Blood Men

Paul Cleave, Author
Paul Cleave, Atria, $16 paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4391-8961-0
Reviewed on: 05/31/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
Hardcover - 328 pages - 978-1-86979-271-8
Paperback - 329 pages - 978-1-4767-1087-7
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4391-8963-4
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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. (July)
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