The Kiwi crime fiction tap in 2011 continues to pleasantly flow, with several welcome new releases on the horizon from authors whose previous work has been both popular and highly praised, including Ben Sanders (BY ANY MEANS, the follow-up to his #1 bestselling debut THE FALLEN), Paddy Richardson (TRACES OF RED, her third thriller and first since last year's #1 bestseller HUNTING BLIND), the long-awaited return of Paul Thomas (Ned Kelly Award-winning author of THE IHAKA TRILOGY), and a new book from the current king of Kiwi crime, in a global sense, Paul Cleave.
New Zealand readers have remained slow to pick up on Cleave's dark but well-written tales, but the Christchurch-based author continues to go from strength to strength in Europe, where his books have been translated into several languages and sales are approaching 1 million copies - phenomenal for a Kiwi author.
Next month Cleave's fifth thriller, COLLECTING COOPER, is released in the United States (it will also be available on Amazon, including in Kindle edtion, for those not in the USA). It sees the return of Theo Tate, the troubled former cop and private eye from CEMETERY LAKE (2008).
Here's the Amazon blurb:
People are disappearing in Christchurch. Cooper Riley, a psychology professor, doesn’t make it to work one day. Emma Green, one of his students, doesn’t make it home. When ex-cop Theodore Tate is released from a four-month prison stint, he’s asked by Green’s father to help find Emma. After all, Tate was in jail for nearly killing her in a DUI accident the year before, so he owes him. Big time. What neither of them knows is that a former mental patient is holding people prisoner as part of his growing collection of serial killer souvenirs. Now he has acquired the ultimate collector’s item—an actual killer.
Meanwhile, clues keep pulling Tate back to Grover Hills, the mental institution that closed down three years ago. Very bad things happened there. Those who managed to survive would prefer keeping their memories buried. Tate has no choice but to unearth Grover Hills’ dark past if there is any chance of finding Emma Green and Cooper Riley alive.
For fans of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island, Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs, and Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series, Collecting Cooper is another “relentlessly gripping, deliciously twisted, and shot through with a vein of humor that’s as dark as hell” (Mark Billingham) novel by this glimmering new talent in the crime thriller genre.
'Glimmering new talent' - that's quite an apt description of Cleave, who continues to garner high praise from many of the best exponents of crime and thriller fiction worldwide (Tess Gerritsen, Mark Billingham, John Connolly, Simon Kernick, etc), along with many reviewers. It will be interesting to see how his readership accelerates as his books become more available in the English-speaking parts of the northern hemisphere.
An advance review from Publisher's Weekly calls COLLECTING COOPER, "“A pulse-pounding serial killer thriller.... The city of Christchurch becomes a modern equivalent of James Ellroy's Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness. Cleave tosses in a number of twists that few readers will anticipate, but the book's real power lies in the complexity of its characters, particularly the emotionally tortured Tate.”
I am really looking forward to reading this book, although I understand a release date has not yet been set for Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, unfortunately. Like many, I may have to acquire myself a US version, as I don't think I'll be able to wait too long.