Gallery of the Dead by Chris Carter

Simon & Schuster | 2018 (8 February) | 500p | Review copy | Buy the book

Gallery of the Dead by Chris CarterWhen model Linda Parker returns home after a full day’s work to her affectionate cat and stylish house in Los Angeles she is in for the biggest shock of her life. It will also be her last. Her murder will horrify even the most hardened of LA’s Police Department, even Detectives Robert Hunter and Carlos Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. The murder isn’t going to stay their sole property for long. Clues link the murder to others across the United States and so the FBI soon come calling to claim the case.

But Hunter is no normal detective. He wrote the rule book of detection as far as the FBI is concerned and they know that his intuition and instinct will be invaluable, not least in linking murder victims who have nothing in common. With Hunter and Garcia working alongside Special Agents Erica Fisher and Larry Williams, this case is going to be like no other that Hunter has investigated. The killer is certainly unique. But Hunter believes that the murderer is leaving them messages. If only he can work out what they are. And quickly, too. Time is short, and for the next victim it’s about to run out.

Gallery of the Dead is the ninth book in Chris Carter’s Robert Hunter series, following on the heels of The Caller, one of my favourite thrillers of last year. Just like The Caller, Gallery of the Dead works really well as a stand alone novel. It’s clear almost immediately how talented and charismatic a detective Hunter is and no time is wasted before we’re all thrown into the midst of the case. And what a nasty case it is, too. It is gory but even though I’m generally a squeamish reader I was fine with it. We’re in serial killer thriller territory here, which feels far removed from real life, and so the author can get away with murder.

The relationship between Hunter and Garcia is very appealing in these books and Gallery of the Dead is no different. Hunter can feel detached and a little cold, although he is working at warming up a bit, but there’s none of that distance with Garcia. And in this novel we have the added bonus of Fisher and Williams. The relationship between the four of them adds a human side that lightens the mood in a thriller that is often intense and strongly focused.

The case is most certainly a good one although I had some minor misgivings about the way in which it unfolds at the end (for reasons I can’t mention here). But, despite this, Gallery of the Dead gripped me from its creepy first pages. It’s a substantial book but I read it in a couple of pages, grabbing every opportunity I could to read it. Chris Carter is so good at moving a thriller along, packing it full of intensity, evil and pace. I’m still catching up with the Hunter series and Gallery of the Dead, on top of the superb The Caller, has reinforced my desire to do so as quickly as possible.

Other review
The Caller

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