*Spoiler alert – this post may contain spoilers.
I am not a massive crime fan but I really love Chris Carter’s books. I have already reviewed two of them One by One and The Night Stalker but the Gallery of the Dead, released earlier this year, is by far I feel his best yet.
The Gallery of the Dead starts of with a model who is found skinned with blood everywhere and latin carved into her back by a knife. In a twist of events this time the FBI (Special Agent Fisher and Special Agent Williams) are involved as they have had similar discoveries and think it is a serial killer. In addition one of the murder victims happened to be a niece of one of the FBI’s members. This family link in return slowed the FBI investigation down because they were searching for somebody who they thought were killing in revenge but as the bodies pile up it is clear that it isn’t a revenge killing so the FBI and LAPD shift focus to thinking that the killer is creating masterpieces with the bodies.
It is really interesting reading about the relationship that the LAPD and FBI have, it is clear Hunter doesn’t really care and just wants to catch the killer. Garcia and Special Agent Fisher take an instant dislike to each other to the extent that when the FBI gives them the low down on the case so far Garcia nearly finds himself off the case with all the sarcasm he is dishing at Special Agent Fisher.
I found this part of the book harder to read as I really like Garcia and this how backwards and forwards tit for tat really makes him sound like ass. Special Agent Fisher sounds like ass too and this image builds up of her as being this ice queen. She answers her phone and Garcia spots that the image being of a teenager with down syndrome. We later discover that is her daughter. This theme of the LAPD and FBI not getting along as much runs through the book and I wonder (with me being a British reader) whether this is a common theme in American crime.
In this book you can see Hunter is dating a criminal Psychologist, Professor Tracey Adams from UCLA. Long time readers of the books you will know that Hunter keeps himself to himself which I think, and I feel indicated, is certainly due to the fact that his mother died of cancer when he was seven and his father died in a shooting. The relationship doesn’t develop much in this book as Hunter won’t let it. Hunter wants to run a few background checks. I definitely think this storyline will be explored on more detail in the next book.
As we move through the book, the chapters are interspersed with criminal killing the victims, these chapters really have lots of gruesome details and it makes you feel sick. Nearer the end, Hunter and Garcia find out that the killer is collecting body parts and via Fisher they have tracked down his whereabouts to a disused farm in the middle of nowhere. As Garcia and Hunter take the house and Fisher and Williams take the barn, shots are fired and we find that Agent Fisher has shot dead Agent Williams, Agent Fisher then turns on Hunter and Garcia and shoots them both (I won’ tell you why and if they survive, you will have to read the book!)
That plot twist was intense, certainly more than the other books I have read by Chris. The book is long at over 500 pages but it was enough to keep me going and entertained. The only things that are starting to annoy me about the book’s is repeating Garcia’s and Hunters back story to the extent that I am pretty certain Chris has copied it word from word from another of his books. To sum up, if you like a fast paced book with plenty of gore then this book is perfect.