Review: The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave

Posted 21 March, 2013 by DLWhite in Reviews, Writers Read 0 Comments

The Laughterhouse Book Cover The Laughterhouse
Paul Cleave
Simon and Schuster
August 21, 2012

rom the internationally bestselling author of Blood Men and Collecting Cooper comes an unforgettable new thriller featuring private detective Theodore Tate.

Theodore Tate never forgot his first crime scene - ten year-old Jessica Cole 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


My Review:

Yeah, you saw that right. I must be getting soft in my old age… I used to never give 5 stars, but as I tell my friends, a 4 is really good… a 5 is near or surpassed perfection for me. I am by no means well read or versed in fiction. I just know what I love and I know I can be picky, so if I give it 5 stars and you and I like the same kind of material……GET ON THAT.

So, right. I am supposed to put words here to describe my feelings about this novel and it’s author. I find myself without sufficient words, which I know is a cop out but REALLY. First, as I’ve stated before, I love recurring characters and continuing story lines. I like getting to know a character over the course of a few books and not in 250-400 pages. Theodore Tate is a likable protagonist, one I like reading about.

I find Cleave’s representation of Cole is so complex. He wants to made out as a monster, but he’s not a sick freak. He’s killed 4 people and kidnapped a doctor and his three daughters, but he’s angry that the press wonders if he’s molested the three little girls he’s kidnapped. I alternately empathize with and detest Caleb Cole. In my heart of hearts I feel his pain, but I also feel frustration that he doesn’t listen to reason. He’s made up his mind. The most dangerous folks are those that have nothing to lose.

I am a big fan of buildup, and there’s plenty of it in The Laughterhouse. I could guess at Cole’s motivation, but I prefer a slow burn and unraveling of the story. The novel takes place over two harrowing, frustrating nights, keeping ChristChurch in a powerful, murderous grip and the police force running from crime scene to crime scene, trying to solve the mystery before more people die.

I also like the return to the storyline about Tate’s wife and the surprising events surrounding her illness.

I finished this book around 3am today and I’m STILL pouting about the cliff-hanger ending!!! I have a few other Cleave books to finish (I unintentionally read them in the wrong order, oh well) so there’s just enough time to release a new book and continue the story.

Ahem, Mr Cleave!

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