Cemetery Lake begins in a cold and rainy graveyard, where Private Detective Theodore Tate is overseeing an exhumation--a routine job for the weathered former cop. But when doubts are raised about the identity of the body found in the coffin, the case takes a sinister turn. Tate knows he should walk away and let his former colleagues on the police force deal with it, but his strong sense of justice intervenes.
Complicating matters are a few loose ends from Tate's past. Even good guys have secrets, and Tate thought his were dead and buried for good. With time running out and a violent killer lurking, will he manage to stay one step ahead of the police, or will his truth be unearthed?
Originally published in Paul Cleave's native New Zealand in 2008, Cemetery Lake is the first novel to feature Theodore Tate, the "quintessential flawed hero" (Kirkus Reviews) from Collecting Cooper and The Laughterhouse. Full of the clever plot twists and sardonic humor for which Cleave has become known, it is at once a totally entertaining crime novel and an unforgettable drama about the universal battle against the darkness within.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-22
- Reviewer: Staff
New Zealander Cleave’s powerful third Christchurch noir (after The Killing Hour) introduces PI Theodore Tate. Two years earlier, the grown daughter of bank manager Henry Martins asked Tate, then a policeman, to investigate what she believed to have been her father’s murder. Tate found nothing, but now the second husband of Martins’s widow has died, possibly of poisoning. Martins’s body is exhumed—a measure that wasn’t taken initially—revealing some unpleasant surprises, and three bodies surface in a lake adjacent to the cemetery, one belonging to a missing 19-year-old girl. Tate, who’s been borderline functional since a car accident killed his daughter and seriously injured his wife, gets drawn into an incredibly complicated case that puts him at odds with his former colleagues and renders him a murder suspect. The unrelenting grimness, reminiscent of James Ellroy, and the uncompromising portrayal of a man in torment, make for a fully absorbing, if disturbing, read. Agent: Jane Gregory, Jane Gregory and Co. (June)