Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paul Cleave talks about THE LAUGHTERHOUSE

In some good news, the latest dark thriller from Kiwi crime writer Paul Cleave (who has won awards for his bestselling novels in both Europe and New Zealand in the past year or so) has now been released in New Zealand, a few months after its US release.

THE LAUGHTERHOUSE, Cleave's sixth novel (third to be released in the United States), sees the return of ex-cop turned private eye turned released convict Theo Tate (from CEMETERY LAKE and COLLECTING COOPER). Here's the blurb:

Theodore Tate never forgot his first crime scene – ten-year-old Jessica found dead in the 'Laughterhouse', an old abandoned slaughterhouse with the 'S' spray-painted over. The killer was found and arrested. Justice was served. Or was it?

Fifteen years later, there's a new killer on the loose and he has a list of people who were involved in Jessica's murder case, among them Doctor Stanton, a man with three young daughters.

If Tate is going to help them, he has to find the connection between the killer, the 'Laughterhouse' and a growing list of murder victims. And he needs to figure it out fast, because Stanton and his daughters have been kidnapped, and Stanton is being forced to make an impossible decision: which one of his daughters is to die first.

You can watch a short video of Cleave talking about the book, above.

I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy of the US version a few months ago, and it's an absolutely cracking book - one of my very top reads so far for 2012. I have enjoyed Cleave's previous novels, but I think this may be his best yet (in my opinion), even ahead of BLOOD MEN, which won the Ngaio Marsh Award in 2011. But hey - many of you know that in the past three or four years I've been won over by Cleave's vivid and vicious storytelling, which blends exciting plots and tense pacing with well-drawn, rounded characters who see the world in unique ways and have strong perspectives and voices.

Cleave has earned his way onto my 'read everything they write' list, alongside some other terrific crime writers from around the world. If you like exciting crime fiction with substance at the darker end of the genre, then I think you'd probably like THE LAUGHTERHOUSE.

Here's what a few other critics have had to say:

“This dark, gripping thriller, the latest in the Tate saga, is as hard-boiled as it gets. The surprise ending suspends all disbelief. Like a TV series that ends its season on a cliffhanger, you won’t want to wait until next year. This will leave the reader clamoring for the next book in the series.” — Suspense Magazine

“Piano wire–taut plotting, Tate’s heart-wrenching losses and forlorn hopes, and Cleave’s unusually perceptive gaze into the maw of a killer’s madness make this a standout chapter in his detective’s rocky road to redemption.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)

“An intense adrenalin rush from start to finish, I read The Laughterhouse in one sitting. It’ll have you up all night. Fantastic!” –S.J. Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep

“In Cleave’s third psycho-thriller, Theodore Tate is the quintessential flawed hero, a damaged soul hunting deviants in a forest of moral quandaries.... An intense and bloody noir thriller, one often descending into a violent abyss reminiscent of Thomas Harris, creator of Hannibal Lecter.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A wonderful book.... The final effect is that tingling in the neck hairs that tells us an artist is at work.” — Booklist (starred)

You can read the prologue to the book yourself here.

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