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Collecting Cooper: A Thriller (Christchurch Noir Crime Series) Paperback – July 26, 2011


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Collecting Cooper: A Thriller (Christchurch Noir Crime Series) + The Laughterhouse: A Thriller (Christchurch Noir Crime Series) + The Killing Hour: A Thriller
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Product Details

  • Series: Christchurch Noir Crime Series
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439189625
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439189627
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A pulse-pounding serial killer thriller.... The city of Christchurch becomes a modern equivalent of James Ellroy's Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness. Cleave tosses in a number of twists that few readers will anticipate, but the book's real power lies in the complexity of its characters, particularly the emotionally tortured Tate.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Paul Cleave writes the kind of dark, intense thrillers that I never want to end. Do yourself a favor and check him out.” —Simon Kernick, internationally bestselling author of Payback

“Collecting Cooper roars on at breakneck speed, pitting not two, but three deadly adversaries against an inexorably ticking clock.” —Bookpage

“Horrormeister Cleave… will scare you to death, or at least to the point of keeping a night light on.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Paul Cleave is the author of eight award-winning, internationally bestselling crime thrillers, including Joe Victim, finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Ngaio Marsh awards, and, most recently, Five Minutes Alone. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Visit his website at PaulCleave.com.

More About the Author

Paul Cleave is currently dividing his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where all of his novels are set, and Europe, where none of his novels are set. His eight novels have so far been translated into over a dozen languages and nearly 20 territories. He has won the Saint-Maur book festival's crime novel of the year in France, has been shortlisted for the Ned Kelly award, the Edgar Award, the Barry Award, and has won the Ngaio Marsh award for NZ crime fiction.

The New Zealand Listener said that Cleave writes with 'an energy that conventional crime novels lack', and he has been called 'the next Stephen King', 'a rising star of the genre' and 'a writer to watch'. Publishers Weekly have said 'a pulse-pounding serial killer thriller. The city of Christchurch becomes a modern equivalent of James Ellroy's Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness... the book's real power lies in the complexity of its characters,', and

Cleave numbers among his fans top crime and thriller writers such as Mark Billingham, who wrote: 'Most people come back from New Zealand talking about the breathtaking scenery and the amazing experiences. I came back raving about Paul Cleave.' John Connolly called Blood Men 'dark, bloody, and gripping . . . classic noir fiction', and said that in Paul Cleave 'Jim Thompson has another worthy heir to his throne'. The Lab's John Heath calls Cleave's writing 'uncompromising, unpredictable, and enthralling', adding, 'Made me vomit -- seriously, it's that good.' Simon Kernick said 'Cleave writes the kind of dark, intense thrillers that I never like to finish. Do yourself a favour and check him out,' and S.J Watson said 'An intense adrenalin rush from start to finish. It'll have you up all night. Fantastic!'

His novels are - The Cleaner, The Killing Hour, Cemetery Lake, Blood Men, Collecting Cooper, The Laughterhouse, and later in 2013 Joe Victim (a sequel to The Cleaner) will be released.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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That being said, each novel is terrific and highly recommended.
HE Grant
Mr. Cleave is a fantastic writer and once you begin to read his work, you will be just as hooked as I am.
Pammela Olson
I found this book to be well written with interesting characters and a fast pace story.
jackbaile

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Cornwell on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Detective Inspector Schroder meets Theodore Tate at the Christchurch prison the day Tate gets out of jail after a six-month incarceration. He has a favor to ask and needs Tate's expertise in getting inside serial killers' minds.

Melissa X has been terrorizing Christchurch for three years, teaming up with and killing another serial killer. She targets men in uniform, first crushing one of their testicles and then killing them. The money for information leading to her arrest would help Tate out and that would help Schroder--off the books. Schroder cannot help the ex-felon get his job back as a PI, but he will use Tate's help as often as possible.

The same day Donovan Green shows up on Tate's doorstep. Green was Tate's lawyer and he had his own issues with Tate, for instance a drunken Tate crashing into his daughter's car and nearly killing her. Green feels Tate owes him and he wants the best to help find his daughter. She has been missing for 48 hours and that means time is running out.

When Cooper Riley is kidnapped, Tate wants in on the case. What neither he nor the police know is that all three incidents are connected and Tate is in the middle.

