(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 7/12/2013)
I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review... which follows!
RECAP: Former cop (turned Private Investigator) Theo Tate, struggling to overcome his rough past few years, has just been handed the biggest can of worms he'll ever experience, and he's about to open that can. He's having the body of a man exhumed to check and see if he didn't actually die of natural causes, but instead of poisoning (in light of new evidence in a related case that begs the question). Here's the rub: the coffin doesn't hold an older man. It's not empty though... there's a young girl in there. Ummm, strange, right? Yeah, well, not quite as strange as the lake a few meters away from the grave being dug up. Why, you ask? Perhaps the bodies rushing to the surface and bobbing like fishing tackle!
From this point, Theo sets out to put a name to the nameless girl, and it snowballs into a massive case with multiple deaths -- and one ruthless evil.
REVIEW: While it took a bit for me to adjust to present tense from the first person perspective, I really enjoyed this book. It was full of twists and turns, and some pretty shocking moments. The plot was grand and risky, but I think Cleave pulled it off. With a flawed anti-hero who makes poor decisions, a terribly evil villain, and a cast of morally questionable characters, Cleave has turned his hometown of Christchurch into a gritty noir world, ripe for more stories.
I'll definitely be reading more Paul Cleave.
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