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Blood Men

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Edward Hunter is a family man with a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future, and a very dark past. Edward's father is a man of blood. He's been in jail for twenty years and he's never coming out. Edward has struggled his entire life to put that all behind him, but it's hard when everybody knows you're the son of a serial killer. Then, a week out from Chr Edward Hunter is a family man with a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future, and a very dark past. Edward's father is a man of blood. He's been in jail for twenty years and he's never coming out. Edward has struggled his entire life to put that all behind him, but it's hard when everybody knows you're the son of a serial killer. Then, a week out from Christmas, Eddie's world is turned upside-down. Suddenly he's going to need the help of his father, a man he hasn't seen since he was a boy. Is Edward destined to be just like his father, to become a man of blood? "Most people come back from New Zealand talking about the breathtaking scenery and the amazing experiences. I came back raving about Paul Cleave. These are stories that you won't forget in a while: relentlessly gripping, deliciously twisted and shot through with a vein of humour that's as dark as hell. Anyone who likes their crime fiction on the black and bloody side should move Paul Cleave straight to the top of their must-read list." - Mark Billingham


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Edward Hunter is a family man with a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future, and a very dark past. Edward's father is a man of blood. He's been in jail for twenty years and he's never coming out. Edward has struggled his entire life to put that all behind him, but it's hard when everybody knows you're the son of a serial killer. Then, a week out from Chr Edward Hunter is a family man with a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future, and a very dark past. Edward's father is a man of blood. He's been in jail for twenty years and he's never coming out. Edward has struggled his entire life to put that all behind him, but it's hard when everybody knows you're the son of a serial killer. Then, a week out from Christmas, Eddie's world is turned upside-down. Suddenly he's going to need the help of his father, a man he hasn't seen since he was a boy. Is Edward destined to be just like his father, to become a man of blood? "Most people come back from New Zealand talking about the breathtaking scenery and the amazing experiences. I came back raving about Paul Cleave. These are stories that you won't forget in a while: relentlessly gripping, deliciously twisted and shot through with a vein of humour that's as dark as hell. Anyone who likes their crime fiction on the black and bloody side should move Paul Cleave straight to the top of their must-read list." - Mark Billingham

