Read The Cleaner by Paul Cleave Online


Meet Joe. He's a nice guy out to catch a copycat killer. The one copying him.Joe is in control of everything in his simple life, including both his day job at the police department and his 'night work'. He remembers to feed his fish twice a day and visit his mother at least once a week, although he occasionally peppers her coffee with rat poison. He is not bothered by theMeet Joe. He's a nice guy out to catch a copycat killer. The one copying him.Joe is in control of everything in his simple life, including both his day job at the police department and his 'night work'. He remembers to feed his fish twice a day and visit his mother at least once a week, although he occasionally peppers her coffee with rat poison. He is not bothered by the reports of The Christchurch Carver, who, they say, murdered seven women. Joe knows the carver has only killed six women. He knows that for a fact. And Joe is going to find that copy-cat killer, punish him for the one and then frame him for the other six. It's a perfect plan because he already knows he can outwit the police. All he has to do now is take care of all the women who keep getting in his way - his domineering mother for one. Then there is Sally, the maintenance worker who sees him as a replacement for her dead brother, and the mysterious Melissa, the only woman to have ever understood him, but whose fantasies of blackmail and torture no longer have any place in Joe's investigation....

Title : The Cleaner
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781863256094
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 373 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Cleaner Reviews

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    2018-11-07 15:51

    Wow!I have been wanting to read Paul Cleave for some time now, but The Cleaner being chosen for the Psychological Thriller Group read was just the impetus I needed.I will definitely be reading the rest of his books.The first chapter is one of the best I have read. It smacks of normality, and then WHAM! Joe, the Janitor for the Christchurch Police Department, is not your average Joe. He loves his job, but not for the reason you might expect. To the world, Joe appears "special"; slow, dull witted, and no threat to anyone. He likes it like that. It enables him to live out his fantasies. And his job enables him to ensure that no-one is on to him. For Joe is the Christchurch Carver who, it is reported, has killed seven women. But Joe knows he has killed only six, and the seventh victim is that of a copycat killer. Joe is determined to find the copycat and exact his revenge.Cleave writes with a humorous touch, unexpected but appreciated in a book as dark as this. There is a lot of violence in this book, but none of it gratuitous. An exceptional debut novel.

  • Sharon
    2018-10-22 12:52

    Joe is the janitor at the Christchurch Police Department in New Zealand. He is known as 'Slow Joe' by his employers who think he is mentally handicapped, but Joe is far from it. In fact, he is very intelligent and having his employers think he is slow is a major advantage for him. Joe gets told about various cases and the latest one being the one the media have dubbed the Christchurch Carver. Without giving out too much of the storyline away, I will say this was a very well written book and one in which I really enjoyed. For those who love to read gritty, dark, disturbing, violent and gruesome books, then this book is for you. Recommended.

  • Brenda
    2018-10-20 14:51

    After I read Paul Cleave's newest book, Trust No One, and loved it, I decided to read all his books starting with his first, The Cleaner. This book is very different, but I did enjoy it. A warning for the squeamish, there is a LOT of violence, killing, and gore in this book.This book is about Joe, a serial killer who works as a developmentally challenged janitor in the police department. I'm not sure how Cleave did it, but he made me like Joe. It was interesting to see things through Joe, who sometimes had a sense of humor, a sense of superiority, and some compassion. There were a few characters that were very well developed, especially Joe's mother. She drove Joe, and me, batty!There was some confusion in my head at one point, but that was overcome. At about ⅔ into the story, I got a bit antsy for the story to move along, and it did eventually. In the end, Joe's plan, how the police put everything together, and Joe's fate were revealed. I think this was a well written debut, and I will read Cleave's next book.

