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by Paul Cleave

Pub Date: July 26th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4391-8962-7
Publisher: Atria

Serial killers collide in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Adrian, a former mental patient at Grover Hills who was left to fend for himself when the institution closed three years ago, needs one more thing to make his collection of serial killer memorabilia complete: an actual serial killer. He targets Canterbury University professor Cooper Riley, who has placed the winning bid online for a severed thumb, waylays him and cages him up in his basement, where he plans on bringing him a wonderful gift: a victim. Cooper naturally denies that he’s a serial killer, but that’s not quite the truth, since he’s spent years avenging the mauling of his testicles after a rape went wrong. The victim Adrian picks and abducts is Cooper’s student Emma Green, who the year before was nearly killed in a DUI accident. Desperate to find her, Emma’s father calls on Tate, the man responsible for her accident, an ex-cop just released after four months’ incarceration. Tate’s search uncovers the truth about the Scream Room at Grover Hills and leads him closer to Adrian, who can hardly wait to watch his confined serial killer doing what he does best as Cooper contemplates whose freedom means more to him, his own or Emma’s. The gory finale features an eyeball skewered by a safety pin, many bodies buried on farmland and several serial killers dispatched, with one still on the loose.

Horrormeister Cleave (Blood Men, 2010, etc.), who is surely indebted to John Fowles’ The Collector for aspects of his plot, will scare you to death, or at least to the point of keeping a night light on.