30 review for Blood Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Jack Edward Hunter, Jr. lost his father when he was 8 years old. Jack Edward Hunter, Sr. was sentenced to prison for killing 11 prostitutes. Jr., who legally changed his name to Edward, hates his father and worries that the evil in Sr. has been passed to him. I have to say I hate his father, too. As the story develops, it's a close call whether Eddie is a grieving husband, a target, or has his own monster inside of him. He's had a lot of heartbreak in his life. There are times I sympathized with hi Jack Edward Hunter, Jr. lost his father when he was 8 years old. Jack Edward Hunter, Sr. was sentenced to prison for killing 11 prostitutes. Jr., who legally changed his name to Edward, hates his father and worries that the evil in Sr. has been passed to him. I have to say I hate his father, too. As the story develops, it's a close call whether Eddie is a grieving husband, a target, or has his own monster inside of him. He's had a lot of heartbreak in his life. There are times I sympathized with him and times I hated him. Or maybe I just hated what he did. Many times I felt his anguish. There is a LOT of violence and death in this book. That doesn't put me off. It was integral to the story. Detective Schroder is the lead investigator, and Detective Lansing also plays a small part. These cops have appeared in a previous book, so I was familiar with them. Theodore Tate, from the book Cemetery Lake, also has a small role in this book. I found it hard to put this book down. I even stayed up late reading it. The book leaves me with a feeling of dread, wondering if Eddie appears in a future book. I'll find out soon enough.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    2.5 stars I was really enjoying this up until 60% of the book & then it just crashed from there for me. I'm a bit disappointed because the other Cleave novels I have read were strong 4*s. Personally, I think I just wanted this to go a different way than what was actually happening & I found a few loose ends on the convenient side. Regardless, like all of Cleave's works, this is well-written & I was completely engrossed. Similarly, there are mentions of events/characters in previous b 2.5 stars I was really enjoying this up until 60% of the book & then it just crashed from there for me. I'm a bit disappointed because the other Cleave novels I have read were strong 4*s. Personally, I think I just wanted this to go a different way than what was actually happening & I found a few loose ends on the convenient side. Regardless, like all of Cleave's works, this is well-written & I was completely engrossed. Similarly, there are mentions of events/characters in previous books, so it may be best to start in chronological order for those who are unfamiliar with this author. And of course you will find sly humor & moments of empathy; I usually dislike reading noir but will make an exception for Cleave. I think one of things that bothered me the most was the way he described Christchurch. Yes, he describes it as bleak in his other books, but this one felt over-the-top, like he was going out of his way to paint an unrealistic scene. Perhaps an attempt to make the scenario more grim? He basically states that the town is like a 'virus', mostly because of the higher crime rates, but it was like he had nothing positive to say about it. Which is fine, you're allowed to dislike whatever you want, but to constantly describe it throughout 300+ pages is too much for me. It felt like he spent more time spewing negatives about Christchurch than fleshing out characters, especially the interaction between Edward & Jack, which was the primary reason why I picked this up. I wanted to see just how much "like father, like son" they really were, & while we do get a bit of it, it wasn't to the extent I was hoping for. Other minor things that bothered me: are we really supposed to believe that a detective (who has been on the force for decades, mind you) isn't aware of schizophrenia? The stereotypes of the "bad guys" are cliché & a bit laughable for how obvious the pieces start to click together. There were a few toxic comments ("don't be such a pussy, man up") that I didn't care for. Also, the final acts of Edward are hard to believe- I think Cleave tried to tie up his storyline another way, couldn't make it work & then edited it to make it interwoven better. And again, I was underwhelmed by the final moments between Edward & Jack- it just felt like a lot more could have been done to explore the "is it in your genes?" question. ((view spoiler)[When it's revealed that they don't even have the same blood type, so they're not related & that Edward has a "monster" of his own, it felt like a cheap shot to get out of answering questions that gravitated me towards the book originally. (hide spoiler)] ) Disclaimer: there is a fair amount of death/violence/gore in this book (as with his others), so just be aware of that if you usually like your thrillers on the more "surface-y side". While this isn't one I will return to, I highly recommend this author & look forward to continuing through his works.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Even though I predicted most of the twists, I greatly enjoyed this thriller. It's my third Paul Cleave book, and every time, I'm wowed by his ability to drag me into the seedy world of his fictional take on Christchurch in his home country of New Zealand. He can write a thriller like nobody's business! It's been a while since I read the last one before I read this one... I won't be waiting as long this time to pick up another.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Terri Wino

    3.5 stars. Whew. I'm sitting here, not quite sure what to say about this book. The story starts off the week before Christmas, but let me assure you: this is no feel-good holiday tale! An event sets Edward Hunter off on a course that is so outrageous at times that I couldn't help but think of those off the charts action films like Die Hard. But you know what? I love me some Die Hard! So I just checked my reality meter at the door and plunged in! This is a relentless thriller. There is no heart-war 3.5 stars. Whew. I'm sitting here, not quite sure what to say about this book. The story starts off the week before Christmas, but let me assure you: this is no feel-good holiday tale! An event sets Edward Hunter off on a course that is so outrageous at times that I couldn't help but think of those off the charts action films like Die Hard. But you know what? I love me some Die Hard! So I just checked my reality meter at the door and plunged in! This is a relentless thriller. There is no heart-warming, happy Christmas here folks, though at times my heart was breaking for Edward. A few pages later I would end up furious with him, and then just as quickly I was cheering him along. I would sum up this book as the story of how easily a good person can feel they have no other recourse but to do bad things. I held off on a 1/2 star to rate this 4 simply because I was a tad disappointed with the end. I felt there was a spot that would have ended this story perfectly, but then it seemed as if Mr. Cleave decided at the last minute to throw one more curveball at the reader. In closing, I have to say I haven't been disappointed in any of Paul Cleave's books so far, and will continue to make my way through his works.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    4.5* Edward is living a great life, wife, child and great job. His father is serving time for killing 11 prostitutes and is a well known serial killer. A visit to a bank with his wife creates a whirlwind amount of problems. Very dark and twisted 1st person account of a sons spiral into the dark world. Great writing, twisted story telling with a fast moving plot. Has elements of Dexter to the story but with less humour than those novels/show. This author needs more attention and readers. Cant wait 4.5* Edward is living a great life, wife, child and great job. His father is serving time for killing 11 prostitutes and is a well known serial killer. A visit to a bank with his wife creates a whirlwind amount of problems. Very dark and twisted 1st person account of a sons spiral into the dark world. Great writing, twisted story telling with a fast moving plot. Has elements of Dexter to the story but with less humour than those novels/show. This author needs more attention and readers. Cant wait to read his next one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maureen DeLuca