  • Barbara
    2018-11-15 17:45

    Seven women in Christchurch, New Zealand have been brutally raped and murdered by a killer dubbed the "Christchurch Carver." The homicide squad, led by Detective Schroder, is working hard on the case and Joe - the police station's mentally challenged janitor - sometimes asks "Any new leads?" before getting Schroder his morning coffee. Joe has reason to be be interested because in reality HE'S the Christchurch Carver. Joe pretended to be disabled to get the cleaning job, and his vacant stare and big goofy smile has everybody fooled. In reality, Joe is a clever guy who - as he goes about his daily tasks - copies police files, follows the investigation, and changes out the voice recorder he hid in the police station conference room.Outside of work hours Joe steals cars to get around, murders people, and sometimes visits his mother - who makes bad meatloaf; talks about things she bought on sale; does jigsaw puzzles; and complains about Joe neglecting her. There's something very off between Joe and his mother, but it's not clear exactly what. It might have something to do with the scars on Joe's body, but this is never specified.Right now Joe is quite angry because he killed only six of the seven victims attributed to the Christchurch Carver. One woman was killed by a copycat who aped the Carver's methods. As a result, Joe is determined to identify the copycat and pin ALL the murders on him.....a quest that takes up most of the book. Unfortunately for Joe, he's attracted the interest of a young woman named Sally, who does maintainance work at the police station. Sally had a handicapped brother who died, and she's determined to make 'disabled' Joe's life easier. To this end Sally brings Joe sandwiches for lunch and starts to follow him after work - with all good intentions. After Joe meets a woman named Melissa in a bar, his life gets really complicated. But Joe's an arrogant dude who figures everything will work out for him. In fact, Joe does identify the copycat killer, and this leads to a dramatic climax. The story is told mostly from Joe's point of view, with occasional passages about what Sally's thinking and doing. Joe's crimes are described in graphic detail, so sensitive readers should be prepared. The book is compellling and held my interest, but stories told from a serial killer's POV aren't my favorites. Also, the main characters - all of whom are more or less deluded - aren't especially likable. Sally's probably the most sympathetic character in the story, but she's WAY too nosy and intrusive. Still, this is a well-written psychological thriller that I'd recommend to fans of the genre.You can follow my reviews at

  • Roy
    2018-11-16 10:39

    Disturbing and dark account of a serial killers reign of terror through Christchurch. Its a 1st person style account of Joe, a janitor for the local policestation who also happens to be The Carver. He lives this secret double life, and we are witness to his crimes and problems/delusions. A copycat killer appears, and throws his simiple life into chaos. I found some scenes a little too disturbing and graphic for my liking. The plot was very simple for the 1st half of the novel and didnt really take off until the 2nd half and by that time I wasnt really that invetsted. I eventually finished it but just wasnt as good as Bloodmen. I think having a main character who is severely flawed always makes it difficult to empathise with them. And having a thin plot and more a character study of the main character probably didnt help too much.

  • Christopher
    2018-11-11 14:49

    DNF at 72%The Cleaner starts out wonderfully. We follow along with a serial killer who works as a cleaner in the police station investigating him. He notices that one of the murders attributed to him isn't his, so he decides to hunt down this copycat and show them what he thinks of their cowardice! It's cool and demented and while the writing isn't the best thing I've ever listened to, the premise of serial killer hunting down a killer is always going to hold my interest. And then we got about half way through. That's six hours into an eleven hour audiobook. This is where the violence happens... and we get told about it over and over... and over and over. Now I'm not one to care too much, but until this point the sex has been fade to black. The violence has been fade to black. You see? And then we suddenly show up to hear this person get mutilated for half an hour (realtime). I was literally rolling my eyes. Yes, I get it. How have they not passed out from pain yet? But we get past it. Finally. Good grief. But we get past that... and over the next two hours our killer goes from pretending to be an idiot to being an idiot. And then something else happens and I decided that the author was confused about what book they were writing and I DNF'd 8 hours into an 11 hour audiobook. Insane, I know.

  • Dawn G
    2018-11-13 13:37

    It took me a little while to warm up to this book; however, once I did I had trouble putting it down. Although the author did not create the dark eerie setting I usually look for in a good thriller, the plot and the characters were extremely dark so it was definately my kind of read. However; the real reason I gave it a five star rating is because of the author's ability to make feel something I'm not even sure I want to admit to feeling. I actually liked and truly felt sorry for the main character, a serial killer. I honestly wanted him to be happy and move past the killing. Now that took some skill on the part of Paul Cleave. This was an excellent psychological thriller?

  • Gatorman
    2018-11-15 12:33

    This was one hell of a ride, a serial killer thriller unlike any I've read so far. The protaganist Joe is quite an interesting killer with a great sense of humor to boot. Told in both first person from Joe's perspective and third person from a co-worker's perspective, the story never fails to fascinate and the writing is superb as usual from Cleave. Dark and nasty with a particularly grisly scene no man will ever forget. A terrific ending that reveals a connection to Cleave's other books. Highly recommended.

