‘The next Stephen King’, NDR, Germany
'Most people come back from New Zealand talking about the breathtaking scenery and the amazing experiences. I came back raving about Paul Cleave. These are stories that you won’t forget in a while: relentlessly gripping, deliciously twisted and shot through with a vein of humour that’s as dark as hell. Cleave creates fictional monsters as chilling and as charming as any I’ve ever come across. Anyone who likes their crime fiction on the black and bloody side should move Paul Cleave straight to the top of their must-read list.' Mark Billingham, www.markbillingham.com
'Dark, bloody, and gripping, Blood Men is classic noir fiction. In Paul Cleave, Jim Thompson has another worthy heir to his throne.' John Connolly, www.johnconnollybooks.com
'Compelling, dark, and perfectly paced, New Zealand writer Cleave’s psychological thriller explores the evil lurking in us all, working relentless magic until the very last page.'
'Blood Men may very well be Cleave’s best book yet; filled with his recognizable mix of dark crime peppered with sly humour, compelling characters, and exciting storylines with enough tension and interesting twists and turns to keep the pages whirring.’ Good Reading Magazine
'Cleave writes like the fine-tuned punches of a middleweight boxer - with short sharp jabs to the solar plexus that make you gasp. The Kiwi crime writer scores another knock-out punch with his latest novel... The pace and the carnage accelerate toward a climax lasting for several pages and leaving you breathless.' The Courier Mail, Brisbane
'Cleave... should not be read without another human being in breathing distance, and not at night. This is the most accomplished of Cleave's works, not for the writing or the story, which is always strong and original, but because Blood Men has a new edge of complexity. Blood Men is not for the faint-hearted. Cleave does brutality well, full-frontal, and it keeps coming, in Christchurch.'
'Cleave takes readers on a chilling ride through a city gone bad and men gone mad. Can't wait to read the next one... Fantastic.', Hawkes Bay Today
'The violence is hard and frequent... Fortunately the bleakness is undercut by Cleave's dry sense of humour... Blood Men is likely to stay in the mind long after it is finished.', The Canberra Times
'Well constructed and gripping.', Sun Herald - Sydney
'Cleave’s real genius is in the way he plays with the dark and light in his characters. He shows us Edward’s twisted side and yet still convinces us to like him; we see why his wife fell for him; we want him to hurt those bad guys; we sympathise even when we’re repulsed by what he does. Cleave knows exactly how to manipulate, how to hook in readers and keep them turning the pages. The plot of Blood Men is unpredictable, shockingly so at times, and the writing fresh, fast and creepy. If what turns you off some New Zealand fiction is the sacrifice of story to wordplay then here’s the good news – Cleave manages both brilliantly. And Christchurch with its famously evil underbelly provides him with an ideal setting for a story about the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a beautifully rounded story and a real triumph of disturbing, bleak, bloody, compelling crime writing', Herald on Sunday, New Zealand
'The book is a real page turner and the week that the story covers, from the bank robbery to the surprising finale, with all the suspense, brutality, murder and mayhem is suddenly over and one is left stunned and speechless ... if he can crack the US market ... and keep producing books of this calibre then his future is assured.', Graham 'Bookman' Beattie - Radio NZ National
‘Cleave has the rare ability to craft a story of such technical expertise his quality of suspense overturns psychology: what we learn of his characters is superseded by the reader's assumption that the next set piece has the power to reverse our expectations. Cleave knows how to keep scenes moving. He defines action without giving anything away and deletes that which doesn't advance his plot. The strongest images are those of a doom-laden harsh-shadowed world, the atmosphere always chilly, grey and cellar-like damp’, The Australian