It will be interesting to see how this book is promoted and received, as Cleave has quickly developed a large audience in continental Europe, and will be launched in the US (with this book) in the middle of this year. He has also received acclaim from international heavyweights like Mark Billingham, Tess Gerritsen, and Stephen King - but remains (as yet) relatively overlooked here at home.
I have been fortunate enough to read an advance version of this book, and in my opinion it is Cleave's best book yet - and I really enjoyed both CEMETERY LAKE and THE CLEANER. It sounds like a cliche, but I just couldn't put it down. I've read a lot of good books in the past year, but this was one of the few that I found myself immediately picking up on every lunch-break, water break (I don't drink coffee), and mini-break during the working day after I started it - and then immediately reading the remaining pages in one go when I got home that night.
Like Cleave's previous work, BLOOD MEN is a standalone novel written from the first-person perspective of a deeply troubled protagonist. There are minor character links with some of Cleave's earlier novels, which although separate, all occur in the same 'world' he's created.
In BLOOD MEN, Edward Hunter is a happily-married family man with a great life but a dark past; he’s the son of a notorious serial killer who has been in prison for 20 years and will never be coming out. The son of a man of blood. When tragedy strikes, Edward suddenly needs the help of the man he’s spent all his life trying to distance himself from, and prove he’s not like – but as things spiral out of control Edward begins to hear his own dark inner voice, and begins to wonder whether he’s destined to become a man of blood, just like his father, too
You can read the first pages of BLOOD MEN, here.
Paul Cleave will also be appearing at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in England later this year (I will post more about this soon), as one of the authors on the "Next Ian Rankin" panel.