    A 4 star read for sure and I'm throwing in 1 more because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Paul Cleave and the way he writes! If you never read a Paul Cleave book- do yourself a favor and start reading! There are many in depth reviews here - so I won't bother- just know that Mr. Cleave is an amazing story teller!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rick Soper

    Some books are just wrong. You read them and afterwords you're sitting their numb and feeling empty because the author has done such horrible things to his characters that it's almost too much to bare. Cleave takes you down that bad road, he turns you around corners you don't want him to take, and he leaves you battered and beaten. Trust me when I say that this was a tough book to read, not because it was bad, but because Paul Cleave is too good at making his situations seem too real, too terrif Some books are just wrong. You read them and afterwords you're sitting their numb and feeling empty because the author has done such horrible things to his characters that it's almost too much to bare. Cleave takes you down that bad road, he turns you around corners you don't want him to take, and he leaves you battered and beaten. Trust me when I say that this was a tough book to read, not because it was bad, but because Paul Cleave is too good at making his situations seem too real, too terrifying, and too sad. I'd recommend this book, but it comes with a deep warning that it's a hard read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    It's ironic I ended up bringing this won book on a won trip. We had won an all paid for vacation to the Texas Frightmare Movie Convention, courtesy of the amazing Rue Morgue Magazine. Yes, really, we won the grand prize last year! I also won this book, Blood Men, through a Goodreads giveaway. We wanted to bring a book with us for downtime in the hotel room and on the plane trip over. I made a mistake of bringing such a riveting book with me! Because, folks, it's one of those. The plot is tragic a It's ironic I ended up bringing this won book on a won trip. We had won an all paid for vacation to the Texas Frightmare Movie Convention, courtesy of the amazing Rue Morgue Magazine. Yes, really, we won the grand prize last year! I also won this book, Blood Men, through a Goodreads giveaway. We wanted to bring a book with us for downtime in the hotel room and on the plane trip over. I made a mistake of bringing such a riveting book with me! Because, folks, it's one of those. The plot is tragic and like watching a train wreck, you don't want to put it down. You're on the edge of your seat wondering, hoping, watching, thinking of all the possibilities that might happen next. You just NEED to keep reading. The bank robbery at the beginning was horrifying and sad, and once you've forgiven the book for some tears, it really grows on you and flys off. The middle was strongly written and riveting. I was anxious to see what would happen to the main character Edward and find out all the revelations about his father in prison. Cleave takes you step by step through different situations that are either heart-wrenching or heart-stopping. The suspense is brutal and this is why I struggled putting it down. Characterization clearly worked amazingly well. All characters were very life-like and realistic, making it easy to care about what disasters than ran into, hoping they'd avoid the ultimate meltdown. I even cared about the "bad guys" because they fascinated me so much. Not sympathetic exactly, but you still ended up caring about the events surrounding them. The psychological twisting, growth, and angst was extreme. I ended up loving this dark, intricate book. It pushes the boundaries of normalcy and sets the reader into a troubled seat, witnessing horrifying but realistic events unfolding. You fall into the minds of the character so well you feel his pain and angst as he struggles to stay above the water line. I'll definitely have to check out more of Cleave's work. I did end up giving four stars rather than five, surprising myself, because at the end the book started letting me down a bit with some of the actions and turnabouts that took place. Brilliantly written with an addictive pace, amazing characterization and heart-wrenching scenarios, highly recommended for all readers. The darkness will speak to those who like horror, the suspense and thrills are high enough for any suspense fan, even mystery fans should like wondering what will happen next, and there's a high amount of drama infused within to satisfy drama buffs as the story is quite emotional.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eddie

