Book Reviews: Five Minutes Alone, by Paul Cleave

cv_five_minutes_aloneAvailable in bookstores nationwide.

Award-winning Christchurch crime writer Paul Cleave is back with his eighth book, and I’m relieved to say it’s every bit as good as his previous works.

Former ‘Coma Cops’ Theodore Tate & Carl Schroeder are back amongst the land of the living. Or at the least the land of the functioning members of society. Supposedly. But after that many years on the police force, seeing what they’ve seen, doing what they’ve done and time in Coma Land? Well it’s not surprising that things feel a little off, like they don’t fit anymore.

When a vicious rapist is found dead under suspicious circumstances, and another two are found shortly afterwards, it appears that a vigilante may be helping victims of horrific crimes exact revenge by giving them five minutes alone with those responsible for causing them misery. Obviously that makes the vigilante a criminal too, someone who should be taken off the street – or does it?

Showcasing his trademark plotting prowess and knack for exceptional characterisation, Cleave has once again crafted a book you just don’t want to put down until you’re finished.

While it’s a little unnerving to read about a Christchurch without an earthquake, you can quickly bypass that and lose yourself in the story, one that flows on easily from Cleave’s previous books; but I think would still be enjoyable and understandable to someone picking up one of his novels for the first time. (Though I recommend of course you start at the beginning – treat yourself!)

Reviewed by Sarah McMullan
nzsarahmcmullan@gmail.com

Five Minutes Alone
by Paul Cleave
Published by Penguin Books NZ
ISBN 9780143572312