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The Cleaner: A Thriller (Christchurch Noir Crime Series) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 402 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
The basic plot of The Cleaner is a sort of as it happens memoir by a serial killer named Joe who has been terrorising the streets of Christchurch, New Zealand by night. By day he works as a cleaner (hence the title of the novel) in a Christchurch police station where everyone thinks he is mentally retarded, his nick name is slow Joe, a role he's happy to play up. While keeping an eye on the detectives on his case one day he learns another victim has been added to his tally. Not impressed he decides to solve this new murder himself and deal with this framer with his own justice. Joe's mother is also losing her sanity and memory in her old age and for some reason thinks Joe is gay. Meanwhile swayed by heavy religious beliefs and guilt over the death of her own mentally disabled brother maintenance worker Sally always puts in the extra effort to try and help and reach out to Joe. However her talking to him like an idiot does to a baby forms an impression in Joe's mind that she herself is mentally retarded as well.Read more ›
Cleave's first novel, originally published in 2006, grabs you on page one, shakes you on page three, and on page five knocks you down and applies the boot. Then it really gets good. Set in Cleave's hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, THE CLEANER is told primarily in the voice of Joe, a serial killer who hides in plain sight. Joe works in the Christchurch Police Department headquarters by day, laboring as a janitor, well-liked by all who believe that the gent who toils uncomplainingly was intellectually short-changed at birth. What the police do not know is that the man who walks among them in their own headquarters and observing their investigations is the man the press has dubbed the "Christchurch Carver" and at whose feet seven victims have been laid. This troubles Joe; in fact, he has killed seven women, but only six have been discovered. The seventh victim, who has been credited to him, belongs to another killer, a copycat as it were.
This is something that Joe cannot tolerate, so he begins an investigation of his own, utilizing the police department's own file. Joe quickly comes to the conclusion that the other murderer may well be a member of law enforcement. However, finding out who may not be as easy as Joe thinks. He has attracted the unwanted interest of a woman named Sally, a maintenance worker who sees in the deceptively simple Joe echoes of her deceased, impaired brother, taken all too early from this world.Read more ›
Review by: Kittybooboo13 / © Night Owl Reviews / Full Review on NOR Website
We received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
In this book Joe works as a cleaner at the police station. He acts cognitively impaired so the detectives never consider he is anything other than what he appears. It never occurs to them that he is the Christchurch Carver, so he has easy access to files and evidence as he goes from room to room, cleaning.
The narration alternates between the first person narrative of Joe peppered with flashbacks to his past, and occasional third person chapters that focus on Sally, a young woman who works at the department and feels pity, and possily affection, for Joe. His voice is consistent and creepy. We hear his thoughts constantly, on every subject, and it reminds you that you REALLY don't know the person standing next to you on the elevator. It's an unsettling book., and ai can't imagine it was easy to inhabit this character.
What sets this thriller apart is that Joe does not have smooth sailing in his activities. Aside from Sally's well meaning but intrusive actions, Joe meets another woman who is not what she seems, who also interferes with his plans. Poor Joe!.
This book really reminded me of Jo Nesbo's Headhunters, another noir novel filled with unexpected twists and turns, and some wry humor. Cleave takes the well loved serial killer story and gives it a few original twists that work well.
There is a LOT of killing and it is heartless, cold and moderately graphic. The matter-of-fact way Joe talks about his activities and victims is disturbing, but if you can handle it the ending is pretty satisfying.
I can't wait to read more of Cleave's work. Excellent noir, and set in NZ, which is pretty cool. I don't think I've read any other mysteries set in the land of the kiwi.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book, but just couldn't. It's too unpleasant - I don't like the story being told from the POV of the killer. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Marla
Note: This book can be read as part of the bigger series of crime novels that all take place in Christchurch, New Zealand. Read morePublished 25 days ago by DabOfDarkness
Another book in the series that I seem to have read out of order
The Cleaner is a the story of a serial killer and sexual deviant: Joe. Read more
Beyond belief crazy! How could Paul Cleave come up with this madness. Reading "Joe Victim" right now.Published 2 months ago by Doug Sumbera
Not for the faint-hearted, but for those willing to go on a dark, witty journey of twists and turns through gore and murder, this is perfect.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This has to do with a guy named Joe. He has a low IQ, and works at the police station as a janitor, but he calls it cleaner. He has some twists and some funny remarks in this book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by S.O.A
Just found the character too creepy. Don't think I would even want to read any other of this author's work.Published 7 months ago by Jill
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