The Killing Game by J A Kerley (Carson Ryder #9)

My Rating: 3/5

 So it’s been two years since the last JA Kerley release of a Carson Ryder Book. For those that don’t know, or have never read a JA Kerley book before, the books feature Police Detectives Carson Ryder and his partner Harry Nautilus. I haven’t read the early books from the series but picked it up from book 3 I think. In one sense, each book can be read as a standalone but I much prefer to have the history of characters from as early on as possible.

After a humiliating encounter with a cop, Romanian immigrant Gregory Nieves launches a vendetta against the Mobile Police Department, Alabama. Nieves can’t fight a department, so he selects one man who symbolizes all men in blue: Carson Ryder, the MPD’s specialist in bizarre and twisted crimes. From early on the reader knows who the killer is, but in a bizarre shift in books, it seems that it takes the majority of the book for Carson and Harry to figure it out. I would almost go as far as saying they seemed rather secondary to the main character; the killer!

I am really a fan of Kerley and this series, but couldn’t help feeling that we see less of Carson and Harry and too much insight into a sociopath! Don’t get me wrong, I am as interested as the next reader into how these people have no conscience and why, but this time around I felt like it was overdone. Also, there was only fleeting mentions of both Jeremy, Carson’s wacko but shockingly intelligent brother; and Harry’s niece Rein. Both of these characters’, I feel have earned places in the books and I kind of missed them both in equal measures.

Overall, the story was a decent enough one, but I missed the camaraderie between Harry and Carson, I missed other characters and felt like this time around the book was lacking its normal ‘oomph’. The ending gave way to a nice little opener for the tenth book in the series due in December 2013. I will as always really look forward to the next instalment. I just wish this latest book would have given me a little more than it did.

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