  • Mike Gabor
    2018-11-17 09:46

    I wasn't impressed with this book at all. The story is told mainly thru the voice of Joe, a serial killer known as the Christchurch Carver. Joe works as a cleaner for the police department. He obtained the job by pretending to be mentally retarded. He spies on the squad investigating the murders in order to stay one step ahead of them. The other voice heard is that of Sally, a fellow worker at the police department. She has a connection to Joe as she finds him resembling her late brother who was also mentally handicapped.The story itself wasn't especially suspenseful. The premise of his pretending to be mentally retarded and fooling the police I found quite unbelievable. A sub-plot involving another killer , I also found to be quite a stretch of imagination. I'll give one of the other books of this author a read to see if this was just a one off.

  • Janeandjerry
    2018-11-01 13:53

    Great book for our November book readingThis was a very interesting book and one that was chosen for the November book read at Goodreads. I am glad that this book was chosen for it was very well worth the time and money spent on it...

  • Carol
    2018-10-22 14:58

    The Cleanerby Paul CleaveThe Christchurch Noir Mystery Series Book #14.5 ★'sFrom The Book:Joe is in control of everything in his simple life—both his day job as a janitor for the police department and his “night work.” He isn’t bothered by the daily news reports of the Christchurch Carver, who, they say, has murdered seven women. Joe knows, though, that the Carver killed only six. He knows that for a fact, and he’s determined to find the copycat. He’ll punish him for the one, then frame him for the other six. It’s the perfect plan because he already knows he can outwit the police. My Views:I have read The Theodore Tate series and all of the standalone novels by this author and found all of them to be exceedingly well done with interesting, true to life characters. This series will be no exception. The book alternates between the first person narrative of Joe, with flashbacks to his past, and several third person chapters that focus on Sally, a young woman who works at the department and feels pity, and possibly affection, for Joe. It's a very graphic, physiological story about a serial killer that believes he is smarter than anyone else and will never be caught. There are some humorous twists. He and Sally constantly misunderstand one another. Then there's Joe's mother. The strange Melissa rounds out the quirky characters. It will remind you how little you know about the people that even briefly share your everyday life.In spite of the occasional humor it's still a dark insight into the mind of a merciless killer. The physiological thriller fan will be held captive with the first chapter.

  • Jenny's Book Bag
    2018-11-18 14:36

    I’d never heard of Paul Cleave until it was a book selection for thePsychological Thrillers book group. Psychological thrillers are one of my absolute favorite types of books to read, but sometimes they’re a little challenging to find. I loved this book and this book alone has made me a newPaul Cleavefan.He is a master of character development.I’m not even kidding. I’ve never read characters that were this vivid. The characters were so distinct and real that I felt like I knew everything about them, every thought that ran through their heads, especially in the dialog. The narration alternates between Joe and Sally. Joe is the cleaner, who’s a highly intelligent, sociopathic, serial-killing rapist. It’s fascinating to read a novel from his point of view. He mostly didn’t have a conscience about any of the evil things he did, but at times he appeared to have a small bit of a conscience and then he’d do or say something to make you feel like it was just a false alarm. Oddly, he loved his goldfish more than any living thing. Joe was very sarcastic and funny and I felt weird laughing at the things he said knowing he was a sick bastard. His character is so well developed that at times I wasn’t sure if it was a sign ofPaul Cleave’s exceptional writing talentsor if Paul is in fact, very unhinged. How in the world does a writer get into the mind of a serial killer like that? It’s amazing. Sally is Joe’s coworker and at it took quite a while to learn her significance in the novel. Evelyn is Joe’s mom and she is so amusing. Joe’s visits with her were the funniest. Speaking of funny, this novel had several comedic moments in unexpected scenes, such as in a graveyard. I wasn’t expecting to laugh while reading a novel that featured a serial killer. One person said in their review that they felt sorry for Joe and before I read this book, I was thinkingAre you crazy?After I read the novel, I understood why the reviewer felt sympathy for him. The park scene and later at his apartment will actually make you feel sorry for him. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, not even Joe. If you think Joe is evil, wait until you meet Melissa. There were times when Joe’s luck seemed unbelievable. He was able to do things undetected when he should have been caught. He was able to walk into a conference room of the police station where he worked, grab files and either make copies in the copy room or take the files home. You would think that a station full of police officers and detectives would notice missing files for an open case. Other times, he was able to sneak into people’s houses unnoticed, not to mention all of the cars he stole. He also walked everywhere with a briefcase that contained a gun and knives including into work every day. I loved this novel so much that I immediately went to the library to pick up the next book of this series,Joe Victim . IfJoe Victimis as good asThe Cleaner , I’m planning to devour all of Paul Cleave’s novels. I highly recommend this novel to fans of psychological thrillers and aspiring writers who want to learn about character development.

