Theodore Tate never forgot his first crime scene—ten-year-old Jessica 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.
In The Laughterhouse, the city of Christchurch becomes “a modern equivalent of James Ellroy’s Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness” (Publishers Weekly). Fast-paced, dark, and intensely clever, this exciting thriller represents a brilliant new chapter in the career of a world-class crime writer.
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Read an Excerpt
It was Christmas in August. A real winter wonderland. Yellow tape decorated the scene like tinsel, wisps of fog snap-frozen across the words Do Not Cross, blurring the letters to the point where nobody could tell one from the other. There was a small brown shoe in the snow. It was on its side, and snow had built up around the bottom of it. It had fallen off the girl when she was carried from the car into the building. The air was deathly still and cold, so cold it seemed your breath might solidify in front of your face and fall to the ground, where it would land softly in the snow by your feet and...see more
Fifteen Years Later
It’s bad funeral weather. The early Monday morning Christchurch sun has given way to rain, a cloudless sky now nothing but gray without a hint of blue, one minute the rain thick and steady, the next nothing more than annoying drizzle that the window wipers on my car struggle to keep up with. It’s not much of a car—it’s over twenty years old, which puts it around seventy in human years, certainly retirement age. Some mornings it’ll start and others it won’t, but it was cheap and the truth is cheap is something I can...see more
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