Monday, April 3, 2017
When brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly receives a disturbing “MISSING” notice on her desk related to the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head. Despite skepticism from her colleagues, Knightly suspects this ambitious young lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister, especially since she was last seen leaving an upscale restaurant after a domestic dispute. Yet, as the only woman of power at her station, Knightly quickly finds herself investigating on her own.
Risking her career, her life, and perhaps even her own sanity, Knightly dives deep into the dark underbelly of Washington, DC business and politics in an investigation that will drag her mercilessly through the inextricable webs of corruption that bind the press, the police, and politics in our nation’s capital.
Harkening to dark thrillers such as Gone Girl, Luckiest Girl Alive, and Big Little Lies, The Cutaway is a striking debut that will haunt you long after you reach the last page. -- Atria 37 Ink
I love me a good psychological thriller and THE CUTAWAY by Christina Kovac sure fit the bill. THE CUTAWAY has already received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and I can certainly see why. This debut novel by a former newsroom manager is a fast-paced, tightly-woven story that definitely kept me guessing.
THE CUTAWAY tells the story of Virginia Knightly, a television producer for the number one station in Washington, DC. When she receives a missing person notice for Evelyn Carney, a beautiful young lawyer, she becomes caught up in the events surrounding her disappearance. She has a feeling that there is more to this story than the typical missing person case, and she suspects that those involved might be part of DC's powerful and elite.
Virginia basically takes on this case without the support of her television station, especially the new manager who starts firing her staff and even takes over her job. Her investigation also forces her to cross paths with a DC detective... who also happened to be her one-time ex. In the process of uncovering the truth behind Evelyn's murder, Virginia crosses paths with many of DC's elite including powerful lawyers and even an assistant U.S. attorney (who just happens to be a suspect!)
Nothing is what is seems for Virginia and she quickly realizes that her sources may not be trustful. She discovers that DC business, news, and politics can be nasty -- no real surprise there. However, as she gets closer to the truth, she realizes that her own life might now be at stake!
THE CUTAWAY is definitely an intriguing thriller, especially for fans of all things DC. Not only does the book have a suspenseful mystery surrounding the disappearance of a woman, but it also provides an inside look into DC news, business, and politics. I am a huge news junkie so I found the inner workings of the news station especially interesting. However, I will also gladly state that the mystery was a darn good one.
As is the case with any psychological thriller I read, I love the possibility for twists and turns... and THE CUTAWAY definitely had those. Virginia Knightly was a terrific narrator and I sure hope to see more of her in future books (hint... hint!) I loved her intelligence and courage, and I also appreciated that the author created an interesting (and complicated) back story for her. In addition, I admired her sense of loyalty to her staff as well as her determination to get to the bottom of who was responsible for murdering Evelyn.
If I had one small issue with THE CUTAWAY, it was that it took me a bit to get used to the author's writing style... or maybe I should say Virginia's voice. Now it's entirely possible that I was distracted while reading this book because that seems to be the case with my life right now; however, I found myself re-reading some passages a few times because I wasn't exactly sure what Virginia was saying. Usually these snippets had to do with Virginia's personal thoughts about the station or news coverage, so it's possible that that world was entirely new to me and I had to just get used to her style.
I was really happy to find a reading guide on-line for THE CUTAWAY. It actually would make for a fun book club discussion. Some of the themes you might want to discuss include DC as the setting for the story, the similarities between Virginia and Evelyn, parent/child relationship, love, journalistic ethics, career choices, and the concept of justice.
Overall, I think THE CUTAWAY is a great start to a promising career for Ms. Kovac. Recommended for fans of psychological suspense and news junkies.
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.
Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.