Thirty years after his death, a serial killer makes a comeback of sorts for the connoisseurs determined to collect his artwork.
Marsden Hexcamp always thought of himself as an artist. In Paris, he gathered groupies who hung on his every pronouncement and considered his half-dozen murders studies for “Art of the Final Moment,” a work whose medium is disturbingly unclear. Caught, tried and convicted by the state of Alabama, he cheated the electric chair when one of the groupies shot and killed him and then herself. Now, Mobile Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus (The Hundredth Man, 2004) catch a murder at the Cozy Cabins that points straight to Hexcamp. Marie Gilbeaux clearly wasn’t killed by the late artist or by the acolytes who’ve recently and violently followed him to the grave. Who, then? The disappearance of Rubin Coyle, the attorney who left his prints inside the fatal Cozy Cabin before he vanished, leads the maverick cops to a secret auction for samples of Hexcamp’s art certain upstanding citizens can’t live without. It’s a good thing mouthy TV reporter DeeDee Danbury insinuates herself into the case, because Ryder and Nautilus need all the help they can get doping out why Marie Gilbeaux was killed, buried, then dug up and planted in the Cozy Cabins.
Kerley, who writes like a house afire, has a boundless and truly ghastly imagination that’ll keep you awake long after you turn the last page.