The Cleaners – Mark Wheaton

This is an absolutely astounding read from a team I was not aware of. The story concerns a man who cleans up crime scenes. That’s not a euphemism, he actually mops blood and viscera off the walls post police investigation. Why? Well it gives him a chance to do some investigating of his own particularly if the case is of the unusual or unexplained variety. He along with his friends and associates poke their noses where the police fail to.

It is an interesting premise that works well. The author was either a doctor or CSI technician or is the king of research as everything feels absolutely authentic. As well as a cracking plot you get to learn a lot about forensics, medicine and decontamination but in an interesting and engaging way that does not hijack the flow.

The art is breathtaking with superb colour pallets. While this doesn’t look like a polished big budget title the art is lovingly painted and not rushed or skimped on. The layout is unusual as throughout the piece there are random frames that cut away from where you are now to somewhere else. These are little flashes of somewhere or some-when that allow you to put together the clues to figure out what is going on in a race with the hero. It is distracting at first but really rewards a patient and thoughtful reader. This isn’t mindless escapism this is a taught thriller.

It is so refreshing to find something that departs from its peers and tells a story on its own terms. I really hope to see more and have no hesitation in giving this the Double Thumbs Up!

44/321.

Tomorrow: Inferno – Mike Carey & Michael Gaydos

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