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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

24 / 50 books. 48% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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48 / 50 books. 96% done!

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40 / 52 books. 77% done!

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My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

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15 / 40 books. 38% done!

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10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

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My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

65 / 104 books. 63% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

44 / 52 books. 85% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

71 / 165 books. 43% done!
Friday, December 29, 2017

Despite a Didn't-Love-It Debut, Supernatural Detective Series Shows Promise

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ever since he was a little boy, Magnus "Steps" Craig has possessed a special ability.  Both a blessing and a curse, it enables him to see a person's "shine."  Normal people can't see the unique trails people leave behind them as they move throughout their lives; Steps can.  This secret ability has enabled the 27-year-old to work effectively as a member of the FBI's Special Tracking Unit (STU).  Few know about Steps' unusual talent, they only know that the "Human Bloodhound" has an uncanny knack for finding missing persons. 

When the dead body of a young woman is discovered, Steps recognizes her killer's "signature" from another crime scene.  Along with his partner, Jimmy Donovan, Steps travels to California to track down the bloodthirsty monster.  As they identify the murderer's victims, the duo began to close in on the killer's identity.  Then, his/her MO changes.  With a new puzzle to solve, the case becomes even more challenging.  With lives on the line—including their own—Steps and Jimmy have to find the killer.  Before they become the next victims.

I'd heard good things about Collecting the Dead, a debut mystery/thriller by crime analyst Spencer Kope, so I picked it up expecting an exciting, engrossing novel.  Did I get it?  Sort of.  While the story's compelling, I wouldn't call the book a page turner.  I wanted to know what was going to happen, yes, but I didn't find myself racing to the finale.  Still.  Collecting the Dead surprised me by being less dark and gory than other novels of this sort.  In fact, it's lighter and funnier than its fellows.  The humor is way overdone in parts, but overall, Steps comes off as a funny, likable narrator.  He acts like an old man, true, but he remains brave, devoted, and compassionate.  I enjoyed him as a narrator, even though I didn't end up loving Collecting the Dead.  This series has promise, though, so I'm willing to give the next installment a try.  I'm not chomping at the bit or anything, but I wouldn't mind taking another ride with Magnus "Steps" Craig.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a little of The Body Finder series [The Body Finder; Desires of the DeadThe Last Echo; and Dead Silence] by Kimberly Derting)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Collecting the Dead from the generous folks at Minotaur Books (a division of St. Martin's Press/Macmillan).  Thank you!
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