Author: Christina Kovac
First Published: March 21, 2017
First Line: "It began with someone else's story."
Book Description from GoodReads: 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.
My Rating: 2 stars
My Review: I went into this debut novel eager for a gritty, suspenseful, psychological thriller set within the hustle and bustle of a network news team. But I wouldn't call it a psychological thriller, nor would I equate it with Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn's works. Instead, it's a detailed look at the dissension within the ranks of a TV news station, a mystery surrounding a missing person and a lot of page time devoted to Virginia's love life.
The characters needed more development in order for the reader to become invested. Virginia is tough, has a cool job but I struggled to connect with her and understand her intense, oddly obsessive, interest in this one specific missing person case. A reason is given for her obsession towards the end of the book but it was a case of 'too little, too late' for me with the reasoning not being overly unbelievable.
The first three-quarters of the book was a slow-go for me and I waited to feel pulled into the story. The pacing and character development were weak throughout and I struggled to finish this book. I picked up this book because its blurb said it was a 'dark thriller' but Evie's disappearance felt convoluted and played second fiddle to Virginia's romantic angst. The last quarter of the book picks up the pace but by that time I wasn't invested in the plot or Virginia and was just eager for an ending.
In the end, this debut novel had an interesting premise but I wouldn't recommend it to fans looking for a psychological thriller. While the behind-the-scenes look at a TV network news station was interesting, too much time was spent on Virginia's love life while the plot surrounding the missing woman was left in the shadows for too long.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.