The Death Collectors (Carson Ryder, Book 2)
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A terrifying new serial-killer thriller featuring Carson Ryder, hero of the bestselling The Hundredth Man. Thirty years after his death, Marsden Hexcamp's ?Art of the Final Moment? remains as sought after as ever. But this is no ordinary collection. Hexcamp's portfolio was completed with the aid of a devoted band of acolytes ? and half a dozen victims, each of whom was slowly tortured to death so that their final agonies could be distilled into art. When tiny scraps of Hexcamp's ?art? begin appearing at murder scenes alongside gruesomely displayed corpses, Detective Carson Ryder and his partner Harry Nautilus must go back three decades in search of answers. Meanwhile an auction has been announced and the death collectors are gathering. These wealthy connoisseurs of serial-killer memorabilia will pay millions to acquire Hexcamp's art ? unless Carson and Harry can beat them in their quest for the anti-grail.
down and it rang immediately. Cursing Wagnall under my breath, I picked it up. “Christ, how long you people keep citizens on hold?” a male voice said, strong, but with a sub-note of age. “Tell me about the hooker in the motel room, Cozy Cabins. I heard it on the news, the candles. But what about art? You find anything like that? I’m not talking covered bridges on the walls, I mean something small: a drawing, maybe, or paint on canvas.” “Art?” The woodwork seemed especially porous this morning.
Ms Barstow?” “It had something strange about it. Something I could feel, but not see.” “Like what, ma’am?” Harry asked. She gave us a puzzled look. “Like if I looked at it too long, I’d get bad dreams. Does that make any sense?” Chapter 6 We left the law offices and revisited Hakkam. The office air was blue with smoke. Harry flicked through pages of check-in sheets. “Looks like you’re the motel of choice for the Smith and Jones family reunions,” he said. Hakkam shrugged. “No control
on the news.” “And?” “What I didn’t know was DEA had a lock on this guy, tracking a shipment to him from Colombia. When it hit the airwaves the guy was toast, the runners dove underground. Without the coverage, the shipment would have sailed into the arms of the feds.” I winced. “Ouch.” “I about got assigned to traffic control at tractor pulls,” Harry said, peeking around the corner. “Still can’t look at that woman without my teeth grinding. “OK, Carson, let’s run it and gun it.” We came
eyes sparkled as Danbury poured a healthy shot into his glass. He tapped the glass with his finger, grinned at Danbury, said a few words. “Oh shit,” Danbury said. “What.” “He wants me to smoke the damned pipe.” “Fire it up. Bet they didn’t teach that in Jschool.” Danbury made a face and lit the pipe. She puffed and hacked and gagged, tears welling in her eyes. “Scent of heaven, my ass,” she gasped. “It tastes like fried lint.” When it was burning strong, she lowered it to his face. He wafted
more?” Harry said, “And Willow guesstimated the price at a half-million? At those kind of bucks we’re talking three million dollars. I saw two guys shot dead at a crap game over forty-three bucks. What’ll a minimum of three million bucks do?” “Three bodies so far,” I said, showing the count on my fingers. “Wicky, Gilbeaux, Chastain.” “Would this Coyle guy do that?” Danbury asked. “Or is he just running the deal portion? The verification and whatnot.” I snapped my fingers and jumped up,