Author: Paul Cleave

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Joe Victim

Joe Victim
  • 4 Stars
  • Number: B00A2872LK
  • Release: 2013-09-03
  • Author: Paul Cleave
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Action / Thriller
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Marble Arch Press
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The internationally bestselling author of The Laughterhouse brings back one of his most infamous characters, the dreaded Christchurch Carver—but in this darkly fascinating psycho-thriller…he’s the target.

Joe Middleton has a lot on his plate, to say the least. Arrested for a whole slew of murders he says he can’t remember, Joe—a.k.a. the Christchurch Carver—has been in jail for the last year awaiting trial, charged with the task of convincing the psychiatrists interviewing him that he wasn’t of sound mind and can’t be blamed for what he did. And, incredibly, that’s the least of his worries.

That’s because there’s no shortage of people who like the idea of seeing Joe dead, some of whom are on the inside with him. On the outside, there’s Melissa, Joe’s accomplice in one of the murders, who plans on shooting him on his way to the courthouse before he gets a chance to start talking. To get himself out of this epic mess, Joe has a desperate plan involving the disgraced ex-detective who put Joe away and a television psychic who’s looking to get rich. It’s a long shot, but it had better work—because the people of New Zealand are voting to bring back the death penalty, and the Christchurch Carver is just the poster boy to make it happen.


Cemetery Lake

Cemetery Lake
  • 5 Stars
  • Number: 9781451677836
  • Release: 2013-06-18
  • Author: Paul Cleave
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Action / Thriller, Suspense: Mystery
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Marble Arch Press
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A chilling case of unsolved murders and mistaken identities unravels when a lake in a Christchurch cemetery releases its grip on the murky past in this exciting crime thriller from the internationally bestselling author of The Laughterhouse.

Tragedy can change people. It can turn them into someone or something beyond comprehension. In the two years after losing his wife and child in a drunk driving accident, Christchurch private detective Theodore Tate has stood at the crossroad between the light and the abyss many times. One could say that alcohol made him a different man. One could say lust for revenge made him yet another. But there is only one Theodore Tate.

Cemetery Lake begins in a cold and rainy graveyard, where Tate is overseeing an exhumation—a routine job for the weathered former cop. But when doubts are raised about the identity of the body found in the coffin, the case takes a sinister turn. Tate knows he should walk away and let his former colleagues on the police force deal with it, but his strong sense of justice intervenes.

Complicating matters are a few loose ends from Tate’s past. Even good guys have secrets, and Tate thought his were dead and buried for good. With time running out and a violent killer lurking, will he manage to stay one step ahead of the police, or will his own dark truth be unearthed?

Originally published in Paul Cleave’s native New Zealand in 2008, Cemetery Lake is the first novel to feature Theodore Tate, the “quintessential flawed hero” (Kirkus Reviews) from Collecting Cooper and The Laughterhouse. It is at once a thoroughly entertaining crime novel and an unforgettable drama about the universal battle against the darkness within us all.


The Killing Hour

The Killing Hour
  • Stars
  • Number: 9781451677812
  • Release: 2013-04-23
  • Author: Paul Cleave
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Action / Thriller
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Marble Arch Press
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Imagine waking up covered in blood—but it’s not your blood. There’s a nasty bump on your head, and you can’t remember a thing about last night. The morning paper reports that two young women were brutally murdered. You recognize their names. Pieces of the night before come back to you through the haze. And now you’re the suspect in their grisly deaths. Welcome to Charlie’s world.

In this heart-pounding thriller, only the dead know what happened last night. On the run, Charlie suspects a man named Cyris, but no one believes that Cyris exists. Not the police and not Charlie’s ex-wife Jo, though she wants to trust that the man she once loved is innocent. Soon, Charlie has Jo bound and gagged in the trunk of his car, fleeing across the countryside while the killing hour approaches yet again.

Originally published in 2007 in Cleave’s native New Zealand, The Killing Hour represents the early, “pulse-pounding” (Publishers Weekly) work of a writer known the world over for a style that combines gruesome thrills with clever twists and a heavy dose of devilish humor. Cleave keeps us guessing until the last page of this fantastic psychological thriller.


The Cleaner

The Cleaner
  • Stars
  • Number: 9781451677799
  • Release: 2012-12-11
  • Author: Paul Cleave
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Action / Thriller
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Marble Arch Press
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An international bestseller and one of the top-selling novels in New Zealand’s history, Paul Cleave’s dark thriller is a brilliant, bloody masterpiece.

Joe is in control of everything in his simple life, including his day job at the police department and his “night work.” He isn’t bothered by the daily news reports of the Christchurch Carver, who, they say, has murdered seven women. Joe knows the Carver only killed six, and he’s determined to find the copy cat killer. He’s going to punish him for the one, then frame him for the other six.

     All he needs now is to take care of all the women who keep getting in his way; his domineering mother is one. Then there is Sally, the maintenance worker who sees him as a replacement for her dead brother; and the mysterious Melissa, the only woman to have ever understood him, but whose fantasies of blackmail and torture don’t have a place in Joe’s investigation.

In The Cleaner, a finalist for the prestigious Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction, Paul Cleave brings the underbelly of Christchurch to gritty life in the way that Dennis Lehane does for Boston and Tana French for Dublin. Taut and chilling, it’s a masterful blend of psychological suspense and complex characters from one of the most gifted new authors in the crime thriller genre.


The Laughterhouse

The Laughterhouse
  • Stars
  • Number: B0061NX67E
  • Release: 2012-08-21
  • Author: Paul Cleave
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags:
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Marble Arch Press
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From the internationally bestselling author of Blood Men and Collecting Cooper comes an unforgettable new thriller featuring private detective Theodore Tate.

Theodore Tate never forgot his first crime scene—ten year-old Jessica Cole found dead in “the Laughterhouse,” an old abandoned slaughterhouse with the “S” painted over. The killer was found and arrested. Justice was served. Or was it?

Fifteen years later, a new killer arrives in Christchurch, and he has a list of people who were involved in Jessica’s murder case, one of whom is the unfortunate Dr. Stanton, a man with three young girls.

If Tate is going to help them, he has to find the connection between the killer, the Laughterhouse, and the city’s suddenly growing murder rate. And he needs to figure it out fast, because Stanton and his daughters have been kidnapped, and the doctor is being forced to make an impossible decision: which one of his daughters is to die first.