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Dead Harvest

(The Collector #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,459 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.

Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent 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.

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Angry Robot
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Bridget Try Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey -- first book in a series of supernatural hard-boiled noir fiction set in L.A. and featuring dark humor involving…moreTry Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey -- first book in a series of supernatural hard-boiled noir fiction set in L.A. and featuring dark humor involving the denizens of hell and heaven.(less)

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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,459 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Trudi
”What happens when a collector reaches the breaking point?”
“They go mad. They begin to enjoy the work. They delight in their role. They bury their humanity so deep, they can’t even hear its screams. And eventually, their soul just withers and dies. You wanna know what’s worse than being damned? Allowing your soul to be snuffed out, just erased from the record books like it never was. There is no greater punishment in existence and no greater crime, than being party to your own eradication. It’s
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nancy by: Jeffrey Keeten
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

5 stars for the cover and the publisher name!

I’ve been wanting to read an Angry Robot book and my friends’ enthusiastic reviews led me to grab this one from the library.

I just wish I could muster as much enthusiasm for the rest of the book.

I like noir and hard-boiled mysteries, but urban fantasy has been hit or miss for me lately and I’m not sure how I feel about combining the two.

Still, this was a fun, gripping and intense story for 2/3 of the book, at least.


This was a blast -- a seamless mash-up of pulpy noir goodness set in a gritty urban landscape featuring soul Collectors and very bad ass mofo angels and demons. Who would I recommend this book to? Fans of the movie The Prophecy most definitely. And to a lesser extent that movie Fallen starring Denzel Washinton and Elias Koteas (I love Elias Koteas).

And if you've ever been a fan of Supernatural's angel-demon-apocalypse epic story arc then this is most definitely the book for you. Even though
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to read an action movie

Dead Harvest comes to be by way of some very enthusiastic reviews of good friends, but I confess it missed me. While it started off well with an engaging character hook featuring a soul collector, by mid-book, I found myself bored by the repetitive plotting. I set it down for a week, returning only with the goal of providing a review.

The brief: Sam Thorton is now a soul collector, harvesting souls bound for Hell. With the job comes the ability to body-hop, either by 'riding' a living body--and
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: Trudi and Brandon
Shelves: blog
You know those kitschy Chinese lucky cats? Yeah, well, next time you're dining at a local Chinese restaurant, you might want to pick up one, or two, or three to have on hand for when shit gets real. This is the most important lesson I learned from Dead Harvest, but you'll have to read the book to find out why.

Sam has been merrily plucking the souls of the living for decades now, with no remorse. As a Death Collector, remorse really isn't an issue. Souls need to be harvested when their hosts are
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Noir Fiction
Shelves: ebook, 2012, fiction
Sam is a collector. A collector of souls! You see, Sam's wife had contracted a strain of TB and in a moment of desperation, Sam accepted a sketchy employment opportunity from a gentleman named Dumas. While Dumas promised a complete recovery on the part of Sam's wife, he remained closed mouth on the true nature of his employment. Unfortunately for many, deals of this nature are extremely short sighted and if Sam possessed the foresight to know what his future would entail, he may have taken a ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
Formulaic plot told in a shiny way.

Chris Holm has written an enjoyable book with cover art to die for. It's about this guy who loses his soul to a demon or whatever and has to collect souls for eternity or until they find something worse for him. But he doesn't want to this one time and because he doesn't the apocalypse is on the cards. Cue mad dash to save the world by discovering the real reason behind his hesitant approach to his given task.
“Just because you're thinking about stabbing
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, fantasy, 2012
Two of my favourite TV shows of seasons long past were Dead Like Me and Reaper . Both of these shows dealt with characters who collected souls, though one was actually already dead, George from Dead Like Me, while the other, Sam from Reaper, was still alive, but due to a deal his parents made, he was a bounty hunter for the Devil, who retrieved souls escaped from Hell. So it isn't much of a surprise that when I read the above blurb for Chris F. Holm's debut novel Dead Harvest, I was ...more
Sean Cummings
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have a soft spot for anti-heroes. I think it all started with the movie Dirty Harry – no, scratch that. It started with Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer. If you don’t know who Mike Hammer is, you’ve been living under a rock: think bad-ass private eye. Serious pulp fiction. Chain smoking, whiskey drinking, get the case solved tough guy with a soft spot for dames in distress.

There’s a whole hell of a lot of Mike Hammer in Chris F. Holm’s just released DEAD HARVEST. Right from the pulp fiction
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He is a collector he collects from those marked for collection. One routine job is about to prove troublesome something goes wrong.
Whats to follow is he finds himself in company of a beautiful young girl with a harrowing and bloody past that she has no recollection of being part of.
Humorous moments, interestingly original and supernatural.
In a world where all is not what it seems and literally in this tale the main protagonist Sam 'the collector' knows and learns even more of this reality.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sam Thornton is a Collector: one of the Damned, eternally cursed to collect souls, usually by inhabiting recently-dead bodies and then touching the victim in question.

