Book Title: BLOOD MEN
Author: Paul Cleave
Edward Hunter is a family man with a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future, and a very dark past.
Edward's father is a man of blood. He's been in jail for twenty years and he's never coming out. Edward has struggled his entire life to put that all behind him, but it's hard when everybody knows you're the son of a serial killer. Then, a week out from Christmas, Eddie's world is turned upside-down. Suddenly he's going to need the help of his father, a man he hasn't seen since he was a boy.
Is Edward destined to be just like his father, to become a man of blood?
It always amazes me, how Paul Cleave can start out with a scenario that somehow seems quite normal and "expected" and then make it all go very very good weird, and you don't even notice that it's happening until you finish the book, turn all the lights back on the in house and take a big deep breath. And check the locks.
I'm very very partial to Paul Cleave's books and BLOOD MEN was no exception. Noir doesn't really cut it when you're describing these books, they are dense, intrinsically, fundamentally dark books sure, but there's also always something slightly unexpected, something slight twisty, something just that little bit weird in what is going on that a reader really isn't allowed to get into a comfort zone. But BLOOD MEN is built around a scenario that couldn't possibly make you comfortable - the idea that a happily married family man, the son of a man of blood - a notorious serial killer never to be released. A son who has spent his life denying the father that he then must turn to for help. It somehow seems quite natural that with a family background like Edward's, he'd be worried about his destiny. Is he free of the worst of his father's legacy or is he, Edward, destined to be a man of blood also?
Of course, in a scenario like this, there's going to be some graphic violence, but that's tempered somewhat by a cheeky, sly and clever sense of humour. Having said that the taut plotline and the way that the tension over Edward's future builds was more than enough to make this reader charge through the violence, desperate to get to the end. So desperate that this was a one sitting book. Which, as per usual, means I was reading it in the dark, early morning. Which lead, of course, to that turning on all the lights problem. Which leads to the lack of sleep that I've come to expect when reading a Paul Cleave book. There aren't many authors that make me change my daily routine, but Paul Cleave does it everytime and I can't wait for the next book.