Although it's still early days for Paul Cleave in terms of CEMETERY LAKE being available in Europe (both in English, and German translation), things are looking good thusfar. The German translation is still bouncing about in the top 10 bestsellers on Amazon (fighting it out with Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy behind Dan Brown's latest, sitting at #1) and receiving several sparkling reviews (judging by star-ratings and the few I've been able to translate - thanks Google).
I also just stumbled over a review in the Dutch Daily News from a few weeks ago, listing it as a "must read" crime story - you can read more on that review HERE.
Carla McKay in the Daily Mail also gave a largely positive review last week, saying "Cleave writes well and the novel buzzes along at breakneck speed", though she did consider the plot "descends into farce" near the end. I can see why she might say that, although I think 'farce' is the wrong word (it's a pity McKay's review was so short, so she couldn't clarify what she meant). Events become somewhat outlandish, but I think that's the point - Tate is driven (through circumstance, past events, and bad choices) into some 'crazy' places... and that's part of the ride the novel purposefully takes you on.
Some of the European Amazon reviewers (UK and Germany) have said things like:
"From the opening scene in 'Cemetery Lake' through to its sticky conclusion I was absorbed into the dark world of Theodore Tate and Cleave's mysterious world; which paints Christchurch in dark light you don't normally associate with New Zealand. Cleave is an author to watch in the future."
"With "Cemetery Lake", Paul Cleave provides another masterpiece of thriller genre. I read his first two books in German - "The Cleaner" and "The Killing Hour" - and couldn't wait for Cemetery Lake to come out in Germany so I ordered it from New Zealand... And I can inform you, I'm really glad I did. It's a real clever story wrapped in a brilliant exciting action, which turns serveral times. Reading it is like eating potatoe chips, once you start eating, you cannot stop. My opinion: "Cemetery Lake" is a book which I could not do without in my book collection ..." (translated from German review)
"Paul Cleave again to captivate the reader, to fascinate and to ensure that the nights are very long, because this book would simply not Laying down! Paul Cleave not only manages to write a story in this book extremely interesting, exciting, frightening, is ironic and humorous, he does so in a way can have a hope that this author will write thousands more of these books! Paul Cleave is a writer whose books you should not miss - The pleasure is guaranteed!" (translated from German review)
So that's looking promising. Hopefully more English-speaking readers (in the UK, NZ, Australia, Canada (when it is released there early next year) and perhaps eventually the USA) will give Paul Cleave's writing, and then other Kiwi crime/thriller writers' writing, a go...
I'd be interested to hear what some of my fellow bloggers in Europe (Maxine, Karen, Dorte etc) think of Cleave's writing, once you've had a chance to read CEMETERY LAKE...