Laughterhouse” is slaughterhouse with the “S” scraped away. This is a hardcore noir thriller with a respectable body count, set in Christchurch, New Zealand. It features ex-detective Theodore Tate on the trail of a vengeful killer.
Tate has recently been released from four months in jail following a bust that went wrong, and he’s still reeling from the death of his daughter in the drunk-driving accident that put his wife in a coma. He’s in a very dark place, a place where lust for revenge could seem natural, like justice being done.
Caleb Cole lost his daughter, too—but not to a drunk driver. He lost his little girl to a mentally-ill abused child molester who had been sentenced to psychiatric care instead of to jail. He lost his wife and unborn son to suicide. The only thing keeping him alive now is a desire for justice, and he’s a big believer in an eye for an eye, a daughter for a daughter—and in spreading the blame.
After Cole’s first kill, Tate is allowed to join the Christchurch Police Department's homicide investigation as a consultant. It’s his first step toward getting his old job back on the force, his first chance to prove himself again after all that’s gone wrong. The case is a tough one, though: Tate’s insight into the killer cuts both ways. When it comes down to it, will Tate act on the side of law, or of a bloodier justice?
The Laughterhouse is Cleave’s third Theodore Tate book, but can definitely stand alone. Cemetery Lake (currently on order) and Collecting Cooper are numbers one and two.