Thanks to NetGalley and Atria for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Joshua is convinced there is a family curse. It’s taken away his biological parents, robbed him of his eyesight, and is the reason why his father Logan, the detective who raised him, is killed while investigating the homicide of a young woman. The suspect, Simon Bowers, is killed by Logan’s partner Ben, whose intentions are murkier than expected.
After this tragedy, Joshua is handed an opportunity he can’t refuse: a new pair of eyes. But a mishap during surgery leads to Joshua unknowingly getting one eye from his father, and the other from Simon. As Joshua navigates a world of sight, he gets glimpses of what his eyes might have witnessed in their previous life. Memories, truth, and lies Joshua discovers a world darker than the one he has emerged from. What else has he failed to see?
Meanwhile, Simon’s accomplice Vincent, is bent on revenge, going after the loved ones of those involved in Simon’s death, and Vincent is drawing closer and closer to Joshua.
Huh. This was a surprise. I figured I was going to enjoy Killer Harvest after reading so many positive reviews, but I didn’t suspect how much I was going to love it!
At the heart of this story is the controversial phenomenon of cellular memory. Is it possible for a recipient of an organ donation, to receive the emotions and behaviors from the donor through memories stored in the neurons of the donated organ? It seems like the medical community is divided as of now over this possibility, but there have been cases that make you wonder. There have been plenty of books and movies that have used this theory as part of their premise, but Paul Cleave puts a whole new spin on it.
Joshua is one of the most lovable characters I’ve come across in a while. There are times that it really does seem like some supernatural curse is hanging over his head. He grabbed me by the heartstrings from the very beginning and because of that I was thoroughly invested in the story. He’s sweet, compassionate, and determined to do the right thing. He’s also a bit impulsive, like many teens, and this winds up getting him into trouble.
There are many secondary characters, and while I didn’t think all of them were necessary to further the plot, there were a few that play a big part in Joshua’s life and I really enjoyed them.
The story itself has more than one theme with organ donation/cellular memory, bullying, and serial killers, among them. This could have been messy and confusing, but the author deftly brings everything together. I was hooked from the very first page, and the surprising twists and mini cliffhangers at the end of each chapter made it impossible for me to put this book down. I started it mid-afternoon and finished about 1:00 in the morning.
The only reason why I’m not giving this a perfect 5 stars is because of the ending. It’s deliberately left open-ended, which I had no problem with, although it’s left me longing for a sequel. However, there were some loose ends concerning a couple of characters that left me a little frustrated.
There are quite a few reviewers on Goodreads who have mentioned that Paul Cleave, who’s from New Zealand, is underappreciated in the U.S. and after reading Killer Harvest, I have to agree. It’s a brilliantly written thriller and a perfect beach and vacation read. I really can’t recommend it highly enough. This was my first book by Cleave, but it certainly won’t be my last!