    Edward Hunter; a figurative train wreck. Just like the train before the wreck, it had a destination. A purpose. That dedication and purpose was his family and also keeping his dark past from haunting him, He was a devoted family man who deeply loved his wife and daughter. But murderous events of, first, his wife, whom Eddie (my name) loved deeply, was murdered in a bank robbery and then later, by the same people who robbed the bank, his lovely young daughter caused Eddie to derail his destinatio Edward Hunter; a figurative train wreck. Just like the train before the wreck, it had a destination. A purpose. That dedication and purpose was his family and also keeping his dark past from haunting him, He was a devoted family man who deeply loved his wife and daughter. But murderous events of, first, his wife, whom Eddie (my name) loved deeply, was murdered in a bank robbery and then later, by the same people who robbed the bank, his lovely young daughter caused Eddie to derail his destination and completely jump off the tracks. Also, the dark past that entails his father being a serial killer now comes into place and helps the involvement of his derailment. His father, too, was a dedicated family man when Edward was a kid, but was caught for the multiple killings of prostitutes and thrown into jail for life. This book was a definite page turner for me and parts of me, while reading it, was thinking: Yeah, right. This shit would never happen. But, I had to remind myself that this, is of course, a fictional book and is strictly for entertainment purposes. Once I finally convinced myself of such, I thoroughly enjoyed this book till the last paragraph. That last paragraph made me say: Ah, shit, really?! Yup, it was one of those closing paragraphs. Look, the ending fit, but I didn't want it to end that way. Again, it worked, but shit, I wanted, like a crappy movie that is released on DVD, to have an alternate ending. Sadly, it didn't. Ah, hell, I still liked it and the ending didn't defer that whatsoever.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alumine Andrew

