How can you catch a killer When the only evidence is a dream…?
James Garrett was critically injured when he was shot following his parents’ execution, and no one expected him to waken from a deep, traumatic coma. When he does, nine years later, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is tasked with closing the case that her now retired colleague, Theodore Tate, failed to solve all those years ago.
But, between that, and hunting for Copy Joe – a murderer on a spree, who’s imitating Christchurch’s most notorious serial killer – she’s going to need Tate’s help.
Especially when they learn that James has lived out another life in his nine-year coma, and there are things he couldn’t possibly know, including the fact that Copy Joe isn’t the only serial killer in town…
Do you enjoy watching people’s pain and suffering, maybe your not the one doing it, maybe it’s someone else. If you answer yes to any of these questions then you could very well be a pain tourist, at least that’s Paul Cleave’s definition.
Paul Cleave’s pain tourist was a man whose wife had left him, who just wanted to be famous, so in his mind he had nothing to lose.
Detective Rebecca Kent’s take on the matter was of course completely different as she was given the task of finding out who was copying one of New Zealand’s notorious serial killers, our so called pain tourist.
Meanwhile in a hospital James Garrett woke up from a 9 year coma, to the realisation that his parents were dead and his sister, Hazel had escaped. His parents murderers were never caught and Kent is again tasked with closing the case.
To top it all retired detective Theo Tate is somehow dragged into the melee and Cleave proceeded to scramble this readers brain.
Let me clarify, the brain scramble was good, Cleave made me concentrate, absorb his wonderful narrative, made me think about medical advancement but most of all the brutality of murder for its victims and those around them.
To go into depth with anymore of the plot would spoil it for any reader, suffice it to say once engaged it will take all your will power to disengage.
Cleave concentrated a lot on the relationship between Kent and Tate, mutual respect and I always thought a little more. Yet both had their vulnerabilities, pasts that made them too cautious to let the personal blur into the professional.
James Garrett was such a brilliant character, his so called Coma World fascinated, his ability to unlock cabinets inside a giant warehouse felt like Cleave was unlocking the various compartments of his brain, his memory. At times it felt like torture, at others it gave James comfort, gave information to Tate and Kent as their investigations progressed.
Many authors would have struggled with the multiple strands but not Cleave, he handled it with great aplomb and I felt safe in his very capable hands.
The multiple strands gave the book a real dynamism, not much time for the reader to pause and take a breath. His characters were frenetic in their pursuit of the truth, their methods often unorthodox but that made the novel all the more dramatic. The final pages were filled with horror, disgust but also a sense of justice served, a job well done.
You hoped James and his sister would finally find peace, but most of all that Kent and Tate would unlock their own demons and find their own kind of peace.
I guess and am hoping that that peace and onward progression will be the subject of another brilliant and eagerly awaited book by the fantastic Mr Paul Cleaver.
I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of The Pain Tourist to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the tour.
About the author
Paul is an award-winning author who often divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where his novels are set, and Europe, where none of his novels are set. His books have been translated into over twenty languages. He’s won the won the Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur Crime Novel of the Year Award, and Foreword Reviews Thriller of the Year, and has bee shortlisted for the Ned Kelly, Edgar and Barry Awards. He’s thrown his Frisbee in over forty countries, plays tennis badly, golf even worse, and has two cats – which is often two too many. The Pain Tourist is his (lucky) thirteenth novel.