Whatever It Takes by Paul Cleave | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Paul Cleave
Title : Whatever It Takes
Pages : 450
Publisher : Upstart Press
Publication date : April 1, 2020


When seven-year-old Alyssa is kidnapped, Deputy Noah Harper decides he will do what it takes to find her – but that means crossing lines he can never come back from. 

Finding the girl safe isn’t enough to stop Noah from losing his job, his wife, and from being kicked out of Acacia Pines. He’s told if he ever returns, he’ll be put in jail and left there to rot.

Now, 12 years later, comes a phone call. 

Alyssa is missing again and her father wants him to honour the promise he made to her all those years earlier – that he would never let anything bad happen to her again.

To find her, Noah is going to have to head back to the pines, and come face to face with the past… 


Despite Paul Cleave being an internationally bestselling author, I feel he’s one of those authors not enough people talk about. I’m here to tell you that if you’re not reading his books, you are sorely missing out! Paul has been on my list of go-to authors for years and I don’t see that changing any time soon. My only criticism is that he doesn’t write fast enough and there’s always a rather long wait between books!

Paul Cleave’s previous books were all set in Christchurch, New Zealand. But Whatever It Takes marks a bit of a departure as we find ourselves on another continent altogether. In the small town of Acacia Pines, seven year old Alyssa goes missing. Deputy Noah Harper vows to do whatever it takes to find her and bring her back home safely. In doing so, he crosses lines he can never come back from. Noah loses everything. He loses his job, he loses his wife and he’s told in no uncertain terms that he should leave Acacia Pines and never return. Now, twelve years later, Noah receives a phone call. Alyssa has gone missing again and despite the danger he could place himself in, Noah decides to return to Acacia Pines to uphold his promise to her, that he would never let anyone hurt her again.

I can’t quite find the words to describe how good Whatever It Takes is. It is an incredibly tense and thrilling ride, which took me on a path I wasn’t at all prepared for. Noah is an extremely complicated and multi-layered character. Not always likeable but determined and fierce. He’s someone I undoubtedly wanted to root for, yet some of his actions didn’t always make that easy to do. If there is a line to cross, odds are Noah will do it and in an odd sort of way you can’t quite blame him for it because it always comes from the right place.

The cast of characters surrounding Noah is every bit as strong as he is. There’s the ex-wife, whom I couldn’t quite warm to; there’s the best friend and former partner and last but certainly not least, the former sheriff. Retired he may be but he still seems to rule the community with an iron fist. I fully expected this small town and its residents to be hiding secrets and as the story unraveled, I became quite suspicious of just about everyone. Yet, there was no way I could have predicted where this dark tale would end.

With a disturbing scenario that leads to a chilling conclusion, Paul Cleave once again proves he is one of the best storytellers out there. Whatever It Takes is clever, masterfully plotted and incredibly addictive. My reading mojo has been all over the place this year but Whatever It Takes had me utterly engrossed from start to finish. I highly recommend not just this book, but this author. Because as far as (crime) thrillers and authors go, this is top of the shelf stuff!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Hive UK | Kobo

20 Books of Summer : 7/20

  12 comments for “Whatever It Takes by Paul Cleave | #20BooksofSummer

  1. July 16, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Nice blog


  2. July 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Wow. Fantastic review, Eva💜 There are so many angles to this story and I’ve yet to read a book by Cleave. The settings are appealing as well. Off to see if I can find one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. July 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Fantastic review Eva! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. July 16, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Fabulous review, I am so excited! I was just thinking about this book yesterday. It is on deck and will be read by the end of the month!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. July 16, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Yeah… I’d never heard of Paul Cleave until you mentioned him 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

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