Paul Cleave


Paul Cleave is one of sixty authors who attended The Press Christchurch Writers Festival from 4 to 7 September 2008.

The cleaner, The killing hour and Cemetery lake, are all set in the dark underbelly of Christchurch. Dark… underbelly…Christchurch - it may sound a little unlikely, but forget Christchurch as the garden city. Cleave’s Christchurch is grey, cold and replete with doom-laden shadows.

Cleave’s 2006 debut The cleaner sold 250,000 copies internationally, mainly in Germany. NDR, the north German broadcaster, has even gone so far as to describe Cleave as “the next Stephen King”.

Cleave worked in the pawnbroking industry for several years developing his “somewhat bleak” view¬†of Christchurch. Since childhood he says he always wanted to be a writer and sold his house so he could support himself while he laboured on his first novel.

coverThese novels are fast paced, grisly and definitely not for anyone of a delicate disposition. The author Jack Heath tells the a story of first fainting while reading a particularly graphic scene in The cleaner, and then on regaining consciousness, 'losing' his breakfast. Cleave sent him a signed copy of the book and a vomit bag.

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