He’s been doing it for a while and has that world-weariness of someone who has been undertaking work they dislike for a long time.

The latest job seems straightforward: teenage Kate MacNeil was found by the police covered in blood and cutting her mother’s throat, after seemingly having repeatedly stabbed and killed her mother,
Ben Babcock
Have you made a deal with the devil? Worried about how your soul will be conveyed to its eternal torment upon the expiry of that deal? Not sure you can trust the Grim Reaper with so important a task? Never fear: the Collectors are here! And they are going to take you straight to Hell.

Chris F. Holm mashes up the concept of the damned, human soul collector with the tradition of noir pulp fiction. Sam Thornton hops from body to body, preferring to possess dead ones, all the better for maintaining
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, angels, mystery, crime
Mmm, this was awesome. I love the cover, for a start -- I love that everything about it announces that it's a pastiche/homage/[whatever word is right] of noir crime fiction like that of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. The title makes that completely obvious (Dead Harvest = Red Harvest, if you didn't get that), as does the name of the main character (Sam as in Sam Spade, Thornton as in Raymond Chandler's middle name), and I think the style works too. I think a lot of that is lost on some ...more
Steve Weddle
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In this fantastic debut, Chris F. Holm brings his solid crime-writing pedigree from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine to an amazing supernatural story that is sure to thrill readers.

I can see this appealing to fans of the TV show Fringe, to lifelong Dashiell Hammett devotees, and to scholars of the occult.

While many people will talk about how deftly Holm marries the supernatural with his crime fiction, what will keep readers coming to this "Collector" series
May 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Sam is a Collector. Long ago damned for committing a heinous sin, Sam is doomed to walk the Earth as a disembodied spirit that can collect the souls of men and women. Essentially immortal, Sam can slip in and out of human bodies (dead or alive) almost entirely at will (although he prefers to inhabit corpses, since the living tend to cause a mental racket when you take over their flesh). When Sam is ordered to collect the soul of a girl that Sam is convinced is pure, he disobeys orders and takes ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have a confession to make – My name is Paul and I’m an addict, I’m hooked on Angry Robot books. There I’ve said it, feels good to finally get it out there into the open. Things got so bad that I’ve actively avoided Angry Robot publications for the last couple of months. Ever since I pronounced them my publisher of 2011 in December, I realised that I had to go ‘cold turkey’ for a while. There was a serious danger of me reading nothing but Angry Robot books all the time and getting stuck on one ...more
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy, read_2012
The premise: a man with a tentative grip on his soul is forced to collect those of the damned

The plot: the soul of a murderous young woman responsible for slaughtering her family is targeted to be the next in line for collection

The twist: the woman’s soul is far from the deviant, violent, and evil thing Sam (soul collector) was lead to believe

The investigation: Sam is forced to question his allegiance, faith, acquaintances and everything else to determine why this seemingly beautiful soul was
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
It all started with a task ...
Sam Thornton is a Soul Collector. His task is to collect souls of the damned. On his latest job, he must takes a soul of a 17-year-old girl, Kate, who tortured and killed all of her family members. However, when Sam touches Kate's soul, he realizes that hers is unlike any other souls that he has taken. Kate's soul is the purest white ... Sam realizes that there is no way Kate is one of the damned. So Sam does one thing a Soul Collecter hasn't done. He defies order
Ramsey Hootman
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Urban fantasy is not usually my genre of choice, but I'm a pretty wide reader so when I saw this brilliant cover, I decided to give it a try. Yes, that's right, I just admitted to buying a book entirely on the basis of the cover art. I still think it's a brilliant piece of marketing, and it does pretty accurately reflect the content of the book: straight up pulp fiction.

Given the premise that I was expecting pulp, I'm not really going to complain about the writing style, which was often clunky
Josh Stallings
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I need some time to digest and write a proper review, but here is the deal; Chris F. Holm is the real fucking deal. He writes like a man possessed and oddly enough about a man possessed, well actually SAM is the possessor. If you have read 8 Pounds:Eight Tales of Crime, Horror, & Suspense then I'm sure you have joined the cult of Holm. I was hooked and couldn't wait to see what he would do with a novel. And yes, it was worth the wait. Disclaimer - not a fan of horror, urban fantasy, ...more
Milo (BOK)
Original Post:

Dead Harvest, outside of The Dresden Files, is one of the few Urban Fantasy novels that I’ve read. And, whilst I don’t normally read novels in this particular sub-genre, (it usually takes something special, or a favourite author – to put out novels in this genre that I will read), I figured that I’d give Chris F. Holm’s very first novel a shot. Yes, you heard me, the spectacular Dead Harvest is a début. Which begs the question – why did it
Nigel Bird
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There’s a lot of class in the writing of Chris F. Holm. Read his short works in ‘Eight Pounds’ or his entry in ‘Pulp Ink’ and that will become immediately obvious to you.

