From the internationally bestselling author of Blood Men and Collecting Cooper comes a riveting new thriller about one father’s revenge and another’s fight for survival.
Theodore Tate never forgot his first crime scene—ten-year-old Jessica found dead in “the Laughterhouse,” an old abandoned slaughterhouse with the S painted over. The killer was found and arrested. Justice was served. Or was it?
Fifteen years later, a new killer arrives in Christchurch, and he has a list of people who were involved in Jessica’s murder case, one of whom is the unfortunate Dr. Stanton, a man with three young girls. If Tate is going to help them, he has to find the connection between the killer, the Laughterhouse, and the city’s suddenly growing murder rate. And he needs to figure it out fast, because Stanton and his daughters have been kidnapped, and the doctor is being forced to make an impossible decision: which one of his daughters is to die first.
In The Laughterhouse, the city of Christchurch becomes “a modern equivalent of James Ellroy’s Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness” (Publishers Weekly). Fast-paced, dark, and intensely clever, this exciting thriller represents a brilliant new chapter in the career of a world-class crime writer.
Paul Cleave is the internationally bestselling author of ten award-winning crime thrillers, including Joe Victim, which was a finalist for the 2014 Edgar and Barry Awards, Trust No One and Five Minutes Alone, which won consecutive Ngaio Marsh Awards in 2015 and 2016. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Visit his website at PaulCleave.com.
“This dark, gripping thriller, the latest in the Tate saga, is as hard-boiled as it gets. The surprise ending suspends all disbelief. Like a TV series that ends its season on a cliffhanger, you won’t want to wait until next year. This will leave the reader clamoring for the next book in the series.”
– Suspense Magazine
“Piano wire–taut plotting, Tate’s heart-wrenching losses and forlorn hopes, and Cleave’s unusually perceptive gaze into the maw of a killer’s madness make this a standout chapter in his detective’s rocky road to redemption.”
– Publishers Weekly (starred)
“An intense adrenalin rush from start to finish, I read The Laughterhouse in one sitting. It’ll have you up all night. Fantastic!”
– S.J. Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep
“In Cleave’s third psycho-thriller, Theodore Tate is the quintessential flawed hero, a damaged soul hunting deviants in a forest of moral quandaries.... An intense and bloody noir thriller, one often descending into a violent abyss reminiscent of Thomas Harris, creator of Hannibal Lecter.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“A wonderful book.... The final effect is that tingling in the neck hairs that tells us an artist is at work.”
– Booklist (starred)
“Cleave is a master of evoking the view askew; delving into the troubled psyches of conflicted characters. Former cop and convict Theo Tate, stumbling forward in search of some sort of redemption, returns to the scene of his first crime scene, hunting a killer and kidnapper set on revenge. Ferocious storytelling that makes you think and feel. A blood-stained high point in Cleave’s already impressive oeuvre.”
– The Listener (New Zealand), A Best Book of 2012
“Cleave has written a tightly controlled and skillfully executed crime thriller.”