Book Title: The Cutaway
Author: Christina Kovac
Reviewed By: Chelsea
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Crime Fiction
Date Read: 03/16/17
Pub Date: 03/21/17
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.
I kept questioning why I was holding off on reading this one; I’ve had it on my shelf since November and it kept feeling like it just wasn’t the right time to read it. Now I know why; somehow my subconscious knew I needed to push pause until after we moved to Virginia! Come to find out, I’m practically neighbors with the author and I couldn’t have been more pleased to read a novel set in my new surroundings of D.C. I think the timing was everything; the setting in this book was like an entirely real, additional character and completely enhanced my reading experience. It’s clear from early on in the story that Kovac has in depth knowledge of the world of journalism; the flow and attention to detail made this a crucial read for my spring list.
“Be careful what your eyes take in. What you see becomes a part of you.”
I honestly wasn’t sure what to think of The Cutaway before going in; it had been ages since I’d read a book from a journalist’s point of view which made this a unique and eye-opening experience. This had the feel of a police procedural but with fresh eyes. There weren’t as many details from the law enforcement side, and while the pacing was a slow burn, it was filled with a sense of urgency and efficiency that can only come from a hectic newsroom constantly on deadline. We get a peak into not only what goes in to running such a busy joint, but much of the heart behind what makes a journalist tick. I found myself thinking how we tend to label most new reporters as “ravenous, hungry, and unscrupulous”, but this gave me fresh eyes on what drives these professionals to get the latest scoop and help law enforcement in solving some really tough cases.
I rather enjoyed Virginia as our lead; she’s a bit of a mystery for the first half of the book. Some readers have claimed this made her difficult to connect with until it was too late, but I didn’t find this to be an issue. She’s a strong, capable, independent woman who knows what she wants and gets it. I found this to be an attractive quality in the midst of all the weeping willows and damsel in distress types we typically find in suspense novels today. I can’t say I was swayed by the small amount of romance either way; it was nice having a bit thrown in but it wasn’t by any means a large part of the narrative. The key to the characterization here was really more in the occupations than the people themselves, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I figured out a few pieces of the ending, but I never had it all correct and was excited when all the details were finally revealed. This was the type of story that felt like comfort food; while it wasn’t flashy or riddled with outrageous twists and turns, it was highly enjoyable and one I didn’t feel inclined to rush through. The satisfaction is in the fine details here, and while it wasn’t a light and fluffy read, it did give me some of that same feeling of easy consumption that I crave between the really gory, gritty thrillers. I can easily see folks wanting to bring this story along on vacation or curling up by the fire with a cup of your favorite beverage; wherever you choose to read it you’ll want to snag your copy as quickly as possible to have at the ready.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a delight to review it on the blog!