Monday, December 10, 2012

#BookReview: The Cleaner - Paul Cleave

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."  - Verbal Kint/Keyser Soze, The Usual Suspects

Joe the cleaner is a simple man.  He goes to work, visits his mother on Mondays for dinner and goes home to his two fish, Pickle and Jehovah.  Joe doesn't work just anywhere, he works at the police station, which allows him to monitor open cases, especially his, because Joe is a psychopathic killing machine, but no one knows it just yet.

For four years, Joe has worked in the same precinct where he originally came to confess to a crime.  Mind you, when he confessed, he intentionally misled the detectives, leading them to believe that he was mentally challenged, and the detectives were kind enough to offer him a job since he seemed like such a good guy.  Even Sally, the maintenance worker, feels sorry for Joe, because he reminds her of her deceased brother.

Joe is not hardly slow though, he's probably smarter than everyone in the precinct.  In fact, Joe is brilliant.  He also lacks complete remorse for killing and, in fact, feels like he's better than others that commit similar crimes.

I'm not an animal.  I'm not going to kill somebody just because they are there.  I hate guys like that.  That's what makes me different from anybody else.  That's my humanity.

Joe is nuttier than a fruitcake, but he truly believes that he's doing the world a favor by killing some of his victims.  But Joe gets too comfortable and lazy.  So confident is he that he never sees Melissa coming for him.  If you've watched BBC's Luther, you're already familiar with the character of Alice.  Well, Melissa is The Cleaner's Alice.  If it's possible, she's an even bigger psychopath than Joe and now, she's running things.

It's amazing watching Joe and Melissa try to outdo each other and stay one step ahead of the other.  Honestly, I didn't know whether to applaud them or dislike them.  I must admit that I was thrilled at the prospect of a female psychopath and I think she played the game, because that's essentially what it was, much better than Joe.

This was my first read from Paul Cleave, but it definitely won't be my last.  Not since Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl have I been so absolutely blown away by a character.  This is a definite must read for suspense readers and anyone that loves unpredictable characters and story lines.

Published: December 2012
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.

Theme: Lying From You by Linkin Park
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