The Pain Tourist – Paul Cleave

How do you catch a killer…
When the only evidence is a dream?

James Garrett was critically injured when he was shot following his parents’ execution, and no one expected him to waken from a deep, traumatic coma. When he does, nine years later, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is tasked with closing the case that her now retired colleague, Theodore Tate, failed to solve all those years ago.

But between that, and hunting for Copy Joe – a murderer on a spree, who’s imitating Christchurch’s most notorious serial killer – she’s going to need Tate’s help. Especially when they learn that James has lived out another life in his nine-year coma, and there are things he couldn’t possibly know, including the fact that Copy Joe isn’t the only serial killer in town…

Book Info: Print Length: 300 pages. Publisher: Orenda. Publication Date: 10 Nov 2022

Paul is an award-winning author who often divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where his novels are set, and Europe, where none of his novels are set. His books have been translated into over twenty languages. He’s won the won the Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur Crime Novel of the Year Award, and Foreword Reviews Thriller of the Year, and has bee shortlisted for the Ned Kelly, Edgar and Barry Awards. He’s thrown his Frisbee in over forty countries, plays tennis badly, golf even worse, and has two cats – which is often two too many. The Pain Tourist is his (lucky) thirteenth novel.

My Review:

The Pain Tourist is Paul Cleave’s latest standalone thriller and I really enjoyed his previous book, The Quiet People, so when I was invited onto the Orenda Blogtour I jumped at the chance without even bothering to read the blurb.

A Pain Tourist is someone who revels in the misery of others… just in case you were wondering and this book begins nine years ago, in a quiet suburb in New Zealand when a burglary went horrifically wrong. 11 year old James Garrett’s life is turned upside down when armed intruders kill his parents in a botched burglary, shooting him in the head, leaving him in a coma. His older sister Hazel manages to escape and call for help and has spent the past nine years hoping James will wake from his coma.

Now age 20, James finally wakes from his coma, however during the past nine years he has been living happily in “coma world”, a world where his parent’s didn’t die, where he went to school and college, living a happy and contented life with his family.

The book is split into several stories, the first about James and his “coma world” and how it appears he has woken up with an unexplained gift because James now knows things that he couldn’t possibly know and could perhaps shed some light on the home invasion which saw his parents murdered and the killers were never caught.

Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is now in charge of the Garrett case and teams up with the retired detective who was never able to close this case. Meanwhile, there is also a copy cat serial killer on the prowl and the reader is taken on a twisty journey trying to work out who “Copy Joe” is and who killed James’ parents and why.

This is a highly original fast moving thriller which kept me guessing throughout.

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