  • Jim Crocker
    2018-10-31 13:41

    In no time Joe, the cleaner, will start to grow on you—the irresistible attraction of the psychopath. They’re whoever you want them to be. THE CLEANER has the “juice” working for it. You’ll feel it coming through the pages. Talk about tension. And this one goes full-bore all the way to a chilling conclusion. You’ll see what I mean (heart in throat).Goodreads Psychological Thrillers November 2015 Book of the Month

  • Debra
    2018-11-10 09:33

    This has one of the most gruesome torture scenes I've ever read. Men reading it will recoil in horror... definitely not for the faint of heart. I almost felt sorry for Joe, but he's an evil serial killer with a perfect disguise. Another great novel by this author.

  • Petra
    2018-10-23 10:34

    After I recently read Paul Cleaves' latest book Trust No One, which I really enjoyed, I jumped at the chance to go back and listen to his first book, The Cleaner, which has recently been released on audio. I am so glad I did.Joe is a cleaner working in the police station where he is known as Slow Joe. Joe is also an intelligent serial killer, the Christchurch Carver, whom the police are desperately trying to catch. While spying on the police investigation, Joe discovers that he is being framed for a murder he didn't commit. So Joe starts investigating on his own. The Cleaner is a dark and very twisted story told from the first person perspective of a serial killer and the third person perspective of Sally, one of his work colleagues, who is trying to befriend Slow Joe. You would have never guessed that this was actually the author's debut novel. I loved the writing. It was witty and compelling with lots of dark humor and some violence that made you gasp, but not in a bad way. You can't help but like Joe despite his homicidal tendencies. Cleaves creates great characters, such as Joe's slightly nutty mother, and the mix of grisly crime thriller and dark comedy was brilliant. Audiobook: Paul Ansdell was a new narrator for me. He did an amazing job, and I would love to listen to more book he narrates. In fact, I saw he narrates another Paul Cleaves' thriller, which I added to my wishlist straightaway. Ansdell really brought these characters to life. I was particularly impressed how he managed that with Joe's batty mother. The setting of the book being in New Zealand, I was initially a little surprised by the English accent of the narrator. But I was glad he didn't attempt to give the characters Christchurch accents that would have felt unnatural. Paul Ansdell has a very smooth, pleasant voice that was a pleasure to listen to. A free copy was provided by in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lectrice Hérétique
    2018-11-11 13:39

