A darkly compelling serial-killer novel introducing the next big name in psychological thrillers and, in Carson Ryder, a fascinating and complex protagonist set for many books to come.
A body is found in the sweating heat of an Alabama night; headless, words inked on the skin. Detective Carson Ryder is good at this sort of thing – crazies and freaks. To his eyes it is no crime of passion, and when another mutilated victim turns up his suspicions are confirmed. This is not the work of a ‘normal’ murderer, but that of a serial killer, a psychopath.
Famous for solving a series of crimes the year before, Carson Ryder has experience with psychopaths. But he had help with that case – strange help, from a past Ryder is trying to forget.
Now he needs it again.
When the truth finally begins to dawn, it shines on an evil so twisted, so dangerous, it could destroy everything that he cares about…
Praise for The Hundredth Man:
‘A chilling journey into a pitch-black mind’ Michael Marshall
‘The Hundredth Man has a crackerjack plot and wonderfully original rapid-fire prose. Jack Kerley is a writer to watch. And read.’ David Baldacci
‘The Hundredth Man delivers a sturdy hero with a clear-cut mission and a setting that holds possibilities for fresh adventures. Kerley writes in a thrusting style that pushes the action…’ New York Times Book Review
‘A serial killer novel with a difference. The whole story is told in prose as inventive as a fight to the death between embattled virtue and monstrous evil ought to be’ Kirkus
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.
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.
The Hundredth Man
It took me quite some time to finally get around to my collection of Jack Kerley books which have been in my 'to read' pile for ages. In a way, I can't believe I haven't read these sooner, but in some ways I'm glad I didn't - now I have the entire Carson Ryder series to look forward to.
A fast paced read, never dull, my only regret was that I devoured the book so quickly! I've now started the second book in this series. If you have any hesitations about reading this, abandon them now and read it, you won't be disappointed. Thank you, Jack Kerley.