'Compelling, dark, and perfectly paced, New Zealand
writer Cleave’s psychological thriller explores the evil lurking in us all, working relentless magic until the
very last page.'
'Blood Men may very well be Cleave’s best book yet; filled with his recognizable mix of dark crime peppered with sly humour, compelling characters, and exciting storylines with enough tension and interesting twists and turns to keep the pages whirring.
Good Reading Magazine
'Cleave writes like the fine-tuned punches of a middleweight boxer - with short sharp jabs to the solar plexus that make you gasp. The Kiwi crime writer scores another knock-out punch with his latest novel... The pace and the carnage accelerate toward a climax lasting for several pages and leaving you breathless.'
The Courier Mail, Brisbane
'Cleave... should not be read without another human being in breathing distance, and not at night. This is the most accomplished of Cleave's works, not for the writing or the story, which is always strong and original, but because Blood Men has a new edge of complexity. Blood Men is not for the faint-hearted. Cleave does brutality well, full-frontal, and it keeps coming, in Christchurch.'
'Cleave takes readers on a chilling ride through a city gone bad and men gone mad. Can't wait to read the next one... Fantastic.'
Hawkes Bay Today
'The violence is hard and frequent... Fortunately the bleakness is undercut by Cleave's dry sense of humour... Blood Men is likely to stay in the mind long after it is finished.'
The Canberra Times
'Well constructed and gripping.'
Sun Herald - Sydney
'Cleave’s real genius is in the way he plays with the dark and light in his characters. He shows us Edward’s twisted side and yet still convinces us to like him; we see why his wife fell for him; we want him to hurt those bad guys; we sympathise even when we’re repulsed by what he does. Cleave knows exactly how to manipulate, how to hook in readers and keep them turning the pages.
The plot of Blood Men is unpredictable, shockingly so at times, and the writing fresh, fast and creepy. If what turns you off some New Zealand fiction is the sacrifice of story to wordplay then here’s the good news – Cleave manages both brilliantly. And Christchurch with its famously evil underbelly provides him with a ideal setting for a story about the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of our lives.
This is a beautifully rounded story and a real triumph of disturbing, bleak, bloody, compelling crime writing'
Herald on Sunday, New Zealand
'The book is a real page turner and the week that the story covers, from the back robbery to the surprising finale, with all the suspense, brutality, murder and mayhem is suddenly over and one is left stunned and speechless ... if he can crack the US market ... and keep producing books of this calibre then his future is assured.'
Graham 'Bookman' Beattie - Radio NZ National
has the rare ability to craft a story of such technical expertise
his quality of suspense overturns psychology: what we learn of
his characters is superseded by the reader's assumption that the
next set piece has the power to reverse our expectations. Cleave
knows how to keep scenes moving. He defines action without giving
anything away and deletes that which doesn't advance his plot.
The strongest images are those of a doom-laden harsh-shadowed
world, the atmosphere always chilly, grey and cellar-like damp
'If you are after a relaxing weekend read, this is not the one to pick. It is a tense and intriguing novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.'
'The pace of this novel is impressive, enhancing the gruesome content as the reader is taken from one dark act to another through numerous plot turns. A tense, intriguing read with a skillfully twisted ending.'
'Cemetery Lake is an impressive novel from a talented writer. We can understand the worst acts, because we see we might consider the same choice, in the same circumstance. Cleave makes you want to turn the page, and when you get to the end, you want to go out and immediately find another of his books.'
New Zealand Lawyer Magazine
gripping story that should keep crime fans entertained
Adelaide Independent Weekly
thriller has a roaring pace
deft thriller from a rising star of the genre
next Stephen King
riveting and all too realistic thriller. Cleave is a writer to
might be proper to issue a warning here: this isnt a gentle,
nice, fairies-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden novel. People die. Cleave
is a talent to watch
Courier Mail, Brisbane
Cleave has an excellent ability to keep the surprises coming,
and at the same time has carefully and cleverly mapped out the
journey of a criminally insane mind unravelling . . . theres
something disquietingly addictive about Cleaves murderers
Sunday Telegraph, Sydney
When it comes to this genre, Cleave knows how to hook a
Cleave masterfully builds up a picture
427 pages of prose as neat, precise and enjoyably Grand
Guignol Cleave displays a certain adroitness in insistently
plucking the imagination with icy fingers of fear
Crisply written and neatly plotted
An eccentric, intriguing and rather gory story
Good Reading magazine, Australia
an exceptional debut by young New Zealand writer Paul Cleave whose
concept of telling a story from a mass murderers viewpoint
The Daily Telegraph, Sydney
Drags you in your eyes keep moving over the page,
and you mind draws appalling pictures. This is not what I expected
from a New Zealand crime novel. I must banish those stereotypes.
After reading The Cleaner I doubt Ill think of New Zealand
and Christchurch specifically in the same way again. The Cleaner
is strangely compelling and definitely not for the squeamish
Cleaves writing is uncompromising, unpredictable,
and enthralling . . . Made me vomit seriously, its
Jack Heath, author of The Lab
A funny novel from the perspective of the serial killer
might sound impossible, or impossibly sick, or both. But debut
novelist Paul Cleave has pulled it off successfully
mX magazine, Melbourne
New Zealand can produce top murder mysteries
New Zealand Listener, best books of 2006
have come a fair distance as a literary nation when people like
Paul Cleave - and isn't that an excellent surname for a writer
whose characters get dismembered on a regular basis ? - can deliver
his second internationally contracted novel and find himself with
huge audience for his work.
... has an energy that conventional crime novels lack.