Collecting the Dead

Magnus "Steps" Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him "The Human Bloodhound," since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there's a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability---a kind of synesthesia---where he can see the 'essence' of a person, something he calls 'shine,' on everything they've touched. His ability is known to only a few people---his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.

When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes---the mark of a sad face. At the same time, another killer, one Steps has dubbed Leonardo and has been trying to track for over ten years, appears again, taunting Steps. But while Steps tries to find a clue that will lead him to Leonardo, the case of the Sad Face Killer heats up. The team uncovers eleven possible victims: missing women who fit the same pattern. Using his skill and the resources of the Bureau, it is a race against time to find the killer before it's too late.

My Review

I have found me a new author in my favorite genre...murder/suspense thrillers. I am so happy. Steps is an multi-dimensional character. Although I know Steps may not really appreciate the title of "Human Bloodhound" it is fitting. He has great instinct into the human mind and can assess a scene quickly.

The killer featured in this book had a strong frontal presence. I am glad about this as most of the other books I have recently read in this genre the killer is featured half the time as a strong figure. I felt that both the killer and Steps are on equal footing. The rest of the characters in this book were not just playing second string either. The ending has left me wanting more.

I like the motto of the Special Tracking Unit (STU) "We save the ones we can"


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