bruce
Oct 22, 2013 Sasha Bruce rated it liked it
A good first attempt at a crime/ thriller novel. It did leave me wanting, felt some of the character plots lacked a bit of depth. I wouldn't advise anyone to run out and buy a copy, but if passed to you give it a read.
Jul 10, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
A man's body is found by the roadside in a coffin. The real mystery comes from the fact that a death notice was faxed to the local newspaper before he was killed.

This is a good story with enough to keep you guessing. I look forward to reading more in the series.
Oct 09, 2010 Bridget rated it it was amazing

Todd is a mystery writing genius! I became so engrossed in this book that I don't think I was aware of anything else while reading. The in depth plot and memorable characters make Death Notice a must-have mystery.
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: Death Notice - Todd Ritter - How are you getting on? 15 54 Feb 21, 2012 09:36AM  
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Aka Alan Finn

Todd Ritter was born in rural Pennsylvania to a bank teller mother and a father who dabbled in taxidermy. He grew up among "Bambi"-esque forests and wide-open fields straight out of the cropduster scene from "North by Northwest." Appropriately, his two biggest influences are Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock. He lives in suburban New Jersey.
More about Todd Ritter...

Other Books in the Series

Kat Campbell (3 books)
  • Bad Moon (Kat Campbell #2)
  • Devil's Night (Kat Campbell #3)

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