His Favourite Graves – Paul Cleave

To catch a killer…

Maybe you’ve got to be one…

Acacia Pines, USA. Sheriff Cohen`s life is falling apart – his father accidentally burned down the retirement home, his wife has moved out, and his son is bullying other kids at school.

When high-school student, Lucas Connor, is abducted, Cohen sees a chance to get his life back on track – to win back his wife and scoop the reward money offered for Lucas`s safe return.

But as the body count rises, it becomes clear that Cohen`s going to have to make the kind of decision from which there`s no coming back … a decision with deadly consequences…

A furiously paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller exposing the dark underbelly of small-town life, His Favourite Graves is also a twisted and twisty story of father-and-son relationships, and the one last gamble of a desperate man to save everything…

Book Info: Print length: 305 pages. Publisher: Orenda Books. Publication Date: 9 Nov 2023

My Thoughts

It’s no secret that I like dark and disturbing books and His Favourite Graves had been recommended to me as a particularly dark one, so I started reading it without even checking the blurb.. yup I know I’m such a rebel!

Set in a small town in the USA, Acacia Pines is a seemingly quiet and relatively safe place to live. However, Sheriff James Cohen is having a particularly difficult time at the moment. His wife has left him, his teenage son hates him and his father, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, has just been kicked out of the care home he was in for burning it down (accidentally) and killing a resident, but this is nothing compared to the day Lucas Connor is having.

Lucas is a student at the local high school, an outsider and often bullied by the other pupils, has been locked in a school locker at the end of the day and left. Hours later, the janitor hears him shouting and Lucas finally feels help is on it’s way and is being rescued. However, the janitor isn’t exactly a knight in shining armour, he’s a very troubled and dangerous paedophile and Lucas isn’t his first victim either.

Abducted from the locker and now at the mercy of this very sick individual it’s a race against time for Sheriff Cohen to find Lucas and rescue him.

I raced through this book, the pace was fast, the tension was tight and the plotline was flawless. I would describe this book as a “literary Russian Doll” as each chapter unveiled a new shocking revelation and was full of surprises and twists that I absolutely did NOT see coming.

It’s a very uncomfortable read with several trigger topics that some readers might not want to read about including child abuse, sexual abuse, murder and suicide. It’s possibly one of the darkest books I’ve read in recent years, but if this doesn’t bother you, then I would 100% recommend it to fans of dark, twisted and very, very disturbing thrillers.

Rating: 5 out of 5.