Thursday 16 November 2023

His Favourite Graves by Paul Cleave BLOG TOUR #HisFavouriteGraves @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks #OneLastChance #BookReview


To catch a killer…

Maybe you've got to be one…

 Acacia Pines, USA. Sheriff Cohen's life is falling apart – his father accidentally burned down the retirement home, his wife has moved out, and his son is bullying other kids at school.

 When high-school student, Lucas Connor, is abducted, Cohen sees a chance to get his life back on track – to win back his wife and scoop the reward money offered for Lucas's safe return.

 But as the body count rises, it becomes clear that Cohen's going to have to make the kind of decision from which there's no coming back … a decision with deadly consequences…

 A furiously paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller exposing the dark underbelly of small-town life, His Favourite Graves is also a twisted and twisty story of father-and-son relationships, and the one last gamble of a desperate man to save everything…

His Favourite Graves by Paul Cleave was published by Orenda Books on 9 November 2023. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy as part of this Blog Tour. 

Paul Cleave is an extraordinary author. This is the third of his books that I've read and I honestly think it's the best one so far, and I loved the other two! 

Acacia Pines, USA. A small town, surrounded by forest with an old sawmill standing derelict on the outskirts, there's the now defunct gas station too. It's a place where the sun beats down, yet a storm can brew up extremely quickly. I'd guess it is the sort of town where people say nothing ever happens. Scratch the surface though and you are faced with a history of missing kids, boys who leap to their death, a gas station owner murdered at work. Lots of things happen, it's also a place where those who do evil things can hide in plain sight.  Going about their everyday business, not making a fuss, but behind closed doors, and in their troubled minds, there are terrible things happening. 

The story opens with a wallop; a shocking scene at the local school when teenage Lucas is pushed into a steel locker and left there by a gang of thugs whose only aim in life seems to be to make Lucas miserable. However, there's one person still in school and Lucas is soon out of the locker ..... he will wish, very soon, that he had never been rescued. 

Lucas is now missing. Tortured and abused by a man who has only his own gratification in mind. A man whose own history is dark and full of violence and whose warped and troubled mind makes him think that his own troubles can be weakened if he does to others what was done to him.

Sheriff Cohen has been the local police officer for many years. Behind his professional exterior he has his own demons to contend with.  Debt up to his eyeballs, the threat of losing his house, separated from his wife, a son who cannot bear him and a father whose deteriorating mental health makes him a liability. So much to contend with, and now there's another missing boy from Acacia Pines to search for. The community are relying on him, his team look to him for leadership. Life is pretty crap for Cohen. 

What follows is a complex and multi layered psychological thriller that haunted me for days. Be aware that Cleave does not hold back in his descriptions of violence, bullying and emotional trauma, there are scenes in this story that feel as though the author took a shovel and bashed you around the head .... or maybe he stuck a screw in your eye????

It's not just a thriller though, it's a convincing, no holds barred look at various father/son relationships. The nature versus nurture issue is always a fascinating subject and the three generations of males in Cohen's family are particularly complex and interesting. Who know just what we would do if we discovered that our own children had done some awful things, how would we really feel?  

His Favourite Graves shocks throughout. Just when you think you've worked out the characters and their motives and what they will do next, Cleave pulls another punch - the thunder cracks and you are whirling, wondering just how the hell he is so clever.

The darkness, the intense sense of dread just gets more and more overwhelming as the reader gets to the stunning and totally unexpected ending. Another amazing book from an author who is so talented. 

Paul is an award-winning author who often divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where most of his novels are set, and Europe. 

He’s won the New Zealand Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year award in France, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar and the Barry in the US and the Ned Kelly in Australia. 

His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. 

He’s thrown his Frisbee in more than forty countries, plays tennis badly, golf even worse, and has two cats – which is often two too many. 

The critically acclaimed The Quiet People was published in 2021 and was followed in 2022 by The Pain Tourist – a number-one bestseller in three countries

X / Twitter @PaulCleave

Instagram @paul.cleave

No comments:

Post a Comment