    I live in Christchurch, New Zealand, where this story is set. Cleave is a good crime writer but I think for me, the portrayal of the city as dark, sinister and Gothic seemed a little strained, as I live here and it doesn't seem that bad! I 've been thinking a lot about the book as I am trying to figure out why I didn't love it outright, as with Paddy Richardson's crime books set in Christchurch. I think that with Cleave's type of serial-rapist story if it had been set in New York or Los Angeles i I live in Christchurch, New Zealand, where this story is set. Cleave is a good crime writer but I think for me, the portrayal of the city as dark, sinister and Gothic seemed a little strained, as I live here and it doesn't seem that bad! I 've been thinking a lot about the book as I am trying to figure out why I didn't love it outright, as with Paddy Richardson's crime books set in Christchurch. I think that with Cleave's type of serial-rapist story if it had been set in New York or Los Angeles it would have been a lot more believable for me. maybe other readers who live there would be ok with reading of a far off city which seems steeped in darkness where horrid things happen. Our city is called "The Garden City" and its genteel calmness (others would call it boringness) just doesn't seem to match the story. In this crime novel a serial rapist's son is caught up in a bad bank robbery where his wife is shot. He spirals out of control and in a matter of days has come to acknowledge that some of the violence he knows is in his father, is coming out in him. He makes contact with his father in hope that he'll know who was involved and then the body count starts to mount. It is mostly resolved but as i turned to the last page I was left with the feeling this was going to lead into a sequel. I hope it's a good one, as I will read it, in support of a local author. But I hope I like it a bit more than this one. It's not a bad read, it's well written, but not as satisfying as Richardson, whom I've read concurrently.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Enjoyed this...partly because I enjoy grisly, bloody, thriller reads, and partly because it was set in Christchurch. What I didn't enjoy was the insertion of American terminology in a book written by a Christchurch, New Zealand author and set in Christchurch. There were too many references to sidewalks, trash and elevators for my liking! If we have to translate Americanisms into our own vernacular in 99% of the books we read, why can't they translate back the other way occasionally? Also...since Enjoyed this...partly because I enjoy grisly, bloody, thriller reads, and partly because it was set in Christchurch. What I didn't enjoy was the insertion of American terminology in a book written by a Christchurch, New Zealand author and set in Christchurch. There were too many references to sidewalks, trash and elevators for my liking! If we have to translate Americanisms into our own vernacular in 99% of the books we read, why can't they translate back the other way occasionally? Also...since when does a North-West wind blow into Christchurch over the Port Hills?! A lot of digs about the Christchurch crime rate, length of jail (not gaol!) terms and the crime and poverty 'virus' that is spreading over the city. Hmmm. And all this in a book published BEFORE the earthquakes. But - a good story, for those of us who like that sort of thing...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    [Blood Men by Paul Cleave 4.5★'s What's it About? Edward Hunter has it all—a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future . . . and a very dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer was caught, convicted, and locked away in New Zealand’s most hellish penitentiary. That man was Edward’s father. Edward has struggled his entire life to put the nightmares of his childhood behind him. But a week before Christmas, violence once again makes an unwelcome appearance in his world. Is Edward de [Blood Men by Paul Cleave 4.5★'s What's it About? Edward Hunter has it all—a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future . . . and a very dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer was caught, convicted, and locked away in New Zealand’s most hellish penitentiary. That man was Edward’s father. Edward has struggled his entire life to put the nightmares of his childhood behind him. But a week before Christmas, violence once again makes an unwelcome appearance in his world. Is Edward destined to be just like his father, to become a man of blood? What Did I Think? I loved the book ...however it is diffidently not for everyone. Most people that enjoy true-crime type mysteries expect to sometimes find some really graphic and gruesome scenes when it comes to the murders. "Blood Men" had more than it's share and that alone will put a lot of people off. It lost a half star with me because I lost patience with the police. They were working against a killer's very real time schedule but seemed to drag their feet at every turn. Otherwise the main character... Edward...was pitied...applauded...and encouraged by the reader through out this madhouse adventure as he almost single handed searched the town of Christchurch for his young wife's killer. Read it with caution...but if you enjoy this type of mystery...by all means read it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    What's it About? Edward Hunter has it all—a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future . . . and a very dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer was caught, convicted, and locked away in New Zealand’s most hellish penitentiary. That man was Edward’s father. Edward has struggled his entire life to put the nightmares of his childhood behind him. But a week before Christmas, violence once again makes an unwelcome appearance in his world. Is Edward destined to be just like his fath What's it About? Edward Hunter has it all—a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future . . . and a very dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer was caught, convicted, and locked away in New Zealand’s most hellish penitentiary. That man was Edward’s father. Edward has struggled his entire life to put the nightmares of his childhood behind him. But a week before Christmas, violence once again makes an unwelcome appearance in his world. Is Edward destined to be just like his father, to become a man of blood? What Did I Think? I loved the book ...however it is diffidently not for everyone. Most people that enjoy true-crime type mysteries expect to sometimes find some really graphic and gruesome scenes when it comes to the murders. "Blood Men" had more than it's share and that alone will put a lot of people off. It lost a half star with me because I lost patience with the police. They were working against a killer's very real time schedule but seemed to drag their feet at every turn. Otherwise the main character... Edward...was pitied...applauded...and encouraged by the reader through out this madhouse adventure as he almost single handed searched the town of Christchurch for his young wife's killer. Read it with caution...but if you enjoy this type of mystery...by all means read it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zx_Ta

    Pretty good, like the title says there is a lot of blood in this book and I mean A LOT!!! If you're sensitive you may want to stay away from this story. If you're brave enough go for it! I really love the fact that Cleave's books take place in the same place, with the same characters: the main characters and stories from the cleaner and cemetary lake are mentionned here, like some easter eggs for serial killers amateurs. But you can totally read it as a stand alone

