[Review] Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave

Posted 20 October, 2014 by DLWhite in Reviews, Writers Read, Writers Write 0 Comments

Five Minutes Alone Book Cover Five Minutes Alone
Christchurch Noir Crime Series
Paul Cleave
Simon and Schuster
October 21, 2014
NetGalley/ Simon & Schuster

In the latest thriller by the Edgar-nominated author of Joe Victim, someone is helping rape victims exact revenge on their attackers, prompting an edge-of-your-seat, cat-and-mouse chase between old friends, detectives Theodore Tate and Carl Schroder. Carl Schroder and Theodore Tate, labeled “The Coma Cops” by the media, are finally getting their lives back into shape. Tate has returned to the police force and is grateful to be back at home with his wife, Bridget. For Schroder, things are neither good nor bad. The bullet lodged in his head from a shooting six months ago hasn’t killed him, but—almost as deadly—it’s switched off his emotions. When the body of a convicted rapist is found, obliterated by an oncoming train, Tate works the case, trying to determine if this is murder or suicide. The following night, the bodies of two more rapists surface. It’s hard to investigate when everyone on the police force seems to be rooting for the killer. There’s a common plea detectives get from the loved ones of victims: When you find the man who did this, give me five minutes alone with him. And that’s exactly what someone is doing. Someone is helping these victims get their five minutes alone. But when innocent people start to die, Tate and Schroder find themselves with different objectives, and soon they’re battling something they never would’ve expected—each other. “Ferocious storytelling that makes you think and feel,” says The Listener (New Zealand). Smart, funny, and breathlessly suspenseful, Five Minutes Alone takes the definition of “crime thriller” to a whole new level.

“Are we on the same page?”

I’m having trouble coming up with words to describe how perfect I think this novel is.For my money, Paul Cleave is utter perfection. His latest novel, Five Minutes Alone, is yet another five star read in a long line of four and five star reads.

I so appreciate the level of detail that Cleave takes his novels, and yet they seem to fly by so quickly. I’m not buried in minutiae, I’m engrossed in the story. I’ve been waiting for the return of Tate for a couple of books now, so it was nice to see a familiar face, so to speak. I’ve also been wondering what was up with Bridget, who’s just awakened from a vegetative state, and I had forgotten that  (spoiler) Schroder was shot in Joe Victim.

The return of the love/hate relationship between Schroder and Tate is the thread that ties this novel together. Tate has returned to the police force following a short stint in a coma himself; Schroder, due to the bullet in his brain that can’t be removed, that will probably kill him, can’t work. When rapists and murderers start coming up dead, Tate knows immediately who’s responsible… but he’s never going to give him up. He can’t. This person knows too much about him and could destroy him, and he’s just getting back on his feet. And oh, by the way, Bridget has some news.

Tate’s job, throughout this novel, is to solve the case… without solving the case. Which is difficult when his partner Rebecca is whipsmart. Tate needs to stay a step ahead of everyone, including the Killer, who’s been granting victims of crime what they’ve always wanted: “Give me five minutes alone with him.”

I’d like to thank Simon & Shuster/Atria Publishing for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this fantastic novel. If you enjoy fast paced, gritty thrillers and you’ve never read Paul Cleave before, beg/borrow/buy everything he’s ever written. Start at the beginning. You won’t regret it!

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