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WINNER OF NEW ZEALAND'S PRESTIGIOUS NGAIO MARSH AWARD FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2011
'Riveting and all too realistic. Cleave is a writer to watch' Tess Gerritsen
'Cleave uses words like lethal weapons' New York Times Book Review
Edward Hunter has it all - a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future... and a very dark past.
Twenty years ago, a serial killer was caught, convicted, and locked away in the country's most hellish of penitentiaries. That man was Edward's father. Edward has struggled his entire life to put the nightmares of his childhood behind him. But a week before Christmas, violence once again makes an unwelcome appearance into his world. Suddenly he's going to need the help of his father, a man he hasn't seen since he was a boy. Is Edward destined to be just like him, to become a man of blood?
A true master of the genre that only comes along once in a generation, Cleave unveils a brutally vivid picture of a killer's mind and of a city of fallen angels captured at the ends of the earth.
New Zealander Cleave's disappointing U.S. debut focuses on the son of a notorious serial killer. When Edward Hunter was nine, his father, Jack (aka "Jack the Hunter"), was convicted of murdering 11 prostitutes in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the 20 years of Jack's incarceration, Edward hasn't spoken to or visited him once. Edward is doing okay in his struggle to get over his past until the day shortly before Christmas he and his wife, Jodie, get caught in the middle of a violent bank heist that leaves Jodie dead. Edward, who has always feared that he'll turn out like his father, is shocked when Jack contacts him from prison and encourages him to seek revenge on the robbers. He's even more shocked when he takes Jack's advice. While Cleave (The Cleaner) explores intriguing concepts particularly the gray area between guilt and innocence and the steady stream of blood never feels gratuitous, too many subplots and character motivations compete for anything to truly resonate.