*originally published on 06/29/2016
COLLECTING THE DEAD (Special Tracking Unit: #1) Written by Spencer Kope
2016; 320 Pages (Minotaur Books)
Genre: suspense, mystery, thriller
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY
I was hooked from page one! I could not flip the pages fast enough on my eReader. I had the same sort of reaction when I read David Baldacci’s Amos Decker series. Right off the main character is not like other heroes which I am always a sucker for.
The main character in this book is Magnus “Steps” Craig. He is always called Steps by everyone, and as Jimmy, his FBI partner, says, “Let him tell you the story behind Steps.” Steps is a human tracker, and works with Jimmy in the Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Steps is dubbed the “human bloodhound” because of his uncanny ability to find the victim or killer. Only three people know his secret – his father, Jimmy and the Director of the FBI – he is can trace shine. Shine is the essence that people leave on things they touch and only Steps can see. While he continues to chase the serial killer he has named Leonardo, (due to the way he poses his victims) another case of the Sad Face killer is heating up. Diane, their office agent, has linked eleven victims to the Sad Face killer due to his MO and they must figure out who is next to catch him.
Steps is like Decker in that he can be blunt and literal sometimes but also be like Myron Bolitar (Harlan Coben) with his sarcasm. The fact he has to live with seeing people’s shine he deals with guilt of not always being able to save people. He’s a lot like Decker who has to deal with his perfect memory. Steps and his FBI partner, Agent Jimmy Donovan are are also friends as they spend time together outside of work. He is like an uncle to Jimmy’s son and that side of him is interesting as it balances his life. He also has a love interest with a journalist who keeps him on his toes. While the cases are brutal there is a great balance of humour that keeps everyone, including the reader, sane. If you like suspense I HIGHLY recommend this novel! And, I really hope this is just the beginning of a series!