#BookReview: THE CUTAWAY by Christina Kovac

The Cutaway draws you into the tangled world of corruption and cover-up as a young television producer investigates the disappearance of a beautiful Georgetown lawyer in this stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn.

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.

Release Date: March 21, 2017

Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

 

My Review

Whether you enjoy this book or not, I think, will depend on what you value in a story. I prefer character-driven fiction, and this book is largely plot-driven.

Here’s what I liked: The author has a professional background in journalism, and her knowledge gives authenticity to the story. We’re in the newsroom with Virginia, seeing what it’s like behind the scenes. We pursue leads, track down witnesses, and race to outdo the other TV networks. The plot revolves around this newsroom and their big story, and the details the author gives provide unique perspective and realism.

And there she was – hallelujah! – in that cutaway that’d been nagging at me: Evelyn Carney, a young woman caught in an unguarded moment, her face flushed with excitement, all big eyes and wild, dark hair.

Something to be aware of: As I write this, the book is being marketed as a “psychological thriller”. It’s not. This is a strong mystery and crime novel. There isn’t much of a psychological component, and the pacing is far too slow to be a thriller. I’ve seen this issue a lot these days. Publishers need to be more careful with their genre and marketing labels, as the expectations being set do not fit with the content of the book.

Now on to what I didn’t like: There is no character development at all. I was about a third into the book and still had no clear grasp of who Virginia is, aside from a news producer. At about the halfway point, the author throws in some backstory meant to give us history on Virginia, but it does little to clarify her emotions, passion, or overall personality. Her relationships with her coworkers are superficial, with deeper emotions alluded to but never clarified. We have this intense love (lust?) relationship with one coworker that seems to have history, despite popping up out of the blue, as if the buildup had been a long time coming but I missed it somewhere. I felt like I’d stepped into the midst of a series. In fact, I even checked to be sure I hadn’t missed earlier books. Because I had no connection to the characters, I found it difficult to care what happened to any of them.

There are many reasons people talk to a journalist. To help a person find their reason, I’ve played good cop and bad, confessor, psychologist, fellow mourner, and friend.

Overall, the mystery held my interest enough to keep me reading, but the characters didn’t make me feel anything.

*I was provided with an advance copy by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.*

 

Thanks for reading. 🙂