From international bestselling author Paul Cleave comes a gripping thriller about a dedicated family man, who may or may not have inherited his serial killer father’s penchant for violence.
WINNER OF NEW ZEALAND’S PRESTIGIOUS NGAIO MARSH AWARD FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2011
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 New Zealand’s most hellish penitentiary. 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 in his world. Is Edward destined to be just like his father, to become a man of blood? A true master of the genre, Paul Cleave unveils a brutally vivid picture of a killer’s mind and 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.