The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave
A Thriller

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From the internationally bestselling author of Blood Men and Collecting Cooper comes a riveting new thriller about one father’s revenge and another’s fight for survival.

Theodore Tate never forgot his first crime scene—ten-year-old Jessica found dead in “the Laughterhouse,” an old abandoned slaughterhouse with the S painted over. The killer was found and arrested. Justice was served. Or was it?

Fifteen years later, a new killer arrives in Christchurch, and he has a list of people who were involved in Jessica’s murder case, one of whom is the unfortunate Dr. Stanton, a man with three young girls. If Tate is going to help them, he has to find the connection between the killer, the Laughterhouse, and the city’s suddenly growing murder rate. And he needs to figure it out fast, because Stanton and his daughters have been kidnapped, and the doctor is being forced to make an impossible decision: which one of his daughters is to die first.

In The Laughterhouse, the city of Christchurch becomes “a modern equivalent of James Ellroy’s Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness” (Publishers Weekly). Fast-paced, dark, and intensely clever, this exciting thriller represents a brilliant new chapter in the career of a world-class crime writer.

About Paul Cleave

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Paul Cleave is the author of five previous internationally bestselling thrillers, The Cleaner, The Killing Hour, Cemetery Lake, Blood Men, and Collecting Cooper. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Find out more at
Published August 21, 2012 by Atria Books. 434 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Cole spent 15 years imprisoned for killing his daughter’s murderer, James Whitby, only to be released obsessed with destroying everyone who played a part in putting Whitby on the streets after his first assault—the defense attorney, jury foreman, defense psychiatrist, character witness.

Aug 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Laughterhouse: A Thriller

Publishers Weekly

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A brutal sadist stalks Christchurch, New Zealand, in Cleave’s compelling third noir thriller featuring PI Theo Tate (after 2011’s Collecting Cooper).

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Laughterhouse: A Thriller

The Booksellers New Zealand blog

If you’re harbouring any traces of cultural cringe about reading New Zealand authors, and have a liking for crime thrillers, then one of Cleave’s books would be a very smart starting point in overcoming any outdated notions about Kiwi authors being inferior to overseas writers.

Nov 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Laughterhouse: A Thriller

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