My Intro to Chris Carter's Psychopath Killer: Gallery of The Dead (Book Review)
Realm of Psychopath Killers
I’ve always enjoyed whodunnit books and movies but the realm of psychopath criminals takes this to a whole new level altogether. There’s widespread fascination with serial killers who go on murderous spree in unimaginable, twisted ways. They can appear to be as normal as your neighbor or family doctor, leaving you with a sickening feeling that you may well be one of their statistics, if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
They [serial killers] can appear to be as normal as your neighbor or family doctor
So when a friend, not known for reading as her hobby, raved about a crime writer recently, I took notice. I’ve never come across this author before, which is surprising, having devoured numerous crime novels, movies and television series. He’s Chris Carter, a bestselling Brazilian author, whose bio reads like a colourful character out of fiction.
Published in 2018, Gallery of The Dead is the ninth out of ten books in a series featuring a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) homicide detective, Robert Hunter. He is no ordinary detective; Hunter uses his skill as a psychologist to catch sadistic criminals where usual investigative methods may not work. Beginning in 2009, the series chart his character development from being the youngest detective in his department with something to prove to the authoritative profiler he is in present day. This time, Detective Hunter is on the hunt for a serial killer who not only skins his victims but collects their body parts as well.
Publication Order of Robert Hunter Books
Year of Publication
The Crucifix Killer
The Night Stalker
The Death Sculptor
One By One
An Evil Mind
I Am Death
The Gallery of The Dead
Chapter one ended with a cliffhanger and I was hooked from the get-go. The victim, a twenty-something beautiful model who lived alone with her cat was found in such a state that a police veteran described it as a scene he would rather forget. Hunter deduced that the unnecessary bloody scene was meant to send a message, especially with a Latin phrase carved on the only piece of skin left behind the victim’s back. It turned out the perpetrator had killed before. Enter the FBI and both parties combined forces, with Hunter playing the key role, in solving the case.
The Psychologist, Guitarist and Writer
The inspiration for the character of Robert Hunter came from Chris Carter’s (author) background in law enforcement. He was born in Brasilia, Brazil and went on to study psychology specialising in criminal behavior in the United States. While studying, he did some odd jobs, including flipping burgers and being a member of an exotic all-male dancers group. After graduation, he began working as a criminal psychologist moving Los Angeles where he completely changed his career to play electric guitars for rock bands. He moved again, this time to London to play for a number of popular artists. As a professional musician, he toured numerous countries before trying his hand at writing crime fiction novels.
As a student, he [author] did some odd jobs, including flipping burgers and being a member of an exotic all-male dancers group
Chris Carter has written a page-turner filled with tension as it draws you into the universe of the killer and his victims, Hunter and his law enforcement partners and the science of profiling. Whilst jargons can’t be avoided, Carter manages to weave definitions within the story in layman terms, so that readers are not bogged down with potential new knowledge. Interactions between characters are brought to life with realistic dialogues, making you feel a part of the action.
I found most characters engaging, especially that of Robert Hunter but couldn't help feeling I’ve missed out on most of his character development. Although the author maintained that each book could be read as a standalone book, it would not be easy to balance the amount of background information to satisfy both existing and new readers.
As for the killer, I felt a more detailed storyline on why and how he became a serial killer would have made him creepier. That, with a quick resolution which seemed rushed towards the end made it seem a bit of an anticlimax.
Still, despite perceived flaws, I intend to read earlier Robert Hunter books (my friend now owns the entire series). Chris Carter and his psychopath killer have me hooked and it’s not hard to see why they are consistent bestsellers.
© 2019 CC Leau