Cemetery Lake

Mr. Cleave makes burying the dead an unforgettable experience from beginning to end! Morbid at times, creepy and sinister too, Cemetery Lake is a tightly-wound, realistic story with a fantastic plot all the way to the end. Graveyards may seem creepy at night, but Mr. Cleave makes them so downright spookily-realistic, you’d think he had personal experience burying-reburying-unburying the evidence! An unforgettable story from start to finish; this is one book you will not be able to put down.

Theodore Tate, an ex-detective-turned investigator, is at a cemetery for an exhumation of Mr. Martin’s body when dead bodies start to pop up out of the lake. Mr. Tate is consumed with guilt as he feels he should have done more originally when the daughter first came to him on the force. Now, Mr. Tate is busy trying to unwind the mystery of where is Mr. Martin’s body, identify the dead bodies bobbing in the lake, see if there are more, who is doing this and why.

While Tate is busy unwinding these mysteries, he’s also dealing with his losses of the past two years. It turns out he never got to exhume Martin’s body as he didn’t have the time needed when he was on the force. Tate is trying to overcome his tragedies: his wife and child were in a drunk driver accident leaving his child dead and his wife in a catatonic state; and him being forced to leave his job under dark suspicions. Now jobless, Tate has the time to get answers to all these questions and more.

While this novel is a stand-alone story, it crosses eerily over another of Mr. Cleave’s novels at times. A more realistic novel with many implications as to who is in charge of the after-care of the dead will not be found. Creepy at times, definitely! Mr. Cleave’s writings are similar to Childs and Prestons’ styles; however, Cleave stresses the ordinary bounds of death. And he accomplishes this by illustrating the extraordinary bounds of stress the living create in order to wipe someone out of existence. I eagerly wait for Mr. Cleave’s next novel.


Book Blurb for Cemetery Lake

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.


Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2013 5.00