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The Death Collectors (Carson Ryder, #2)
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The Death Collectors (Carson Ryder #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,247 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
In 1972, on the day of his sentencing, renowned artist and serial killer Marsden Hexcamp is shot dead in the courtroom. Members of his Mansonesque band of followers are imprisoned or simply disappear.

Fast-forward more than thirty years: A suspected prostitute is found murdered in a candlelit motel room, the first in a series of horrors suggesting Hexcamp’s art remains al

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 23rd 2005 by Dutton (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jennifer Daniel
Jun 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sharon
I thought this was a new book, but alas, it was only new cover art. I realized immediately that I had read this (unlike my sister who wouldn't figure that out til the last page. How will we ever know if you get Alzheimers?) It was about the black market selling and collecting of serial killer art & memorbillia and a current murder of an active serial killer. When I originally read this I had to check out and it is frighteningly true. You can purchase Charles Manson's nail cl ...more
I enjoyed this murder mystery quite a bit - particularly the new twist on the relationship of detective and Hannibal Lector-like guide to murders. I was disappointed that I read the second book first, but I am looking forward to reading the first book, and then the third in the series. I liked the characters, the setting, the writing - all in all, I really enjoyed it! It’s always a lot of fun to discover a new mystery series and this one is certainly an intriguing one!
Richard White
Just as good as the first in the series. Thank you Goodreads for recommending this author.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
A fast paced and addictive story line with a set of my favourite Crime/Thriller characters. A non-stop story with action from start to finish.

I was not disappointed. Not in any way. The length of this book had me worried at first as on occasion, crime novels of this length seem to drag a little in the middle, which make it a real challenge to get to the end. But this one kept the pace and the action going from the initial discovery, right the way through to the j
Paula  Phillips
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Death Collectors - Jack Kerley-2006

After Detective Duo Harry and Carson are given the Mayoral award for their unit which consists of just them too. A Series of unusual murders arise , for these two there is nothing usual about the cases they solve and the majority of the time they are dealing with the real pyschopaths in an interesting sorta way. This novel starts with a courtroom case back in the 1970's where a Serial Killer Artist Marsden Hexcamp is awaiting sentencing , he then is shot on
THE DEATH COLLECTORS (Police Procedural-Mobile, AL-Cont) - Ex
Kerley, Jack – 2nd in series
Dutton, 2005 – Hardcover
Detective Carson Ryder and his partner Harry Nautilus are back as the only members of PSIT—the Psychopathological and Sociopathological Investigative Team. A woman's body has been found in a cheap motel room. She's nude, wearing only cheap rings, covered in flower petals, and surrounded by candles. But as the case progresses, they find it ties back to case in 1972, a serial killer and
Sheila Myers
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspense
This is one of the best suspense novels I've read in years. Jack Kerley has, in my opinion, created a plot that is so unique that I wasn't left with the feeling I've read the book before - which has happened to me more than once when novels by different authors all seemed focused on the same crimes with very similar results by the end of the story. I also enjoyed the way he chose to use characters from many different backgrounds and mental states to help solve the crime.
Geoff Battle
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 ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i really enjoyed this much more than the first in the series. Carson wasn't as irritating and Harry wasn't constantly rhyming like an idiot. I also liked deedee SO much more than ava. and less Jeremy was just fine also although the coincidence of the artifact that he found was a bit much. i didn't guess the killer nor the extent of the past mystery. looking forward to the next one. 3.75
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book awhile ago, the title caught my eye. It was a brilliant book, suspenseful and shocking in a good way, lots of twists and turns n surprises, kept me guessing till the end, and when I thought I knew who it was, I was wrong, brilliant book, definitely a must read
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good ending
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars. I feel like Kerley spent too much space giving background information that readers of his previous book already have. Once he stopped doing that and started writing new details, I got into it. I am usually of the attitude that writers should write for the readers who start a series book one and read them consecutively. If someone reads a book out of sequence and misses some background information, they can go back and read the ones they skipped, or they can continue without knowing; ...more
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
I started to lose interest around two-thirds of the way through. By the time I got to the chapters where they were in France, I was wavering over whether to bother finishing. I did however, manage to soldier through to the end and am now left wondering why I ever thought Kerley was a good author?
James Digate
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was alright, some great humor among the detectives. If you like this, you will love an Ed McBain novel. Lots of fun with a few corpses tossed in.
Feb 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jack-kerley
The Death Collectors was a well-written enjoyable read. It is the second book in a series with lead characters Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus, homicide detectives from Mobile AL, who are known for attracting all the strange cases. Their latest adventure begins when a woman is found dead in a hotel room with a gruesome display of candles, flowers and jewelry. A little digging reveals this woman had ties to Marsden Hexcamp, a serial killer/cult leader from thirty years ago who was killed at the s ...more
Helen Magee
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hadn't read the first one of the series, but although there were references didn't feel that I was missing anything major. Story was well constructed, you could see the twists coming, but it wasn't clear how it all linked together until later in the book, well constructed will definitely look out for more books from this author
Apr 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Kerley, Jack. THE DEATH COLLECTORS. (2005). ****. This is Kerley’s second novel, after his debut with “The Hundredth Man,” and continues in the fine thriller tradition. Once again, we go on a case with Ryder and Nautilis, the two detectives who comprise the PSIT squad in Mobile, Alabama. His first novel was probably better than this one, but this one is no slouch. In 1972, on the day of his sentencing, renowned artist and serial killer Marsden Hexcamp is shot dead in the courtroom. Members of hi ...more
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah O'connell
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Read this not realising that it was actually the second in a series until after reading so if anyone wondered, it doesn't matter if you read this one first.

