Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.
So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time…
Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?
Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisted thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page.
You will need to strap yourself in before reading The Quiet People, it was quite honestly one of the most fast paced and truly brilliant thrillers I have read in a very long time.
Lets start with the first chapter, a car chase, the inevitable crash and a whole lot of questions for the reader. Then Cleeve introduced us to Cameron and Lisa Murdoch, crime writers, who lived a ‘quiet’ life in the suburbs with their son, Zach , a young boy with obvious issues that rose to the fore with devastating consequences when he suddenly disappeared.
What happened next was just thrilling, Cleeve never let his narrative or indeed the twists and turns let up. I loved that it was all in one voice, that of Cameron, the father, his emotions never left the surface, they were what drove him, what pushed him to extremes.
Cleeve based those extremes on reality, the role of social media, 24hrs news, the perceptions of those of us that read, watch and listen. There were characters that pushed buttons for their own purposes, to avenge past grudges without foresight, without thought for what may happen.
There was the idea that crime writers would and could commit the perfect crime, their minds stuck in the depths of depravity, a ploy to increase books sales, to raise their profiles, but was that something Cameron would seriously consider? The police seemed to think so, as did the public and there was only so much a man could take as Cameron was pushed further and further to the edge until Cleeve gave him permission take matters into his own hands. The anger emanated from the pages, his rage vented on those who sought to do him wrong and just when you thought it was all over Cleeve ranked it up a notch, a glorious twist, a glimmer of hope. Yet hope often comes with truth and that was the cleverness in Cleeve’s plotting, as greed and lust reared its ugly head, the shock and horror of what people will do to get what they want became abundantly clear.
Yes, it was exaggerated, yes it bent the realms of reality but I for one did not care. This is what crime /thriller writing was all about, that instant buzz of an explosive first few pages, the numerous, inventive plot twists, the constant nagging at the back of the readers mind as to Cameron’s innocence, the depravity of persons within our society and an ability to not give in to that all encompassing happy ending.
Orenda, I do hope you will be publishing more of Mr Paul Cleeve’s novels because I for one will be first in the queue.
I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of The Quiet People to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Booksih Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Paul is Christchurch born and raised, and other than a couple of years when he was living in London and bouncing around Europe a little, he’s always lived there. Paul wanted to write horror, and it was a few years in when he realised that crime – real life crime – is horror. When he made that connection, he turned to writing dark crime fiction, writing first The Killing Hour, and then The Cleaner, in his mid-twenties. Not long after that Paul sold his house and lived with his parents so he could write full time – a gamble that paid off a few years later when Random House signed him up. From that point on he’s written his dark tales set in his home city, introducing Joe Middleton – the Christchurch Carver, and Melissa, and Theodore Tate, and Schroder, and Jerry Gray, among others to the world.