For me, Cleave is one of the finest crime writers out there - still shockingly overlooked in some quarters, while having a very devoted fan base in others. His writing and storytelling is superb. I understand it's not for everyone - especially the darkness and violence in parts, but for me he's never gratuitous, and it always fits the world he creates.
TRUST NO ONE is one of my most-anticipated titles of the year, an absolute must-read as soon as it's available. Here's the blurb:
In the exciting new psychological thriller by the Edgar-nominated author of Joe Victim, a famous crime writer struggles to differentiate between his own reality and the frightening plot lines he’s created for the page.
Jerry Grey is known to most of the world by his crime writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter—a name that has been keeping readers at the edge of their seats for more than a decade. Recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of forty-nine, Jerry’s crime writing days are coming to an end. His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders committed by bad men, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice. As his dementia begins to break down the wall between his life and the lives of the characters he has created, Jerry confesses his worst secret: The stories are real. He knows this because he committed the crimes. Those close to him, including the nurses at the care home where he now lives, insist that it is all in his head, that his memory is being toyed with and manipulated by his unfortunate disease. But if that were true, then why are so many bad things happening? Why are people dying?
Hailed by critics as a “masterful” (Publishers Weekly) writer who consistently offers “ferocious storytelling that makes you think and feel” (The Listener) and whose fiction evokes “Breaking Bad reworked by the Coen Brothers” (Kirkus Reviews), Paul Cleave takes us down a cleverly twisted path to determine the fine line between an author and his characters, between fact and fiction.
I remember talking to Paul about this book last year, and he said he thinks it's his best work ever. I got the sense this wasn't just a marketing plug that authors give out about a new book. He genuinely seemed very excited about and proud of this one. It's a bit of a departure, a true standalone, from his phenomenal Christchurch series that intertwines the lives of Theo Tate, Carl Schroder, Joe Middleton and others. Today on Facebook Paul said:
"This book is my most personal one in the sense that it's about a crime writer, so for the first time (I assure you) I really did get to write what I know. I loved writing this thing last year - I really did - and it completely consumed me in the process. It's also the first time I wasn't able to come up with a title - for twelve months I could never name this thing - so I'm super grateful for my very cool US publishers to have stepped in and given it a title... which is TRUST NO ONE. And the cover... bloody hell, this is by far the coolest cover ever. It's a hardcover too - it's going to look pretty amazing up on the shelf."So keep an eye out for when TRUST NO ONE becomes available. Definitely worth pre-ordering.