In this chilling debut thriller, in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims catches the attention of a murderer prowling the streets of Seattle.
Martin Reese is obsessed with murder.
For years, he has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and studying them in depth, using them as guides to find missing bodies. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results to the police anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs that cops have continuously failed to do.
Detective Sandra Whittal sees it differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case-closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious caller—the Finder, she names him—leading the police to the bodies. Even if the Finder isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, who’s to say that he won’t start soon?
On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom he never met. But when he arrives at the site, he finds a freshly killed body—a young and recently disappeared Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn buried his victims . . . and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work.
When a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder. Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape the killer’s trap, he may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever thought.
Retired CEO Martin Reese, the Seattle-based protagonist of this gripping debut thriller from the pseudonymous Ripley (Canadian author Naben Ruthnum), has a bizarre hobby: combing through illegally purchased police files on serial killers, locating the undiscovered corpses of long-dead victims, and anonymously informing the police of the burial sites. His morbid fascination goes back decades to when his wife's sister vanished, presumably murdered by a serial killer who was later caught and executed. But when Reese finds a freshly deceased corpse buried at a cold-case site in an old cemetery outside Seattle, he realizes too late that he has angered a mysterious serial killer who knows who he is and what he has been doing. With his family in danger and the police closing in on his identity, Reese becomes an unwilling pawn in the killer's twisted game. The intriguing premise, competent character development, and numerous plot twists compensate for the predictable conclusion. Dexter fans will enjoy the creepy vibe.
Very different book, told from an unusual perspective.