Trust No One

Paul Cleave. Atria, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4767-7917-1

Edgar-finalist Cleave (Joe Victim) may not be the first to use the epitome of an unreliable narrator—a man suffering from Alzheimer’s—in a murder mystery, but he makes the most of the concept. In a Christchurch, New Zealand, police station, Jerry Grey, whose mind tends to wander, recounts committing his first murder to a woman whom he fantasizes about strangling with her own hair. To his horror, Jerry learns that she’s not a police woman, as he assumed, but his daughter, Eva, who tells him that his memory of the savage knifing of an attractive neighbor, Suzan, was actually from his first in a series of crime novels written under the pseudonym Henry Cutter. Jerry is further unsettled to hear that he had been found wandering around Christchurch and that he now lives in a nursing facility. In another creepy twist, Jerry believes that he actually killed Suzan, “before he wrote about it.” On almost every page, this outstanding psychological thriller forces the reader to reconsider what is real and what is only a product of Jerry’s derangement. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory and Company. (Aug.)
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