The #Bookvent Calendar 2021 – Day Twenty Two


#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2021

My day twenty two #bookvent selection is a late entry to the list, one that captured my attention from the off and one which addresses the question that people have been wondering for year, probably since watching Jessica Fletcher at the heart of all those crimes back in the eighties – is there anyone better placed to solve perpetrate the perfect crime than a crime writer? Or even two. With brilliant characters, a mystery laden story and an opening sequence that gets the adrenaline pumping and the sense of impending dread building right off the bat, my twenty second pick is …


The Quiet People by Paul Cleave

Suspicion is cast on two successful crime writers, when their seven-year-old son goes missing. Are they trying to show that they can commit the perfect crime? A mesmerisingly twisty, dark thriller from number-one bestselling author Paul Cleave…

Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time…

Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisty thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page.


I liked this book. A lot. Really liked it. Loved the mystery, the misdirection, the suspicion and the suspense. I even liked the characters, Cameron and Lisa, even if there was a very real chance that they may have been involved in the disappearance of their son. From the very beginning of the book this was a story that captured my attention, one hundred percent, and one I knew I would literally race through. And I did. There was just something absolutely compelling about the story that kept me turning the page way past the point at which I should have been asleep. Don’t you just love those kinds of books? The opening sequence is shocking, disturbing and jaw dropping. Did it really happen? Could Paul Cleave really be that dark. It sets up the tone of what is to come and that is dark, twisted, and ultimately mesmerising. Maybe we knew what was to come, maybe we didn’t but. The suspense was there, razor sharp, from the very beginning and it heightened my senses and glued me to the page. I was in, 100% hooked and ready to go on that unreal, emotional and undulating journey with Lisa and Cameron, two parents at the heart of what could be a most devastating tragedy. Told largely from Cameron’s point of view, he as a character I really grew to like and it is a technique that works perfectly for this story. He’s spiky, prone to outbursts and makes himself look quilty, not only in the eyes of the public, but where it really counts, with his family. And yet … Paul Cleave played a blinder, casting doubt but never alienating readers and drawing me further into the story. He has has really captured that terror, emotion and the anger that battle within Cameron, making me feel the anger on his behalf at perceived injustices, of which there are many, and the sadness of what must surely come to pass.

One of the brilliantly observed aspects of this story is they way in which the media, and social media, can be used to sway the opinions of the public in a case that has such a high profile as this one. We’ve all seen it, and in this book it adds a layer of conflict, tension and authenticity that makes the whole thing pop. Maybe as a reader I was biased in Cameron’s favour, being present as some of the scenes played out, but the book became a tale of divided loyalties, much in the way the remote viewing public will judge the innocent and guilt of the alleged perpetrators of crime we see from TV, based only on our own conscious and unconscious bias. There are many seeds of doubt planted throughout the story, certain situations that play out, which would have even the most ardent supporter second guessing their loyalties. Fast paced and entirely gripping, this is a book which was both the perfect length and also over too quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the rollercoaster ride of thrills, shocks and emotion that the author took us through. A sense of both justice and injustice playing out with each and every page turn. I do think Paul Cleave is a cruel, cruel man putting his protagonist through unrelenting turmoil and agonising, morally challenging decisions, but with top notch characterisations and a really true to life sense of time and place, it’s really made a mark.

Read my full review right here.


Happy #bookvent reading all


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