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The Cleaner

The Cleaner

A Thriller

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.

All he needs now is to take care of all the women who keep getting in his way, including his odd, 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 to have ever understood him, but whose fantasies of blackmail and torture don't have a place in Joe’s investigation.

Originally published in 2006 in Cleave’s native New Zealand, where it was a finalist for the prestigious Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction, The Cleaner is a chilling and darkly funny thriller that will leave you clamoring for his next.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451677799 | 
  • December 2012
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List Price $15.00
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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

I pull the car into the driveway. Sit back. Try to relax. The day, I swear to God, has to be at least ninety-five degrees. Christchurch heat. Schizophrenic weather. Sweat is dripping from my body. My fingers are wet-rubber damp. I lean forward and twist the keys in the ignition, grab my briefcase, and climb out of the car. Out here, the air-conditioning actually works. I reach the front door and fumble with the lock. I breathe a sigh of relief when I step inside.

I stroll through to the kitchen. Angela, I can hear, is in the shower upstairs. I’ll disturb her later. For now, I need a drink. I walk to the fridge. It has a... see more

Articles About This Book

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Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Etinosa Agbonlahor

Local media in Christchurch, New Zealand, are obsessively covering the story of the “Christchurch Carver,” a serial killer who has gruesomely killed seven women. Joe, a cleaner at the police department in Christchurch, knows the police are wrong....

About the Author

Paul Cleave
Photograph by Martin Hunter

Paul Cleave

Paul Cleave is the author of seven award-winning, internationally bestselling thrillers, most recently, Joe Victim. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Visit his website at PaulCleave.com.

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