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Joe Middleton's doesn't remember killing anyone. He calls himself Joe Victim, but others know Joe as the infamous Christchurch Carver and they want to see him dead. There's Melissa, Joe's accomplice in one of the murders, who plans on shooting him on his way to the courthouse before he gets a chance to start talking. Then there's Raphael, whose daughter was one of the Carver's victims. Finally there's Carl Schroder, the ex-detective who locked Joe up and is determined to put things right for the case of his career. It's a long shot, but it had better work before he becomes the poster boy for a death penalty that may be reinstated in New Zealand, which isn't quite the dramatic ending he is hoping for.
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Paul Cleave is the author of eight award-winning, internationally bestselling crime thrillers, including Joe Victim, finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Ngaio Marsh awards, and, most recently, Five Minutes Alone. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.From Booklist:
This sequel to The Cleaner (2012) finds accused serial killer Joe Middleton imprisoned and awaiting trial as the accused Christchurch Carver, but, despite his imprisonment, dead bodies are still piling up. Joe’s had a run of bad luck; his first two attorneys were murdered, and the latest is court-appointed and, to Joe’s way of thinking, not that bright. Joe is convinced a jury will find him innocent by reason of insanity, but his lawyer and the court-appointed psychiatrist strongly disagree. The only bright spot is a disgraced ex-cop working for a TV psychic who offers Joe a deal: lead them to a murdered cop’s missing remains for a large payoff, which Joe decides is his ticket out of jail. Meanwhile, he has to contend with fellow inmates trying to kill him, politicians looking to bring back the death penalty in time for his sentencing, and, less lethally, his mother’s upcoming wedding. Once again, gruesome violence abounds, so fainthearted readers be forewarned. Chelsea Cain and Thomas Harris fans will appreciate reading from Joe’s point of view. --Stacy Alesi
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