Thursday, 1 November 2012

Book review : The Death Sculptor - Chris Carter

Chris Carter gives me the creeps. And I love it ! I read The Crucifix Killer a couple of years ago and was blown away by this new talent who totally masters the thriller/crime fiction genre. (Click through to read my review of The Crucifix Killer here.) I loved the macabre theatricality of the gruesome murders and the originality of the crimes, both things that I rediscovered and appreciated just as much in The Death Sculptor.

The Death Sculptor is the third novel in the Robert Hunter series. As I mentioned, I've read The Crucifix Killer but I haven't read the sequel, The Executioner. That is absolutely not a problem though because the book works perfectly as a stand-alone novel. In fact, I was rather perturbed that, while I could clearly remember the crimes in The Crucifix Killer, I couldn't remember anything at all about the detective, which seemed a bit worrying as he is central to the series of novels. As the series continues, I'm sure we'll get to find out more about him though.

The Death Sculptor provides a new chilling serial killer for Robert Hunter to track down. Chris Carter always comes up with grotesquely complex murders, giving descriptions that are graphic but that leave enough to the imagination to make them even more haunting. I actually wondered how he manages to come up with such grotesquely elaborate crimes - it's a bit of a worry really ! - but the back of the book informs us that, working as a criminal psychologist for several years, he has been involved in over 100 cases focusing on serial killers, murderers and dangerous killers. That explains how he manages to get inside the killers' mindset so effectively and why his work is so realistic.

The Death Sculptor follows another murderer with a gruesome sense of art, using the victims' body parts to create horrific sculptures that leave clues for the detective to crack. The crime scenes are nasty but you never get the sense that the author is being excessively graphic or violent just for the sake of it. The plot is carefully woven, the killing spree has a deliciously horrible sense of purpose and logic and the big reveal at the end came as a total surprise. Classic Chris Carter in other words.

If you love crime fiction but often feel that you're reading the same old plotlines again and again, grab yourself some Chris Carter and it's sure to hit the spot.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £14.99

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (2 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857203002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857203007
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 5.3 cm

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

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  1. I really should stop reading your book reviews. You influence my book shopping habits. ;)

    1. You should get on the publishers' lists as a reviewer - you'd save a fortune ! lol

  2. This sounds right up my street! I have never read this author but I'm off to Amazon to get this as it sounds like Harlan Coben meets Kathy Reichs = Brilliant!
    Great review! I'm with Galina - I don't think I can afford to keep reading your book reviews!

    1. You could probably get the first one - The Crucifix Killer - for peanuts on amazon now and that's great too :)

  3. I love the review and now I am just going to have to get it. I see you have suggested The Crucifix Killer too. ho hum another 2 bboks. I just cant stop buying them. ha ha