Paul Cleave is a master! I have read quite a few of his novels and I have never been disappointed. Some are arguably better than others but I have to say I think this one is his best (so far).
The Quiet People, like many of his novels, is set in Christchurch – my hometown. For those of you who’ve read a novel set in a place you’re familiar with, like me you might find that it just adds an extra layer of enjoyment and recognition to the read. The phrase “the quiet people” is one used by husband-and-wife crime novelists, Cameron and Lisa Murdoch; sadly, for Cameron and Lisa, they’re about to become the subjects of their own real life crime story. Their young son Zach goes missing and as all readers (and watchers) of crime series know, the parents are always the first suspects.
The novel follows Cameron as he and his wife try desperately to dissuade the media, and then the public, that despite years of boasting that they could, that they have not committed the perfect crime. This is a book so filled with twists and turns that revelling too much more would take away the thrill of reading this for yourself.
I have no doubt that Cleave has given much of his internal narrative to this novel (he discusses this in the postscript) and I have to admit that I’ve always been fascinated about how people who write books ‘like this’ can dream up some of the depraved story lines, or how police offers and others involved with murder and mayhem could use inside knowledge to get away with the perfect crime. This novel explores the idea whilst still telling a ripping yarn.
I collected this book from the office on a Sunday afternoon and raced home whooping. I planned to begin it after I had put the kids to bed. I finished it less than 18 hours after I turned the first page, and I admit I had to sleep and work during this time! That said, I certainly stayed awake later than I should have, may have been (an hour!) late for work and taken a longer than normal lunch break – but this book was so fast paced I simply could not put it down, or let it ‘continue’ without me. The journey was epic and satisfying on so many levels.
If you have a crime/thriller lover in your life, or you are one yourself, BUY THIS BOOK. Support New Zealand artists and local booksellers – not sure where your local bookshop is? Try this handy tool – https://www.booksellers.co.nz/find-bookshop .
We’ve got one copy of The Quiet People to giveaway – head to our Facebook page for all the details.