Collecting Cooper opens with Ex-Detective Inspector Tate, now also ex private investigator, on his release from Christchurch prison. He has served a short sentence for being drunk while driving and running down Emma Green who went into a coma but eventually recovered. Waiting outside for him is Detective Schroder from his old police department who needs Tate’s skills in tracking down Melissa X a serial killer. Tate reluctantly agrees knowing that he now has no position from which to help Schroder. Before he has had time to become accustomed to his freedom he receives another call for help from Emma Green’s father. Emma has gone missing and, as Green puts it, Tate owes him one. He wants Tate to find his daughter alive. The first coincidence that attracts Tate’s attention is that Emma’s university teacher, a professor of psychology and criminology, Cooper Riley, has also gone missing. Tate gradually begins to pull evidence together and discovers that both Emma Green and Cooper may have been taken by an ex inmate at Grover Hills asylum. If he is right then time is fast running out as both have become the victims of an insane serial killer. Paul Cleave sets up a web of fast moving intrigue which leaves the reader breathless, horrified yet fixated while travelling through the horrors Tate faces with him, alongside him.