    Un thriller pris à l’envers, du point de vue du tueur lui-même, qui, pour ne pas faire comme tout le monde va mener l’enquête ? Allez, soyons fous ! Joe Middleton nous entraîne dans son délire avec une efficacité redoutable. Le lecteur suit le mode de pensée de Joe, alias Joe-Le-Lent, officiellement homme de ménage intellectuellement déficient, et partage ses réflexions personnelles sur le monde qui l’entoure. On découvre une personnalité complexe et absolument flippante. Joe est un vrai misanthrope, ses seuls amis sont deux poissons rouges, Cornichon et Jéhovah, qu’il nourrit consciencieusement. Certains passages les concernant sont comiques et poignants à la fois.Joe a la couverture idéale, il peut suivre au jour le jour l’avancement de l’enquête sur les meurtres qu’il commet, sauf qu’on lui met aussi sur le dos un meurtre dont il n’est pas l’auteur. Entre deux victimes, notre Joe va donc mener sa petite enquête.On accroche à l’histoire dès le début, et malgré un gros ressort qui arrive comme un cheveu sur la soupe (l’introduction de Mélissa est complètement hallucinante, d’une invraisemblance presque vexante), on adhère jusqu’au bout. Malgré aussi un personnage encore plus détestable que Joe lui-même. J’ai trouvé Sally insupportable de niaiserie, mais son rôle est tellement essentiel qu’on lui pardonne ses bons sentiments et sa culpabilité maladive. On en vient à la détester autant que Joe la méprise. Ce dernier, à travers son prisme délirant, ne voit en Sally qu’une attardée mentale.Bref, notre tueur, contrairement à Dexter (auquel on ne peut s’empêcher de penser) ne se donne pas d’excuses ou de prétexte pour tuer. On se demande même pourquoi il ne se lâche pas carrément en achevant sa vieille mère, elle aussi, un personnage pénible et pathétique. Mais Joe aime sa maman, il va dans son sens, essaie de ne pas trop la contrarier, joue son rôle de fils, et reprend sa vie normale de tueur. Son attachement à sa mère, ou à ses poissons rouges est presque attendrissant, il le rend vaguement humain. On comprend vite la logique de son comportement envers les gens en général, et les femmes en particulier.Ça n’a pas l’air comme ça, mais il y a beaucoup de subtilités dans ses propos, dont seul le lecteur peut mesurer le sens et l’importance.L’intrigue est échevelée, pleine de violence et de tragédie, le rythme ne faiblit pas et le final est apocalyptéosique (© tous droits réservés sur ce mot).Un superbe thriller intelligent qui nous plonge dans l’esprit du tueur et dans ce qu’il a de plus sombre, et aussi de plus humain. Un peu.

  • Hana Howard
    2018-10-26 13:03

    This is crime fiction on the black and bloody side. Paul Cleave creates extraordinary fictional characters. They are charming and chilling. His tight plotted story is moved by their actions and personalities.Joe is seeking a copycat killer. Joe knows that in addition to the serial killer the media has dubbed the Christchurch Carver there is someone else playing at being the killer.He knows because it is his crimes that have created the Christchurch CarverJoe has positioned himself in the best advantage for a serial killer. He is the janitor at the. Christchurch Police Department Headquarters. His employers think he's mentally handicapped - a bit slow. Joe knows he's not and he knows fully well that he's actually very intelligent. He works and fraternizes with the officers, as they devote time and resources attempting to discover his identity and bring him to justice.Annoyed and seeking revenge on the maverick killer, Joe takes to solving the 7th murder. He plans to punish the copycat and frame him for the other six. He is surprised to find that he is enjoying himself despite the time needed that takes him away from his own predilection . He is proud of himself for narrowing down the suspects. The espionage of sneaking about the cubicles and offices of the policemen at the police station and darting into the house of the victim is exciting for him. The satisfaction that he is better at knowing than anybody else at the police department satisfies his ego.Up until this point in Joe’s life, his mom is the most important person in the world to Joe despite her constant always being there, her explaining and her constant talking. Suddenly things change with the introduction of Sally and Melissa. He seeks to find a way to eliminate all the women who keep getting in his way, including his overprotective mother and Sally, the maintenance worker who sees him as a replacement for her dead brother. Then there’s the mysterious Melissa, the only woman who understands him, but whose fantasies don't have a place in Joe’s investigation. Behind all the gritty events, Cleave’s powerful writing takes miserable character and creates feelings for him. The story never fails to surprise. There is particularly hideous scene no man will ever forget. A terrific ending to a unique and well-written book.

