cover image Collecting the Dead

Collecting the Dead

Spencer Kope. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-07287-0

FBI agent Magnus “Steps” Craig, the narrator of Kope’s compelling debut and series launch, can see the psychic residue—the “shine”—that people, both dead and alive, leave behind them. He uses this peculiar gift as the lead investigator in the FBI’s Special Tracking Unit. Steps is obsessed with a killer he’s dubbed Leonardo, because of the way the murderer, who’s still at large, displays his victims as the Vitruvian Man. More urgently, Steps’s attention is focused on a prolific killer with a penchant for murdering young women in Northern California. After finding a frowning face etched in shine—think of it as colorful paint invisible to everyone but Steps—the agent and his team begin calling the serial killer the Sad Face Killer. Steps knows that Sad Face’s latest abductee is still alive, thanks to the shine on a locket of hers, so it’s a race against time to find her before Sad Face kills her. Kope, the crime analyst for the Whatcom County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office, has introduced a tortured soul who’s a welcome addition to the library of crime fiction heroes. [em]Agent: Kimberly Cameron, Kimberly Cameron & Associates. (June) [/em]