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Paul Cleave is one of my top five favorite writers. His books never, ever disappoint. This book made me cry, literally. An incredibly fast action packed read but one that is also so incredibly heartbreaking. The last few chapters did me in. Highly recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    I finally found a new author/series to read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    Before reading this book I had no clue who Paul Cleave was or that Blood Men was part of a series called Christchurch Noir Crime Series. There are eight books in the series and Blood Men is not the first book from the series. That didn't really impact my reading experience since I believe the series revolves more around Christchurch than any one character. Blood Men is able to be read as a stand alone novel if desired and you won't feel like you are missing anything. Having finished Blood Men if Before reading this book I had no clue who Paul Cleave was or that Blood Men was part of a series called Christchurch Noir Crime Series. There are eight books in the series and Blood Men is not the first book from the series. That didn't really impact my reading experience since I believe the series revolves more around Christchurch than any one character. Blood Men is able to be read as a stand alone novel if desired and you won't feel like you are missing anything. Having finished Blood Men if the other books in the series live up to the impression Blood Men left on me I will be thrilled to read them. I thoroughly enjoyed Paul Cleaves writing style for it realistic, modern sounding dialogues and just plain brutal crime elements. I think anytime an author can make their characters sound like real people you'd encounter in life they're going to suck you that much deeper into the world of the novel. I really liked that he didn't use any of the lame cop talk you hear on day time television. There is some normal banter but when everyone involved smells the bull shit they go right to the straight talk like any real person would. When the talking is done though and it's time for action Paul Cleave doesn't miss a beat and he doesn't pull a single punch. I am a fan of gore in movies and Paul Cleave basically gives the reader the written equivalent. Real crime and real death is ugly and Paul Cleave doesn't try to mask it, he doesn't use innuendo or simplification. He tells you not only how it looks but how it feels, smells and sounds. Horrible things happen to good and bad people and the author insures you can't block out the mental images. I don't know many writers who have made me literally say "OH SHIT!" out loud while wincing sympathetically. Kudos Paul Cleave. There was so much about this book I liked that I really only have one very minor negative remark. In the beginning of the book the man dressed all funny with suction cups seemed way to ridiculous for the tone of the novel. I understand why he had to die for the story but the method doesn't fit everything else. There was so many more normal ways he could have been killed that would never easily lead back to any of the bad guys. I will say it again though in my opinion its just a minor flaw and almost everything else was great. While I can't speak for the rest of the series I would at least highly recommend reading Blood Men by Paul Cleave. If you're into brutal revenge stories and can stomach a far from happy ending you will not be disappointed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    It always amazes me, how Paul Cleave can start out with a scenario that somehow seems quite normal and "expected" and then make it all go very very good weird, and you don't even notice that it's happening until you finish the book, turn all the lights back on the in house and take a big deep breath. And check the locks. I'm very very partial to Paul Cleave's books and BLOOD MEN was no exception. Noir doesn't really cut it when you're describing these books, they are dense, intrinsically, fundame It always amazes me, how Paul Cleave can start out with a scenario that somehow seems quite normal and "expected" and then make it all go very very good weird, and you don't even notice that it's happening until you finish the book, turn all the lights back on the in house and take a big deep breath. And check the locks. I'm very very partial to Paul Cleave's books and BLOOD MEN was no exception. Noir doesn't really cut it when you're describing these books, they are dense, intrinsically, fundamentally dark books sure, but there's also always something slightly unexpected, something slight twisty, something just that little bit weird in what is going on that a reader really isn't allowed to get into a comfort zone. But BLOOD MEN is built around a scenario that couldn't possibly make you comfortable - the idea that a happily married family man, the son of a man of blood - a notorious serial killer never to be released. A son who has spent his life denying the father that he then must turn to for help. It somehow seems quite natural that with a family background like Edward's, he'd be worried about his destiny. Is he free of the worst of his father's legacy or is he, Edward, destined to be a man of blood also? Of course, in a scenario like this, there's going to be some graphic violence, but that's tempered somewhat by a cheeky, sly and clever sense of humour. Having said that the taut plotline and the way that the tension over Edward's future builds was more than enough to make this reader charge through the violence, desperate to get to the end. So desperate that this was a one sitting book. Which, as per usual, means I was reading it in the dark, early morning. Which lead, of course, to that turning on all the lights problem. Which leads to the lack of sleep that I've come to expect when reading a Paul Cleave book. There aren't many authors that make me change my daily routine, but Paul Cleave does it everytime and I can't wait for the next book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    It always amazes me, how Paul Cleave can start out with a scenario that somehow seems quite normal and "expected" and then make it all go very very good weird, and you don't even notice that it's happening until you finish the book, turn all the lights back on the in house and take a big deep breath. And check the locks. I'm very very partial to Paul Cleave's books and BLOOD MEN was no exception. Noir doesn't really cut it when you're describing these books, they are dense, intrinsically, fundame It always amazes me, how Paul Cleave can start out with a scenario that somehow seems quite normal and "expected" and then make it all go very very good weird, and you don't even notice that it's happening until you finish the book, turn all the lights back on the in house and take a big deep breath. And check the locks. I'm very very partial to Paul Cleave's books and BLOOD MEN was no exception. Noir doesn't really cut it when you're describing these books, they are dense, intrinsically, fundamentally dark books sure, but there's also always something slightly unexpected, something slight twisty, something just that little bit weird in what is going on that a reader really isn't allowed to get into a comfort zone. But BLOOD MEN is built around a scenario that couldn't possibly make you comfortable - the idea that a happily married family man, the son of a man of blood - a notorious serial killer never to be released. A son who has spent his life denying the father that he then must turn to for help. It somehow seems quite natural that with a family background like Edward's, he'd be worried about his destiny. Is he free of the worst of his father's legacy or is he, Edward, destined to be a man of blood also? Of course, in a scenario like this, there's going to be some graphic violence, but that's tempered somewhat by a cheeky, sly and clever sense of humour. Having said that the taut plotline and the way that the tension over Edward's future builds was more than enough to make this reader charge through the violence, desperate to get to the end. So desperate that this was a one sitting book. Which, as per usual, means I was reading it in the dark, early morning. Which lead, of course, to that turning on all the lights problem. Which leads to the lack of sleep that I've come to expect when reading a Paul Cleave book. There aren't many authors that make me change my daily routine, but Paul Cleave does it everytime and I can't wait for the next book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hastings75