  • Karen
    2018-11-16 17:51

    The Cleaner is Christchurch, New Zealand based Paul Cleave's debut novel. Set in Christchurch where at one point Joe, the central character, muses that the biggest crime in Christchurch City - apart from the fashion and the Old English Architecture, glue-sniffing, too much greenery, bad driving, bad parking, lack of parking, wandering pedestrians, expensive shops, the winter smog, the summer smog, kids riding skateboards on footpaths, kids riding bikes on footpaths, old guys yelling Bible passages at anybody passing by, stupid policemen, stupid laws, too many drunks, too few shops, barking dogs, loud music, puddles of vomit in the gutters and the grey decor, among several other things - is burglary. And, thanks mainly to Joe - serial killings.Joe works as a cleaner for the Christchurch Police. They think he's mentally handicapped - a bit slow. Joe knows he's not and he knows fully well that he's actually a very intelligent, busy, serial killer. He also knows that of the 7 murders they currently have chalked up to the Christchurch Carver - one of them wasn't him. And he's just ever so slightly miffed by this.Early on in this book, I'll be perfectly honest, I was thinking that the world could really do without another self-impressed, self-involved, self-narrating serial killer and about the time I was ready to throw this out the nearest window, bang, Cleave suddenly turned THE CLEANER on its head and Joe finds himself in a very very strange place. From then on the book takes you on a bit of a wild ride whilst Joe ramps up the killing spree, and tries to find the perpetrator of the one murder that he didn't do. Professional Pride? More likely a handy scapegoat.Although set within the Police Station, this is not a police procedural, so there is little concentration on the actual investigation, with most of the Police investigators taking a very low profile. Aside from the police, there are some unusual and well fleshed supporting characters. All in all, a very promising debut book with some good twists and turns.

  • Mark
    2018-10-20 09:56

    Cleave has become my new favorite author. I love the rough-hewn characters and in-your-face style he presents his readers with. I have devoured all his novels featuring Detective Theodore Tate and so wasa little disappointed that “The Cleaner” is a stand-alone novel not featuring Tate. The disappointment lasted all of three chapters and by page forty six, I was so overcome by the pure evil of Joe the killer, the Christchurch Carver, I was tempted to look at the last page to be sure he is finally caught. Luckily I didn’t and found myself spending the whole day entranced in this enthralling story.Originally released in Cleave’s native New Zealand in 2006, “The Cleaner” was just released in the States. Having orchestrated himself into the police department as simple and slow Joe the janitor, he isable to watch closely over the hunt for what the media have christened The Christchurch Carver. He knows the cops are nowhere close to discovering that he is responsible for the six bodies lying on a slabin the morgue. It is when a seventh is added, a copycat killing, that Joe wanders off course, becoming determined to discover who the killer is.Between dealing with a busybody of a mother, the infringement of the interest from Sally—a fellow employee at the department who is determined to watch out for Joe as he reminds her of the retardedbrother she lost—and a mystery lady who is besotted with police officers, Joe is finally undone by one of the women in his life who accidently stumbles over a simple clue and rats him out. If only he stayed the course and not forgotten he was just simple Joe, he would have become a classic cold case file destined to never be solved, but best laid plans are often overturned by someone else’s interference.Another gritty storyline exposing the dark city life of Christchurch ensuring all the cities inhabitants stay locked behind closed doors at night, or like me, be kept up all night reading Paul Cleave.

  • Jimmmunchel
    2018-11-03 15:49

    THE CLEANERBy Paul CleaveJoe is not your average Joe. The people he works with at the police station call him ‘Slow Joe’. He is a member of the janitorial staff and he keeps all the offices and the squad rooms clean. But Joe is not really slow. He has perfected his act so finely tuned he even surprises himself. Joe is a serial killer. The worst kind of serial killer because he feels no remorse. He preys upon and kills women with such a ferocity that even the detectives attempting to solve the murders are baffled. Once they leave for the day, Joe peruses their files, dumps and roots through their trash and even keeps a small recording device hidden in the main squad room which he manages to change the tape everyday. Always one step ahead….always flying just under the radar …able to kill and kill again.Until….Joe notices that one of the murders being pinned on his killing spree is not his handiwork. Someone has decided to kill and allow the murder to be lumped in with his killings. How creative!Using all of his resources, Joe sets out to track down the ‘thorn in his side’. How dare anyone think that they are smarter than he is…To add insult to injury, working along side Joe is a young woman smitten with him. Her name is Holly and she is grieving the loss of her brother Martin due to illness and her father’s slow descent into Dementia. Joe tolerates her affections and her kindness but finds her barely worth a second glance romantically…….Now things begin to get really interesting…THE CLEANER is a thriller that works on so many levels. Joe is no Dexter but doesn’t try to be…he is no blood splatter specialist… He is an ‘average Joe’A serial killer solving a murder through his knowledge of detail and scope is a refreshing change from the run of the mill suspense novel.I love the way Mr. Cleave thinks…and writes!

