The Memory Killer by J A Kerley (Carson Ryder #11)

Synospsis: Detective Carson Ryder faces a cunning and inventive adversary in this terrifying thriller from the bestselling author of Her Last Scream.

Young men in Miami are being abducted and tortured after their drinks are spiked with a cocktail of drugs that leaves them unable to recall their ordeal. Despite this, Detective Carson Ryder knows the predator’s name, height, age, colouring … everything. It’s impossible for the perpetrator to avoid detection. Yet he does.

When Carson seeks answers from his brother, a wanted criminal intimate with twisted minds, Jeremy’s odd behaviour sparks even more questions. With each abduction, the violence becomes more horrific, and it’s only a short time until torture turns to murder.

But how do you catch an invisible man?

Kat’s Review: 4/5

Kat’s Review: The reason for stepping back from so many Blog Tours were books like these! I am a big Carson Ryder fan and I discovered it had been 3 years since I read one in this series and I was now 3 books behind so I got back in the saddle with book 11, determined to be caught up this year! Carson has moved areas and is now based in Miami Keys and works alongside Ziggy his colleague. I remembered quickly how much I liked Ziggy and how well he and Ryder go together, although he is certainly not as good as Harry (Carson’s old partner).

This latest installment sees young gay men in Miami being adbucted and tortured and it’s far from pretty. Jack Kerly has an incrediibly descriptive manner and this book’s descriptions of these men had my skin literally crawling. The story had me guessing at who the killer was which I alwasy love and I was so thrilled to see a little more of Carson’s personal life taking a turn for the better. It was fabulous to get back into this series and I realised that I had left it far too long. The other element of this story which has always made it that little bit more special is the addition of Carson’s brother Jeremy and yes, he is back (Thank GOD!).

I absolutely loved getting back in touch with Carson and Ziggy and the rest of the characters in this series. This is a great series of books and I just know that reading this one has put me back on track and I will soon be back to read book 12 in the series named The Apostle.

The Death Box by J A Kerley (Carson Ryder #10)

My rating: 5/5

 Synopsis: Carson Ryder thought he’d seen everything …

A specialist in twisted crimes, Detective Carson Ryder thought he’d seen the lowest depths of human depravity. But he’s barely started his new job in Miami when called to a horrific scene: a concrete pillar built of human remains, their agony forever frozen in stone.

Finding the secret of the pillar drags him into the sordid world of human trafficking, where one terrified girl holds the key to unravelling a web of pain, prostitution and murder. 

There’s just one problem: Ryder’s not the only one chasing the girl. And the others will kill to keep the secret safe.

My Review:  I’ve been reading about Carson Ryder since around the halfway mark with book 5 (this is book 10 in the series). Carson Ryder books are incredibly readable (if you know what I mean). They may not be books that have a major impact at the time, but there is something about this series which keeps me (and plenty of others) coming back for more.  This book however is by far my favourite and was an absolutely fantastic read. Carson is a pretty cool character and his old partner Harry was also a favourite of mine. However, Carson has moved on and is now in a new town down in the Florida Keys. It almost has a ‘fresh start’ feel to it, which certainly makes the book seem fresh even though this is now the tenth book in the series.

With Harry no longer by his side, I wondered whether anybody else would make an appearance. Sure enough when Carson gets drafted into a new Specialist team he is paired up with the least likely of people. Ziggy Gershwin appears to be a nerdy college type of kid that initially seems fresh out of nappies. Thankfully the pairing worked brilliantly and I found myself hoping this is the start of a new pairing. Carson and Ziggy end up getting drafter into a case that takes them into the very dark world of human trafficking. The bad guys were suitably bad, the storyline twisted enough to keep you turning the pages, and the characters are now so real to me I feel like I need to meet them!!!

Something seems to have shifted with this latest book and it’s all good. If you haven’t read any of the previous books, although not necessary I think it helps give you the background of Carson and his brother Jeremy. I can’t say too much (for fear of spoilers), but for those who have kept up with the series, we only see Jeremy for the briefest time. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Jack Kerley has special things planned for book 11! I find it hard to believe that many people haven’t heard of J A Kerley, and if you are one of those people, yu may want to take notice. Kerley is a very talented author who has created a fantastic series that keeps you interested. The storylines are all great and there is no ‘padding things out’ just for the sake of word count. I am so pleased that I am up to date with the series and cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. A brilliant read that I didn’t want to put down.

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.