There are thrillers that, even those at more than eight hundred pages, fly by in a few hours, and those that take a while to find their stride. Collecting Cooper is of the latter variety.

Paul Cleave moves between several points of view and it is difficult to discern during the first two-thirds of the book who is speaking without a program. Adrian, the collector, sounds like Cooper, the professor and collector of serial killer memorabilia, who sounds like Tate, the ex-cop, and Schroder, a DI with an eye towards the margins of the law, and they all sound like what little there is of Emma Green.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Castle on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is my fourth Paul Cleave book (having read The Cleaner, Cemetery Lake and Blood Men), and I was thrilled that not only does this book have the trademark darkness and powerful, bloodily poetic, storytelling that I look forward to from this author - along with the unexpected humour and charm laced throughout - but that this book shows the author is still developing and growing. I think Collecting Cooper is gutsy, bold, pacey, intense, twisty, disturbing and satisfying. The author clearly has a vivid imagination and the reader is taken on a brilliant dark carnival ride. Thoroughly escapist and refreshingly different in the thriller/ crime genre - I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a thought provoking, memorable and entertaining thriller.
I've given this five stars because I thought the cast of characters were diverse and three-dimensional (even the 'baddies'!) and I really felt as if I was there in that baking hot Christchurch as it all happened... (but happily from a safe distance!)
If you have not read Paul Cleave before it doesn't matter if you read this one first, but if you have read the others as well you'll probably enjoy the references to previous events/ characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Craig Sisterson on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Cleave has become an absolute master at getting readers inside the head of someone with a view well and truly askew, of getting us to care enough about such people (or at least be fascinated by them), despite their failings and faults, to keep us engaged and the pages whirring as we follow their viewpoint throughout his helter-skelter storylines.

Collecting Cooper opens with Tate walking free from Christchurch Prison, where he found himself thanks to bad choices made in Cemetery Lake, into a sweltering heatwave on the outside. Broke and directionless, his plans of avoiding his past life come to nought when first an ex-colleague, Detective Schroder, then the father of the girl a drunken Tate hurt in a car crash, come to him for help finding people who've disappeared. Schroder wants Tate to help track a murderer known as Melissa X, an associate of the Christchurch Carver (Joe in The Cleaner). Lawyer Donovan Green wants Tate to find Emma, the girl Tate went to prison for almost killing. Emma's disappeared, as has her university psychology professor, Cooper Riley. As Tate takes up the trail, he discovers a link to an abandoned mental institution on the outskirts of the city; a place where very bad things happened, years ago.

Cleave's work definitely sits at the darker end of the crime fiction spectrum, far away from the cosy country house killings of fellow Cantabrian Dame Ngaio Marsh, whose name and likeness adorns the New Zealand crime writing award that Cleave is a finalist for this year.

Despite the darkness, Cleave is no schlock-meister; the blood and brutality amongst his pages is merely one part of a compelling tale (although it may be too much for some).
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Format: Paperback
I first stumbled upon Paul Cleave with his masterpiece debut novel The Cleaner. Although still good, his next couple of books weren't quite up to that very high level but his fourth Blood Men came very close. Collecting Cooper is his fifth novel and it also reaches that masterpiece bar. Cleave has a way of keeping you on the edge of your seat as well as including the odd scene or two that just makes you cringe as you imagine it happening to your own body part. There's the odd bit of humour as well, nothing like in The Cleaner but Collecting Cooper is not that type of novel.

Collecting Cooper is narrated by three men with completely different backgrounds, morals and intelligence levels. One is a man who was brain damaged after a brutal attack by school bullies who didn't take to kindly to Adrian pouring urine in their lockers and bags. He now has the IQ of a child. Adrian is into collecting things and only really feels at home in his old place of residence, which is an abandoned mental asylum where he was regularly abused by staff until it was closed. He's read up on serial killers since he came back into society, having heard their tales first hand while in the asylum. He is fascinated by them and dreams of having revenge on the boys, now adults who attacked him. He's already killed their pets but needs to learn more. A university professor named Cooper often interviewed the residents for a book he was writing, so upon deciding to collect the man so he can tell him stories, Adrian is thrilled to observe, Cooper is also a serial killer.

Cooper at first has no idea what is going on. He himself has abducted a young woman named Emma, and waking up in this cell has no idea is she's even still alive.
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