Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Paul Cleave is one of the writers I get to share a stage with at The Press Christchurch Writer's Festival this weekend. I've just finished reading Cemetery Lake, which I have to say, I loved. Here's my thoughts...
Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave
Private investigator Theodore Tate gets a heck of a lot more than he bargains for when an exhumation for a case brings to the surface, literally, more bodies. And when the body in the coffin isn’t the man whose name is carved on the stone, but that of a young woman, Tate’s past and present get thrown into turmoil.
The link with a case from his former life as a police detective leaves him unable to walk away from this without trying to make amends for past bad judgment, and to keep his own secrets hidden.
Life seems to spiral downwards at ever-increasing speed for Tate, and you can’t help but empathise for him and the increasingly difficult situations and self-destruction he gets himself into. You have to keep reading with an almost train-wreck fascination. Tate is wonderfully drawn character and turbulent narrator for what is a fast paced and exciting thriller.
This is the third, and I think best book from Cleave. It is once again set in Christchurch and I enjoyed the frequent references to and intersections with events from his first book the Cleaner.
Cleave has enjoyed success with his other books in Germany and Europe, and I’m certain this one will be the same. It’s great Kiwi crime-writing.