    Paul Cleave is one of my favourite NZ authors - and certainly my favourite Christchurch author! Blood Men is an interesting novel and, having finished it, I am almost tempted to source a list of the order of the books so I can read them in order. Blood Men was the first novel when it became incredibly apparent how all the other novels are linked together, with references and appearances from other characters (ie. Tate, Joe, etc). I enjoyed the premise of this novel and appreciated the subtlety of Paul Cleave is one of my favourite NZ authors - and certainly my favourite Christchurch author! Blood Men is an interesting novel and, having finished it, I am almost tempted to source a list of the order of the books so I can read them in order. Blood Men was the first novel when it became incredibly apparent how all the other novels are linked together, with references and appearances from other characters (ie. Tate, Joe, etc). I enjoyed the premise of this novel and appreciated the subtlety of the title having finished the novel. I have read previous reviews, one of which mentioned the novel should have finished at an earlier chapter. I understand what that reviewer means (would have made for a powerful ending) but I suspect the Cleave is setting himself up for a sequel - if he so chooses! All in all, a very satisfying read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Harter Stoff, nichts für zartbesaitete Gemüter, aber wer einiges an Blutzoll und die Beschreibung, wie er zustande gekommen ist, abkann, wird mit einem zwar monströsen, aber spannendem Buch, welches sich tief in die menschlichen Abgründe begibt, belohnt. Gelegentlich übertreibt es Paul Cleave zwar mit den Ereignissen etwas, aber insgesamt kann man sich seiner suggestiven Schreibweise, dem Spannungsaufbau, der Vielschichtigkeit des Geschehen und der ordentlichen Portion sehr schwarzen Humors kaum Harter Stoff, nichts für zartbesaitete Gemüter, aber wer einiges an Blutzoll und die Beschreibung, wie er zustande gekommen ist, abkann, wird mit einem zwar monströsen, aber spannendem Buch, welches sich tief in die menschlichen Abgründe begibt, belohnt. Gelegentlich übertreibt es Paul Cleave zwar mit den Ereignissen etwas, aber insgesamt kann man sich seiner suggestiven Schreibweise, dem Spannungsaufbau, der Vielschichtigkeit des Geschehen und der ordentlichen Portion sehr schwarzen Humors kaum zu entziehen. Und man bekommt Angst nach Christchurch zu reisen... dabei schien doch Neuseeland so ein beschauliches Fleckchen Erde zu sein...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    I love this series! This was a page-turning wild ride for me. This book features Schroder as the main investigator but what I like about this series is that all the books are set in the same "world" not always having the same lead characters but others always pop in for cameo appearances. The son of a serial killer gets caught in a bank robbery where his wife is killed. This starts Edward on a terrifying journey he has no control over. The plot is a little far-fetched for this one but that did n I love this series! This was a page-turning wild ride for me. This book features Schroder as the main investigator but what I like about this series is that all the books are set in the same "world" not always having the same lead characters but others always pop in for cameo appearances. The son of a serial killer gets caught in a bank robbery where his wife is killed. This starts Edward on a terrifying journey he has no control over. The plot is a little far-fetched for this one but that did nothing to stop my enjoyment. It was a whirlwind read from start to finish which I could hardly put down except to sleep briefly.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    When you read Paul Cleave's novels, you're thrown into the dark world of Christchurch, New Zealand, and its city of crime. In Blood Men, we're introduced to Edward Hunter. A typical family man who loses everything with a tainted bloodline. We enter his world and see how his world crumbles like a cookie. We meet the people he meets and how it lost it all. In a race against time, he takes Christchurch by storm, when he demands answers and revenge. This is dark, hard core and a bit gritty. Hold ont When you read Paul Cleave's novels, you're thrown into the dark world of Christchurch, New Zealand, and its city of crime. In Blood Men, we're introduced to Edward Hunter. A typical family man who loses everything with a tainted bloodline. We enter his world and see how his world crumbles like a cookie. We meet the people he meets and how it lost it all. In a race against time, he takes Christchurch by storm, when he demands answers and revenge. This is dark, hard core and a bit gritty. Hold onto your seat belts and watch how his world is engulfed in flames. This is a real page turner.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rusty Merz

