The Death Collectors
Jack Kerley, , read by Dick Hill. . Brilliance Audio, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59355-587-0
On the trail of a serial killer, Alabama detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus uncover a network of wealthy collectors who'll pay top dollar for celebrity slayer artifacts. There is some irony that Kerley calls attention to our nation's unhealthy fascination with murderers in the course of a serial killer novel. Reader Hill aids the author's intent by employing a smarmy, supercilious voice for a key broker of the murder memorabilia and other unpleasant vocal characteristics—arrogance, brutishness—for the collectors. He also provides authentic and distinguishing accents for a large cast of mainly deep South dwellers, including gruff African-American Nautilus and Ryder, who narrates the novel with an unwavering easy-going, slightly whimsical drawl. But Hill's most impressive achievement is in turning Ryder's brother Jeremy, an incarcerated homicidal madman who, as written, is essentially one more Hannibal Lecter clone, into an original, mood-swinging nightmare whose 180-degree shifts from croon to rant can add a chill to the hottest summer weather.
Reviewed on: 09/05/2005