"Kiwi writer Paul Cleave’s fantastic Blood Men further underline his world-class talent for scary thrillers that mix depth and darkness. Told from the skewed viewpoint of Edward, an accountant losing the plot and worried that he hears the same monstrous ‘voice’ as his serial killer father. Cleave’s writing crackles with energy. The pages whir, but there’s also plenty of sly humour and thought-provoking themes beneath the blood."
I'm not alone in my praise for Cleave, who is a rising star on the world stage (and deserving of much more attention by his compatriots). Award-winning and bestselling authors like Mark Billingham, John Connolly, Tess Gerritsen and others are postively effusive. Here's what Billingham had to say after reading Cleave for the first time (note - Billingham doesn't share a publisher with Cleave, so it wasn't one of those in-house 'quotes' arranged by marketers, but a genuine response to another author's work he came across and enjoyed):
"Most people come back from New Zealand talking about the the breathtaking scenery and the amazing experiences. I came back raving about Paul Cleave. These are stories that you won’t forget in a while: relentlessly gripping, deliciously twisted and shot through with a vein of humour that’s as dark as hell. Cleave creates fictional monsters as chilling and as charming as any I’ve ever come across. Anyone who likes their crime fiction on the black and bloody side should move Paul Cleave straight to the top of their must-read list."
Cleave's novels have been published (or signed up for publication) in several countries, including New Zealand, France, Australia, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and have hit the bestsellers lists in continental Europe. Three of his first four novels have also made the prestigious Listener 100 Best Books annual list (a very rare occurence for a crime writer).
His next thriller, COLLECTING COOPER, will be released in the United States on 26 July 2011, Cleave's second novel to be published there (after BLOOD MEN). I understand it sees the return of the intriguing Theo Tate character from CEMETERY LAKE, who I found quite compelling, despite his questionable practices and decisions. So, understandably, COLLECTING COOPER is one of my 'most anticipated' books of 2011, along with Vanda Symon's BOUND (which didn't disappoint), Michael Connelly's THE FIFTH WITNESS, Ben Sanders' BY ANY MEANS (his follow-up to his very good debut THE FALLEN), and whatever several of my other favourite crime writers might share with us in 2011.
Cleave has also just shared an early version of the US cover (see above) for COLLECTING COOPER on his Facebook page. You can follow Cleave on Facebook here, or at his website here.
Thoughts and comments welcome.