Jack Kerley worked in advertising and teaching before becoming a full-time novelist. He lives in Newport, Kentucky, but also spends a good deal of time in Southern Alabama, the setting for The Hundredth Man.His love of the suspense genre was sparked at age thirteen, when his father gave him a collection of Saint stories by Leslie Charteris. Other cited influences include William Shakespeare, Louis Armstrong, and any large and moving body of water. Jack Kerley is married with two children.
Kerley's sterling debut introduces Carson Ryder, a homicide detective in Mobile, AL. He and his partner, Harry Nautilus, a black man with a "rhyming affliction," are assigned to a unit that investigates murders displaying psychopathological tendencies. They are quickly put to the test when several decapitated victims turn up with cryptic messages written on their bodies. An alcoholic female pathologist and an obstructive police captain bucking to become a deputy chief complicate the proceedings. What no one knows is that Carson had help solving the case that got him his job. His intuitive brilliance is derived, in part, from the insights of his deranged older brother, who has been locked up for killing their abusive father and the five women who raised them. This is a pitch-perfect psychological thriller, notable for its wit, depth of characterization, gripping plot, highly effective backstories, and the richness of the world portrayed. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/04; with a $100,000 marketing campaign planned, clearly the publisher has high hopes for this book.-Ed.]-Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
'The Hundredth Man has a crackerjack plot and wonderfully original rapid-fire prose. Jack Kerley is a writer to watch. And read.' David Baldacci
First-time author Kerley debuts with a classically constructed, psychotic-killer-with-a-horrendous-childhood thriller featuring young detective Carson Ryder, himself troubled by a problematic past. Carson and partner Harry Nautilus are the newly formed two-man Psychopathological and Sociopathological Investigative Team, referred to as Piss-it by the other members of the Mobile, Ala., police force. While Piss-it's official mandate is the investigation of murders committed by particularly horrendous killers, the formation of the team is actually a public relations scheme. Nevertheless, when a headless body turns up in a local park, Piss-it has its first real case. At the autopsy, Carson meets new hire Dr. Ava Davenelle, who is handling corpse-cutting duties. "She was dour, abrupt, and projected the femininity of a hammer-yet her motions verged on symphonic." Of course he's immediately smitten, though his polite advances are rejected. Turns out she has her own life as well as a job-threatening problem, which Carson must solve while simultaneously identifying the killer who has meanwhile added several more headless victims to his growing list. Carson's secret weapon of detection is his brother, an insane mass-murderer who feeds him clues on the nature of madmen from an asylum, ? la Hannibal Lecter. Kerley has certainly mastered the form, and the nail-biter takedown scene is as exciting as any in the business. This is a solid addition to the genre, and a series to look forward to. Agent, Aaron Priest. (June) Forecast: The rather dull cover is not going to push this book into the hands of thriller readers, but extensive publisher promotion will help. Foreign rights sold in Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Poland, Slovakia and the U.K.; film rights sold to Stone Village Productions. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.