Monday, September 2, 2013

Cemetery Lake: A Thriller by Paul Cleave

Release Date: June 2013 (first published in 2008)
Publisher: Atria Books

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Theodore Tate's world turned upside two years earlier, sending him into a downward spiral that hadn't stopped. No longer a cop in Christchurch, he's become a private investigator to capitalize on his skills to maintain his facade of being a reputable citizen. On the day he's set to witness a routine exhumation of his client's father, the gates of hell appear to open and unleash the secrets within the cemetery lake's serene surface.

Unable to leave things alone, Tate pursues the series of odd events until the path brings him full circle to face the demons he's been running from the entire time. Tate and the few friends that he has left on the force must hurry to catch those responsible for the evil being done in Christchurch. But will they be too late to save more innocent women? Will Tate be able to save himself?

One of the things I love about winning books through the giveaways at is the ability to find authors that I may never have known about otherwise. I'll be honest. I wasn't familiar with any of Paul Cleave's work but that will definitely change. Cemetery Lake is one of those books that pulls the rug out from under you time and time again. As you read and feel you have things figured out, there goes the rug and everything you thought you knew with it.

The main goal of any author is to suck you into a book so deeply that you find it hard to leave. I'd have to say that Cemetery Lake is very effective in this department. The descriptions, the actions and the characters all provide the reader with plenty of reasons to become lost within the covers. Being set in Christchurch also allows the reader to experience an unknown, yet familiar land and brings its own flavor to the story. Also, I liked how the weather played a key role in the story as well. It was as if the weather was a main character alongside Tate.

I think Theodore Tate has to be one of the most messed up characters that I have read in a long time. The fact that he has any luck at all despite the number of times he screwed up makes him all the more believable to me. I can't believe some of the things he gets himself into all because he's too stubborn to let things alone. The other characters' interactions with Tate are pretty realistic and the number of those believing in him dwindles as the novel progresses akin to how life works in reality.

The pacing of the story is constant from the first chapter. Though there are a few time jumps to move the story along, the action taking places does a great job of keeping the reader invested. At different times, I thought the action had peaked, only to see it climbing once again as another series of events leads to another bombshell. One thing after another happens until you think that there couldn't possibly be anything else. Then the twist gets you.

Overall, I really liked this book. My emotions were all over the place as I read it. From being disgusted to sympathizing to wanting to give the guy a Gibbs smack, I was strapped in and willing to go along for the ride. I look forward to picking up some of Paul Cleave's other books as soon as I can. If you're looking for a suspenseful, crime-filled book that will keep you guessing until that last chapter, you need to take a chance on this book.

Cemetery Lake: A Thriller by Paul Cleave is currently available for purchase in both paperback and Kindle forms. You can pick up a copy at by clicking the link below.
Cemetery Lake: A Thriller by Paul Cleave

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