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Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave - A review

Spooky, empty, a shell of its former house the slaughterhouse rendered its last victim years ago until someone bought young Jessica here one last time. Cold, abandoned, and all alone was no way for a young girl to spend her final moments, bleeding out on the floor of the building that local jokesters christened the laughterhouse by removing the ‘s.’ In fact there was nothing funny about it at all.

Theodore Tate was there to witness the depravity of this sad story, one of his first cases. Fifteen years later, he finds himself back at the scene as a new killer stalks the streets of Christchurch. Four more bodies lie on the slab at the morgue until the police figure out there is a link to Jessica’s death fifteen years before. And the fifth victim—a psychiatrist who testified in the original trial—is missing, along with his three young daughters.

Battling his own demons and injuries Tate finds himself accepted back into the police ranks in order to bring this new killer to justice, and time is running out. If he doesn’t find them soon the doctor will have to choose the order in which his young girls die. With the voyeuristic press hard on his heels, his commanding officer suspended and the city’s psychics all offering an opinion Tate not only has to solve the crime but do it all in time to get to the nursing home where his wife, who has been in a coma for three years, has suddenly gained consciousness. With everything on the line, Tate will stop at nothing to find salvation, sanity and put the bad guy away for good.
Paul Cleave has made a believer out of me. Christchurch is a city I never want to visit. This dark, gripping thriller, the latest in the Tate saga, is as hard-boiled as it gets. The surprise ending suspends all belief. Like a TV series that ends its season on a cliffhanger, you won’t want to wait until next year. This will leave the reader clamoring for the next book in the series now!

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