February 11

Gallery of the Dead – Chris Carter

Thirty-seven years in the force, and if I was allowed to choose just one thing to erase from my mind, what’s inside that room would be it.

That’s what a LAPD Lieutenant tells Detectives Hunter and Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit as they arrive at one of the most shocking crime scenes they have ever attended.

In a completely unexpected turn of events, the detectives find themselves joining forces with the FBI to track down a serial killer whose hunting ground sees no borders; a psychopath who loves what he does because to him murder is much more than just killing – it’s an art form.

Welcome to The Gallery of the Dead.

 

My thanks to Rhiannon at Simon & Schuster for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.

 

I can only say good things about Gallery of the Dead as I absolutely loved it. It’s a dark but totally gripping read in which Robert Hunter finds himself attending a murder scene and believing that the killer has been too efficient for this to have been his first kill.

From the opening chapter I was hooked – a woman arrives home, she potters through the rooms whilst chatting to her cat. It seemed all too normal, too domesticated and so I expected something nasty was about to happen.  Reading on my mind was whirring with possibilities over what Chris Carter could have in store…would she find something horrible? Is there someone in her house?  Will she receive a terrifying phone call?  From the very first paragraphs you are drawn in and you want to keep reading as you are sure something bad (really bad) is about to happen.

And it does.

Boom – he got me. And for the next few hundred pages Chris Carter was not letting me go – Gallery of the Dead is one of those rare gems where you don’t want to stop reading and the action and twists and shocks just keep coming. “One more chapter?” Hell no…I can give it another hour – at least.

Hunter is back in top form too (this is book 9 in the series).  Gallery of the Dead can be read entirely on its own, wholly self contained and easy to enjoy without knowing the back story.  His analytical mind and sharp eye quickly identifies “marks” left on the body of the victim (no spoilers here) and using the police database to search for similar occurrences he alerts the FBI to the murder he is investigating.

The FBI have already been aware of the killer (this is not his first murder) and they propose a liaison with the police.  The agent heading up the FBI taskforce is aware of Hunter’s skills and is keen to have him on board – but if you get Hunter you get his partner too and with that comes a wisecracking cop who will rub up the FBI agents in the wrong way. I loved the friction and rivalry between police and FBI and it was only made better by Hunter’s reaction to the sniping around him!

If you like a serial killer story, one which will not hold back on the grim detail and the sadistic nature of a murderous mind then you need to seek out Chris Carter’s books.  Gallery of the Dead is a brilliant read – entertainment to the max.

 

Gallery of the Dead is published by Simon & Schuster and is available now in hardback, audiobook and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gallery-Dead-Robert-Hunter-9/dp/1471156346/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1518307286&sr=8-1

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November 25

An Evil Mind – Chris Carter

An Evil MInd
An Evil MInd

A freak accident in rural Wyoming leads the Sheriff’s Department to arrest a man for a possible double homicide, but further investigations suggest a much more horrifying discovery – a serial killer who has been kidnapping, torturing and mutilating victims all over the United States for at least twenty-five years. The suspect claims he is a pawn in a huge labyrinth of lies and deception – can he be believed? The case is immediately handed over to the FBI, but this time they’re forced to ask for outside help. Ex-criminal behaviour psychologist and lead Detective with the Ultra Violent Crime Unit of the LAPD, Robert Hunter, is asked to run a series of interviews with the apprehended man. These interviews begin to reveal terrifying secrets that no one could’ve foreseen, including the real identity of a killer so elusive that no one, not even the FBI, had any idea he existed …until now.

 

I must thank @bookaddictshaun for giving me the chance to read An Evil Mind. Shaun contacted me and asked if I had ever read any Chris Carter books. I had to confess that I had not but I was aware that Shaun was a big fan: as you can see by visiting bookaddictshaun.co.uk

Shaun then asked if I wanted to assist with a project he was working on, mysteriously entitled “Task Force Carter”. His mission was to find someone who had yet to read a Chris Carter novel and introduce that person to Carter’s work. To this end Shaun sent me An Evil Mind to read and report back on.

Having ‘inhaled’ An Evil Mind in record time I can honestly say that I am now a fan of Chris Carter and will be looking to catch-up on more of his books. (I have added two to my TBR pile already).

An Evil Mind is the 6th book that features Carter’s recurring central character Robert Hunter. Having not read the preceding 5 books (obviously) I cannot compare how this title sits against the earlier books but I imagine from the way the story unfolded that this book may be a little different to the first five. I say this as the situation Hunter finds himself in during An Evil Mind could only be done in one book, however, I hope that when I read the earlier books that I will find references to events explored in An Evil Mind. If this is the case then I believe the real reward for a reader is to do the titles sequentially.

However, this is to take nothing away from An Evil Mind which reads extremely well as a stand-alone thriller. The intensity of the story is breath-taking at times and the horrors described made this compelling reading, there was almost a morbid fascination that kicked in making me want to keep reading to see just how evil the book’s central criminal could be. (Very is the answer).

This is a must read for crime fans and will appeal to readers that like a fast paced tempo to their stories. Carter writes in short chapters which give rise to many cliff-hangers throughout the book and keeps the tension levels up as the plot unfolds. His pacing is masterly and the way that Hunter had to gradually draw out confessions from his prisoner over a period of hours almost gave me the feeling of living the story in real time.

When I had finished reading the indicators of a great story were all present: I wanted more when the book ended, I want to read more books by this author and I will have no hesitation in recommending An Evil Mind to others. Added Bonus Points for making me angry at characters (shows that I bought in to the story) and a merit for one particularly nasty twist which cannot be disclosed due to SPOILERS.

My only regret is that I hadn’t read the first five books before I picked up An Evil Mind – no fault of the author, that is purely down to me. A great story with twists a-plenty.

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