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The Hundredth Man (Carson Ryder, Book 1)


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About the Author

Jack Kerley worked in advertising and teaching before becoming a full-time novelist. He lives in Newport, Kentucky, but also spends a good deal of time in Southern Alabama, the setting for The Hundredth Man. He is married with two children.


A serial killer who leaves behind headless corpses is on the loose in Mobile, AL. Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus are first assigned to the case but are later removed when their clues to the murderer lead them too close to the law enforcement community. Carson's older brother, a twisted serial killer who is serving a life sentence, understands enough to give them a disturbing insight into the killer's identity. Narrator Dick Hill's ability to represent a variety of Southern accents is impressive, but his performance seems somewhat cartoonish given the confines of this relatively short work. Although rather predictable and contrived, this novel may have a regional appeal; recommended for libraries in the Deep South.-Ray Vignovich, West Des Moines P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

First-time author Kerley debuts with a classically constructed, psychotic-killer-with-a-horrendous-childhood thriller featuring young detective Carson Ryder, himself troubled by a problematic past. Carson and partner Harry Nautilus are the newly formed two-man Psychopathological and Sociopathological Investigative Team, referred to as Piss-it by the other members of the Mobile, Ala., police force. While Piss-it's official mandate is the investigation of murders committed by particularly horrendous killers, the formation of the team is actually a public relations scheme. Nevertheless, when a headless body turns up in a local park, Piss-it has its first real case. At the autopsy, Carson meets new hire Dr. Ava Davenelle, who is handling corpse-cutting duties. "She was dour, abrupt, and projected the femininity of a hammer-yet her motions verged on symphonic." Of course he's immediately smitten, though his polite advances are rejected. Turns out she has her own life as well as a job-threatening problem, which Carson must solve while simultaneously identifying the killer who has meanwhile added several more headless victims to his growing list. Carson's secret weapon of detection is his brother, an insane mass-murderer who feeds him clues on the nature of madmen from an asylum, ? la Hannibal Lecter. Kerley has certainly mastered the form, and the nail-biter takedown scene is as exciting as any in the business. This is a solid addition to the genre, and a series to look forward to. Agent, Aaron Priest. (June) Forecast: The rather dull cover is not going to push this book into the hands of thriller readers, but extensive publisher promotion will help. Foreign rights sold in Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Poland, Slovakia and the U.K.; film rights sold to Stone Village Productions. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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