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The Hundredth Man

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A serial killer in Mobile, Ala., enjoys beheading his victims and scrawling cryptic words onto their lifeless bodies. It’s a job for maverick detective Carson Ryder, who butts heads with police bureaucrats (”If the chief was beside me while I choked on a gumball he’d…call a deputy chief…”) and grapples with his own demons. But Kerley’s remarkably gruesome first thriller isn’t very thrilling and gets weaker when focused on Ryder’s romance with a boozy pathologist. Ryder believes it takes a psycho to catch a psycho and relies heavily on a mental patient named Jeremy, whose incoherent rants are more pathetic than menacing.