  • Nicola Mansfield
    2018-10-21 09:57

    This is Paul Cleave's first book; it is also the direct prequel to Joe Victim, his latest book which I read recently. Since I read the books the wrong way round I knew all the who-dunnits in this book but did not know the whys or hows. This did affect my enjoyment of the book and I do highly recommend you read the two books in the proper order! However, I enjoyed Joe Victim so much I just had to read the beginnings of his story. This (well both books) is a very unique take on the serial killer book as it is almost entirely told from the killer's point of view and we hardly even get to know the police investigators in this first beginning book. They have developed into characters by the time we get to the latest book, Joe Victim, the 7th in the series, though. But here, they show up occasionally and mostly through Joe, the cleaner's, point of view. The scary thing about this story is that even with the entire violent, ruthless murders we are somehow drawn to Joe and he does become an unwillingly sympathetic character to the reader in an unsettling way to my dismay, even though he is completely unlikable as a person and unreliable as a narrator. Occasionally another narrator will take over and we get an outsider's take on the case, but as I said this is not from the police themselves; they are kept as background characters making this a very unique style of thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed. I just didn't get the full impact since I had already read the sequel which keeps no secrets of the events that happen here. I'm impressed with this author and will move on to his next book which revolves around the same police department in Christchurch, NZ.

  • Ella-Maluca Floyd
    2018-11-06 09:39

    I couldn’t really figure out whether the main character, Joe, was a less gifted or extremely intelligent person. His actions are based on simple calculations and conclusions, and yet he is crafty and extremely pushy. At the same time his judgment is unrealistic and his relationship with women – especially his mother – is completely out of proportion. I’m sure a psychologist could create a rewarding career, if he dug into Joe’s personality.Paul Cleave has written a captivating crime novel in an endearing language that splits the reader’s sense of reality. Despite the barbaric acts, the story is told in an uplifting and humorous language and brings on a comical touch. Although all murders are described almost like a natural event without gory, nightmare-inducing descriptions, the reader cannot avoid a couple of episodes which caused me some nausea and unfortunately will stay with me for at long time.Joe is one of a kind (thank God) and so is Paul Cleave. I welcome the new path of thinking when it comes to crime fiction. This is not a mainstream crime novel, you’ll end up feeling sympathy for the killer – whether you like it or not.

  • JoLene
    2018-10-30 09:33

    This is definitely a dark graphic tale of Joe, a slightly slow janitor at the police station, or at least that's what people think. In reality, he is using the guise to keep tabs on the police and also get info about a copy cat criminal who is stealing his thunder.The story is set in Christchurch and has one of the best opening chapters (or maybe a prologue) that I've read this year. I listened to the audio. There was a lot of graphic cringe-worthy scenes --- the kind where you look around to see if people can tell what you're listening to. There are also a lot of dark comedic elements to the story. If you liked the TV series Dexter (or the book series), this might be one for you to try. I think Cleaves latest book is getting some good buzz. (I needed a debut book related to New Zealand for a challenge).

  • buchtrunken
    2018-11-07 13:57

    Joe jobbt er als Putzmann bei der Polizei. Er denkt daran, seine Fische zweimal täglich zu füttern und seine Mutter mindestens einmal pro Woche zu besuchen. Er stört sich kaum an den Nachrichten über den Schlächter von Christchurch, der - so wird behauptet - sieben Frauen umgebracht hat. Joe weiß, dass der Schlächter nur sechs getötet hat. Was er jedoch nicht weiß - noch nicht weiß - ist wer dieser Nachahmer ist. Aber Joe wird ihn finden; er wird ihn für die eine Tat bestrafen und ihm die anderen sechs Morde anhängen. Ein perfekter Plan. Das Einzige, was noch getan werden muss, ist, sich um all die Frauen zu kümmern, die nicht aufhören, ihm im Weg zu stehen.Sehr gut geschrieben, spannend und ein page-turner! Fast schon hegt man Sypathien für den alles andere als netten Joe von nebenan.

