Audiobook Review: Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope 

31 03 2017


Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope

Read by P. J. Ochlan

Macmillan Audio

Grade: B-
While I enjoy crime fiction, my least favorite sub genre is serial killers because I find more often than not the books seem to revel in the sadism and gore of the killings. Despite that fact, I decided to give Collecting the Dead, Spencer Kope’s paranormal thriller, a chance based on the paranormal slant and comparison to John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. On the positive side, Kope doesn’t feel beholden to the overused plot devices of crime fiction. His main character, Magnus “Steps” Craig isn’t some gruff, down on his luck cop struggling with a tragic past and addiction problems. He’s not fighting against a law enforcement bureaucracy that doesn’t understand him. In fact, Kope goes out of his way to present a positive look at the law enforcement community, painting them as hard working heroes in an often thankless job that too often are sabotaged by the people they are fighting to protect. All this, and Steps special abilities separates this from the average cut and dry police procedural. Yet, despite how much I enjoyed Kope’s approach and his intriguing main character, I lost interest in the overall story, the hunt for a serial killer called The Sad Face killer. I found myself enjoying the lighter moments and the interactions between Steps and the nice blend of supporting characters but pretty much uninterested in the overarching tale. This series definitely has potential, Kope sets a good groundwork, creates intriguing characters and offers nice little twists on and often stagnant genre that may appeal to fans of police procedurals and serial killer tales who don’t mind a touch of the supernatural. 
PJ Ochlan does a great job creating the atmospher of this tale. He moves seamlessly between the harsh realities of the procedural hunt to the almost surreal moments when Steps is lost in his past. My only issue is that at times, PJ Ochlan voicing of Steps felt older than the material depicted, at times. He seemed to have a more seasoned feel, yet the author often referred to his youth. Other than that Ochlan’s performance was excellent and vividly brought Kope’s world to life. 

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