Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave

Tofu will help me hide the bodies.
Tofu will help me hide the bodies.

Where I Got It: Won a copy

Narrator: Paul Ansdell

Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC (2015)

Length: 11 hours 3 mins

Series: Book 1 Theodore Tate

Author’s Page

Set in modern Christchurch, New Zealand, Theodore Tate used to be a cop, but 2 years ago his wife and daughter were in a terrible accident. Things have been on a downhill slant since then. Now, he does some work for the local police and one of those things is to be present during exhumations and sign off on the paperwork. However, this exhumation brings up lots and lots of questions. First, there’s a couple of bodies in the cemetery lake. Next, the body they expected to be in the coffin isn’t there; instead it’s a body of a young woman.

From there on, the police want to take point and the tell Tate to butt out. However, he can’t let it go. He calls in favors and old friendships as he does his own investigation. He’s driven because he believes it is all related to a case he was working when his family was in the devastating accident, a case he dropped the ball on and should have finished out. The mystery leads to more bodies and Tate breaks so many rules.

Things are complicated and part of that complication is a priest who knows more than he’s telling. He’s bond by the confessional and that makes things tricky, morally speaking. I liked this twist being tossed in because for me it is simple: the law comes before the confessional, especially when it comes to very serious crimes such as murder. But that is not the case for everyone and this story really delves into those facets.

To add fuel to the fire, there is this news reporter that pushed him into saying things he shouldn’t, which she uses in a slanted news story. It’s more hot water for our troubled would-be hero. I found him fascinating because he isn’t your typical Good Cop Fallen On Hard Times character. Throughout the course of the story, he does a few things that I don’t agree with. He does feel remorse over most of them and yet his drive to solve this keeps pushing him to greater extremes. The ending wrapped up the murder mystery nicely, but left plenty of questions as to what will happen to our main character in the next installment.

I won a copy of this book from the Lazy Day Library Facebook group (via The Audio Book Reviewer) with no strings attached.

Narration: Paul Ansdell was pretty good, tho I don’t know why he didn’t use any NZ accents. I did go double check myself by listening to some NZ folks on YouTube. He had a variety of British accents and that was great for keeping all the characters distinct. His female voices were believable.

What I Liked: The setting; Tate is not your normal cop/detective hero; things are complicated for Tate; love the cover art; satisfying ending while also leaving me wanting Book 2.

What I Disliked: Why didn’t the narrator use NZ accents? I wonder if that was per the publisher’s direction….

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