    I'd have to say a majority of the book was quite suspenseful. In one hand, you have Eddy, this ridiculously reckless man who seems to have the most coincidental luck and circumstantial knowledge for the situations he gets into, but on the other you can't help but empathize with him and silently cheer him on. A story of a broken man with a storyline that is more believable than most suspenses, Blood Men was everything I wanted it to be, except I couldn't help but feel for Eddy. Damn this book was I'd have to say a majority of the book was quite suspenseful. In one hand, you have Eddy, this ridiculously reckless man who seems to have the most coincidental luck and circumstantial knowledge for the situations he gets into, but on the other you can't help but empathize with him and silently cheer him on. A story of a broken man with a storyline that is more believable than most suspenses, Blood Men was everything I wanted it to be, except I couldn't help but feel for Eddy. Damn this book was sad.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marie Sexton

    This is a hard one for me to rate. Right up until the end, I might have given it a 4.5. I like the writing, and the great twists. But the ending is just too bleak and depressing for me. The entire story is incredibly dark, which I anticipated, but somehow I still hoped for a more satisfying ending.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    It was brilliant until the ending. It was almost a non-ending. But it was good enough that I will be reading more Paul Cleave. I loved the New Zealand setting and it was really interesting to see how criminals are treated there.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Margarethe

    Das war eine Emfphelung und ich kann es nur weiterempfehlen. Ich bin zwar kein Thrillertyp und es gibt auch einige blutrünstige Stellen, auf die ich hätte verzichten können. Aber die Story ist rasant skurril und lesenswert.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Awesome holiday read. Dark, sad, gruesome, ; perfect for Christmas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deborah A. Nepereny

    Suspenseful and gorey. Unexpected ending.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Excellent thriller. One of the best I have read in years.

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