Crime fiction is my favourite genre, and I picked this book to help me out of a reading slump I was experiencing. I motored through it so it must have helped.

I'm not usually someone who will force myself to stay up to finish a book but I did for this one. It was incredibly fast paced, had a good amount of character develop for a crime novel a
John Toffee
The book starts with the trial of serial killer/artist Marsden Hexcamp, who is the leader of a cult (Waco style) cue lots of action, which I don't want to spoil for you. Then fast forward twenty years and suddenly a murder occurs and she is finally identified as a member of Hexcamp's cult.
Bits of art, appearing to be from Hexcamp start to surface. All of which starts a case for Carson Ryder and his partner Harry Nautilus, plus the obligatory love interest.
A good case ensures which involves Ryde
This book presented a totally new topic for a thriller. People collecting memorablia from scenes of a crime, or other 'valuable' items related to a killer and/or a killing. Strange, but yes I do believe there are quite a few of those crazy beings out there.
The case of Det. Ryder and his partner was fascinating, fast-paced and entertaining. However, somehow the character of Carson Ryder didn't leave a such great mark on me. We do learn some things about his private life and his feelings, his styl
Aug 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book after finishing The Hundredth Man in a day. I enjoy mysteries and crime stories, and something about Kerley's writing style draws you in and keeps you turning the pages. I don't know if the second mystery was as well-crafted as the first. It seemed like the author needed something a bit different this time around to extract the female interest from the first story and insert as logically as possible a new interest. I saw another review state that crime ...more
Ishmael Seaward
The second in the series involving Ryder and Nautilus. The plot centers around murder memorabilia, artifacts that are connected in some way to notorious murders and murderers.

Marsden Hexcamp is in the courtroom, attending his sentencing, when a woman shoots and kills him, then herself. Turns out the woman is one of his followers. Marsden reputedly was an artist, so any of his paintings would be valuable to the death collectors. Thirty years later, fragments of his paintings start showing up and
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
This is the second Kerley book I have read in the last week. The first, The Hundredth Man, I wasn't quite sure about, just the writing style was very different, but I decided to persist with his next novel. Really glad I did, I feel he simplified the writing in this offering, less high brow, and literary and more in keeping with a Crime/Murder/Thriller. Great story, Carson Ryder and his partner Harry are back, investigating a series of murders that all stem from a 30 year old serial killer. It's ...more
Tracey Alley
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my second Carson Ryder novel and it not only lived up to the incredibly high standard set by Kerley in the first novel, it surpassed it. Once again he is incredibly descriptive, painting a picture rather than telling a story. His characters are all so believable and once again, Ryder's personal life becomes a chilling sub-plot to the novel. You have to prepare yourself for some rather gory and uncomfortable scenes but Kerley masterfully does not over do these scenes making them even mor ...more
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth a try for my male readers who like Burke, Sanford, and the like. I enjoyed the characterizations and the storyline. It had just enough creep factor to keep me on edge but not enough that made me want to give up.

It did tend to drag a bit in a few spots, but I think that is my problem because if I would sit down and read the book I could make much faster time.

I will definitely pick up another book in this series if I ever get a chance, but for now I will settle for knowing I have
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept picking this book up in book stores to read, finally my husband told me just to buy the book and move on with my life. This was the first Carson Ryder story I read and for the most part I love the entire book (For some reason I'm not a fan of the reporter). I like the dynamic between Ryder and his partner, the story of Ryder's brother and the sick world of collecting murder. Mr. Kerley you have sucked me in and while I've gotten behind on reading the adventures of Carson Ryder (only read ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it - great characters, suitably creepy story with enough twists to keep it interesting.

Only downside is I KNEW this was the 2nd in a series and hadn't taken it on holiday for that very reason (wanting to get ahold of the first one first). Then after holiday looking for a new book to read I see this and I think 'oooh, I was going to read that'. And by the time I remembered it was the second in a series it was too late. It drives me absolutely bonkers to read a book and not get the reference
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is one of the quite twisted book I've ever read. When I read the title, I thought it was something like a grim reaper thing. Apparently not and I'm into a roller coaster of surprise.
Never expected that the seemingly cool and just coming up and down on certain part of the story is actually the perpetrator of the crime ! Somehow, her name just come up through the whole novel and how she created the scene to set up Detective Carson Ryder is unthinkable.
Recommended for readers that like double
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favourite Carson Ryder books. You could tell the author had really done his research on the 'Death memorabilia' business... And apparently it is big business!!
I just can't fault Kerley's books, from the wonderful setting in Alabama to the complex character that is Carson Ryder with a loveable serial killer brother in Jeremy (who pre-dates Dexter!)
I don't think Kerley's books are as widely known in the US as they are in the UK & other parts of Europe, which is a huge shame
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AKA J.A. Kerley

John Albert Kerley is an American author. He spent 20 years in a successful advertising career before writing his first book, The Hundredth Man.

He currently lives in Newport, Kentucky, and is married with two children. He enjoys the outdoors, particularly fishing.

He is the author of the acclaimed Alabama-set series of Carson Ryder novels
More about Jack Kerley...

Other Books in the Series

Carson Ryder (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Hundredth Man (Carson Ryder, #1)
  • A Garden Of Vipers (Carson Ryder, #3)
  • Blood Brother (Carson Ryder, #4)
  • In The Blood (Carson Ryder, #5)
  • Little Girls Lost (Carson Ryder, #6)
  • Buried Alive (Carson Ryder, #7)
  • Her Last Scream (Carson Ryder, #8)
  • The Killing Game (Carson Ryder #9)
  • The Death Box (Carson Ryder #10)
  • The Memory Killer (Carson Ryder #11)