A letter to Santa from Joe Middleton, the Christchurch Carver and main character in Paul Cleave’s newest thriller

Dear Santa, My name is Joe Middleton and I’m in jail. I have been here for six months now, and next year I am going on trial. People call me The Christchurch Carver. You might have me on your naughty list because I killed a bunch of people, but that wasn’t really me – I don’t kill people and I would never, ever, ever lie to Santa. For Christmas I want to be let out of jail forever and an iPad. People in here are mean to me, and some of them want to kill me and some of them want to cuddle me in the shower when I’m naked. Santa – I don’t like being cuddled by naked men. They’re prickly and it hurts. Lately my mum has been talking about getting married. Is there anything you can do to stop that from happening? Maybe make her sick somehow so the wedding can’t go ahead? But not too sick – I don’t want anything bad to happen to her. What would be really cool would be if you could be my new dad, and not that asshole she’s dating – he’s stupid. Jail is awful. Detective Schroder comes and sees me occasionally and keeps asking me questions I don’t want to answer. Mostly he asks about Melissa. I miss her. Is she on your naughty list? She’s on mine. I hope this letter gets to you okay – I’ve given it to my lawyer to post but he hates me. I’m also not sure how you will bring my iPad to me and help me escape as there are no chimneys in jail, but I’m sure you can figure it out. If you don’t help me, I will escape by myself and I will come and find you. I will do things to Mrs. Santa that will make you mad. Next year is going to be a really important year for me. You’ll be hearing from me again. I’m going to be writing a book. It’ll be about my time in jail, and about the people who have annoyed me. Don’t let me down, Santa. You don’t want to be on my naughty list. Thinking of you – and your wife, Joe.

The Cleaner by Paul Cleave is On Sale now Buy here
Joe is in control of everything in his simple life—both his day job as a janitor for the police department and his “night work.” He isn’t bothered by the daily news reports of the Christchurch Carver, who, they say, has murdered seven women. Joe knows, though, that the Carver killed only six. He knows that for a fact, and he’s determined to find the copycat. He’ll punish him for the one, then frame him for the other six. It’s the perfect plan because he already knows he can outwit the police. All he needs now is to take care of all the women who keep getting in his way, including his odd, overprotective mother and Sally, the maintenance worker who sees him as a replacement for her dead brother. Then there’s the mysterious Melissa, the only woman to have ever understood him, but whose fantasies of blackmail and torture don't have a place in Joe’s investigation.

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