A darkly comic thriller, for fans of Dexter.
NOMINATED FOR THE 2014 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
'Cleave uses words like lethal weapons' New York Times Book Review
'A little Hannibal Lecter. A little Richard von Krafft-Ebing. A lot of gore' Kirkus Reviews
Sometimes reality can really get in the way of a good story.
Joe Middleton's story is this: He doesn't remember killing anyone, so there' s no way a jury can convict him of serial murder. He calls himself Joe Victim, trying, as he awaits trial, to convince the psychiatrists that he wasn't in control of his actions, trusting that the system will save him in the end.
But others know Joe as the infamous Christchurch Carver and they want to see him dead. There's Melissa, Joe's accomplice in one of the murders, who plans on shooting him on his way to the courthouse before he gets a chance to start talking. Then there's Raphael, whose daughter was one of the Carver's victims. Though he's tried to move on with life as the leader of a counseling group for grieving family members, he'd like nothing more than to watch Joe pay. Finally there's Carl Schroder, the ex-detective who locked Joe up and is determined to put things right for the case of his career.
To extract himself from this epic mess, Joe has come up with a desperate plan involving a television psychic who's looking to get rich by making people believe just about anything. It's a long shot, but it had better work before he becomes the poster boy for a death penalty that may be reinstated in New Zealand, which isn't quite the dramatic ending he is hoping for...
Cleave pulls out all the stops ... [He] juggles all the elements with impressive ease. Darkly humorous references to horrific violence will resonate with Dexter fans - Publishers Weekly (starred)
A little Hannibal Lecter. A little Richard von Krafft-Ebing. A lot of gore - Kirkus Reviews
Cleave does his usual great job of threading two ongoing stories from two different serials into a single, closely knit unit and as usual, keeps the reader eager for more. It's hard not to empathize with Joe, even cheering for the bad guy is allowed, if for no other reason, we need to know what he will do next - Suspense Magazine
Clever, compelling, and not for the faint hearted. Joe Middleton is the guiltiest "innocent man" in crime fiction
Cleave writes vividly and violently, ratcheting up the tension ... Ferocious and fun - Crime Watch