  • Eva
    2018-10-19 09:47

    Γραμμένο ως επί το πλείστον από το pov του δολοφόνου είναι άκρως ενοχλητικό, ενώ το χιούμορ ακριβώς επειδή είναι πολύ πετυχημένο καταντάει άβολο. Είναι καλογραμμένο παρόλο που από τη μέση και μετά η πλοκή ξεφεύγει από τον αρχικό στενό της κύκλο και η όποια αληθοφάνει πλατειάζει. Αν και δεν λείπουν οι ωμές περιγραφές ανατριχιαστικής βίας, ευσπλαχνώς (και έξυπνα θα πρόσθετα) δεν υπάρχουν εκεί που θα ήταν η νόρμα. Οι φόνοι των γυναικών δεν περιγράφονται ποτέ. Kudos γι' αυτή τη επιλογή. Ευχάριστο ανάγνωσμα δεν θα μπορούσε να το πει κανείς, αλλά ήταν σίγουρα ενδιαφέρον.

  • Sümeyye Kip
    2018-11-05 15:58

    Bir Stephen King, bir Jean-Christophe Grange kitabının yanından geçemese de cinayet romanları sevenler için hoş bir tercih olacağı kanaatideyim.bana Dexter'ın sevdiğim bir bölümünü hatırlattı. Kopyacı bir katil Dexter izleyenlere tanıdık gelecektir

  • Judy Collins
    2018-11-09 13:51

    What a wild ride - twisted, evil, and witty! Review to follow. Merged review:What a wild ride - twisted, evil, and witty! Review to follow.

  • KC
    2018-10-26 14:36

    Great story and so well written. Interesting perspective from the serial killer protagonist.

  • Jason
    2018-11-12 14:33

    A completely twisted story, with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. Brilliantly plotted, very graphic, oddly funny and just amazing!

  • Maddy
    2018-11-12 11:48

    PROTAGONIST: Joe Middleton, janitorSETTING: Christchurch, New ZealandRATING: 4.5Joe Middleton works as a janitor for the Christchurch (New Zealand) Police Department. Referred to as “Slow Joe”, few would suspect that he is anything other than a mentally challenged young man doing a job that suits his abilities. And absolutely no one would believe that he is the “Christchurch Carver”, a serial killer who has seven victims under his belt. Or so the police believe. Joe knows that he has only killed six women. He’s determined to find out who killed the seventh, Daniela Walker, so that he can arrange the evidence for that person to be blamed for all the murders. You see, Joe isn’t nearly as mentally challenged as he pretends to be. It serves his purposes to be considered dim—such a person could never be a threat. At the same time, his work allows him to access information on the killings, which proves helpful.Joe lives on his own with this pet goldfish, Pickle and Jehovah. His mother exerts an outsized influence on him. She is a demanding woman who can only find fault with her son. He professes to love her—but why does he put rat poison in her tea and grease her bathtub? He dissociates himself from those acts. The one person who actually cares about Joe is a co-worker, Sally, who is a maintenance worker. Sally blames herself for the death of her mentally challenged brother, and she sees Joe as a kind of replacement, a person who she can actually help. Joe sees Sally as a pain in the butt, not realizing that she is the person who saved his life after he was attacked by a woman he had targeted as a victim. Actually, Joe views Sally as being the one who is mentally challenged.“You should join me for lunch by the river,” she says…. How much fun I’d have as the other people walk by looking at one person pretending to be retarded while the other pretends to be normal. We could throw bread at the ducks and tell each other which clouds look like pirate ships and which look like the bloated corpses of drowning victims.I really liked THE CLEANER, a book quite unlike anything I’ve read before. Forget about the usual serial killer clichés—Joe has definitely been damaged by his relationship with his mother, but there is no hokey psychology around that situation. Joe picks his victims and matter of factly kills them. There’s no before-or-after anguish, other than when he offs Fluffy the cat. The humor is black; Joe would commit a horrendous murder and I would find myself laughing at how he reacted. How could I like a serial killer that kills for fun and in totally gruesome ways? That’s part of Cleave’s genius, to have you care about a man who should be totally unlikeable. The other aspect of the book that is praiseworthy is how Cleave manages to have Joe and Sally so completely misunderstand one another. THE CLEANER is an innovative book, dark and quirky. There are quite a few twists along the way, and I particularly liked the way the book concluded. At times, THE CLEANER is quite disturbing; on the other hand, it is also fascinating and the humor helps make it all palatable.