Stepping up to writing a novel that’s going to engage and maintain the interest of the reader is a different matter entirely. I was confident Chris was going to pull it off, but one can never be sure.

Apart from loving the author, I must say that it was the cover on this book that clinched my purchase. It’s retro-chic with
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
You may also read my review here:

When we first meet Sam Thornton, he’s in the midst of being assigned his next job, one that will prove a little more than the status quo. Sam is a soul collector, which means he collects the souls of the wicked and sends them off to whatever hell they’ve been assigned to. This new job sounds pretty cut and dry. A young girl, Kate, was caught in the midst of slaughtering her entire family. I mean, she was caught red-handed,
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah what to do when work emails fail...(this review sort of gives it away)
Anyway the book - I really enjoyed it, and so to find the other two in the series. But what about the book. Well I could say that this is just like a bus, you wait and wait for one to turn up wondering what you will do if nothing happens and then 3 turn up together - poor illustration but be patient. there seems to be a trend of one author coming out with a great book, creative idea and easy reading style which makes them a
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first read a Holm book maybe a year or less ago when I opened up The Killing Kind, Michael Hendricks #1. I'm not sure that I would call either the Collector books or the Henedricks books a series. I think a minimum of 3 would be required to call a series a series and both of these, to date, are 2 books; a first and a sequel for both.)

No matter, I enjoyed the two Hendricks books and now I've enjoyed the Collector book and ready to read the second, The Wrong Goodbye.

This book was complicated
Sabrina Ogden
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In college I dated this guy named Sam. Sam was a pretty cool guy that had a pretty big liking for watermelon. In fact, Sam liked watermelon so much he wrote watermelon poetry. He even wrote me a watermelon poem that highlighted all of the summer nights we spent walking hand-in-hand to the ice shack and eating – you guessed it … watermelon snow cones. “Hey, Hey Little Texas…”

*sigh* I really wish I hadn’t thrown those poems out with the trash.

But like all first loves (okay, maybe he was my…
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guys, look at that cover. I love pretty much everything about it. If I were ONLY judging this book by its cover, it would totally get ALL THE STARS. Listen, though. I don't generally judge books by their covers (okay, that's a lie, but you know what I mean), I like to actually read them before I get all "ZOMG THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVAR!!!"

Before I go any further, click this and just let it play while you read the rest. This was part of my reading soundtrack during this book, because I thought
Stephen West
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a prize in a competition from the publishers, so had no preconceptions about it at all. But I quickly found that I couldn't put it down! The author has an incredibly engaging style, a gift for description, and a fast-moving plot that kept me turning pages to find out what was going to happen next. The supernatural elements are integrated into the gritty, noir style in such a compelling and believable way that you end up pretty convinced that yes, this is how things would ...more
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in quite some time!

A great premise and great pace and development. Once you understand the first jump, at the end of the first chapter, you're in for a treat.

A very exciting book and very glad to see that there is more to come.

Fantastic book, buy it! Do yourself a favour.
Kate Sherrod
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: angry-robot
Stop me if you've heard this one. Boy meets girl. Boy tries to collect girl's soul for the Devil. Boy can't collect girl's soul because girl is blindingly pure (and a hottie). Boy chucks his assignment and steals girl away to try to protect her from all the Hell (and Heaven) that's about to break loose.

Yeah, I didn't think so. And I haven't even gotten to the really novel pleasures this book has to offer. Like the slapstick horror potential of a reanimated cadaver trying to escape Bellvue
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Chris Holm is the author of the Collector trilogy, which blends crime and fantasy, and the Michael Hendricks thrillers. His first Hendricks novel, THE KILLING KIND, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Boston Globe Best Book of 2015, and Strand Magazine’s #1 Book of 2015. It won the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Novel, and was also nominated for a Barry, a Lefty, and a Macavity. His second ...more

Other books in the series

The Collector (3 books)
  • The Wrong Goodbye (The Collector, #2)
  • The Big Reap (The Collector, #3)
“You ask me, I'd guess heaven and hell look pretty much the same," I replied. "Only in hell, everything is just a little out of reach.” 16 likes
“Just because you're thinking about stabbing somebody doesn't mean you have to be a dick about it.” 4 likes
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