Ooooookkkkaaaayyyyy-do you ever read a scary story and think “what happened to that author in his/her life that gave them the inspiration to write such a dark book?” That is exactly what I was thinking when I read A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave, because this novel scared my socks off!
There’s two murders within the first ten pages of the book, so we don’t get much chance to settle in before the violence starts. One of the dead guys is a cop, and the other is a murderer and psychopath. In a seemingly positive turn of events, we learn that the dead cop is a foster dad to a blind boy named Joshua, and his last wish was to give Joshua his eyes so he could gain his sight through a new surgery that makes this possible. Unfortunately, there’s a (somewhat difficult to believe) mix-up at the hospital, so Joshua receives one of his Dad’s eyes, and one of the killer’s eyes. Now, Joshua is experiencing strange dreams where he can see the victims of the aforementioned murderer, but he can also see his Dad’s last few moments as well.
Once you are able to suspend your disbelief at the coincidences, this story just rockets along at an unbelievable pace. The twists are shocking, I didn’t see any of them coming, and I literally gasped out loud at some of them. I also groaned out loud at some of the more violent scenes-if I was watching this in a movie, I would have definitely closed my eyes at these parts!
There’s quite a few points of view churning around in this book, so there wasn’t a great deal of introspection from each character, but quite frankly, I didn’t really miss that, I was more eager to make my way further into the plot than analyze each character’s motivations. New Zealander Cleave literally writes ‘edge-of-your-seat’ scenes, in fact it felt like I was watching a movie at some points because the descriptions were so vivid and believable. His books are hugely popular in Germany and France, so I’m hoping they will break out here in North America after this release.
Update: After interviewing Cleave a few weeks ago for Wordfest, I discovered he’s a jolly old fellow with a wicked sense of humour, not the weirdo you would expect based on his writing. That seems to be a pattern with thriller writers; they are all lovely people in the flesh, but gosh have they got a twisted imagination! So now I’ve discovered a new favourite thriller writer and not surprisingly, I highly recommend his books to those who enjoy (and sometimes endure) this genre.
I love that the story actually made you gasp out loud occasionally. That’s a good sign! (Or, a bad sign. Depending if you’re also having fun or not.)
Ha! Yes, I often wonder what’s happened to authors to make them write the books they do! This sounds fun, in a gruesome kind of way. Ugh! Eye transplants! Not sure I’m ready for that idea… 😱
Oh yes, eye transplants are just the beginning!
Stephen King wrote this article about how it’s important for us to ingest scary things, be they movies, or books, or even maybe lighting something on fire. Just a little something. His argument for this was that if we do more violent things in media, then we can quote unquote keep the sewer alligators raging to come out from underground at bay. I think what he means is if we do scary things in a healthy way, then we don’t do scary things in real life.
I do know that there was a movie, I believe starring Jessica Alba, in which she is blind and gets new eyes. The eyes came from either a victim or a murderer, and she would see things that they had seen during their lifetime. Like your book, it was a horror story.
yikes! And I like that theory from stephen King, makes total sense I think. I’m a steadfast believe that reading will solve the world’s problems 🙂
Well this is one I don’t know if I could take! Kudos to you and Smokey for making your way through it and enjoying it!
haha thank you!
I’ve read one book by Paul Cleave and it also relied heavily on coincidence. And had several gruesome murders. Good to hear he’s a nice, normal guy in real life though!
that he is! LOL