The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

Welcome back! I’ve been sequestering myself away because I’m going to see Neil Gaiman next week, so I’ve been reading whatever of his I have on my shelf. But then I picked up The Cutaway and promptly forgot all about Mr. Gaiman {sorry, friend}.

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Title: The Cutaway {320 pgs)

Genre: Mystery/thriller

Publication Date: March 21, 2017

Summary:

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.

Look, I think its pretty obvious that I’m a sucker for a good mystery. I want to say that it’s because I’m so good at figuring out the story before it ends, but let’s be honest here. I’m not. Each character that is introduced, I immediately think, oh, there’s the killer right there. I’m wrong about 99.9% of the time, but that’s what makes most of these mysteries fun because the ending is always a surprise for me.

The Cutaway is different, not because I didn’t accuse every character that was thrown in my way {I did}, but because none of the characters that I pointed my finger at ended up being the bad guy. The story also branched out into a direction that I hadn’t expected, and now I’m itching to reread the whole book so I can pinpoint where everything went wrong for these characters.

The other thing that I loved most about this book? The men seemed to be second-thought characters.

Virginia Knightly only wants to break the best stories first, and if that means putting herself in danger, so be it. When Virginia sees Evelyn Carney’s face on yet another missing poster, something draws her in. Virginia pursues the story, even with her network making rapid changes around her, and pushes whoever she can to find out what happened to Evelyn. This, unfortunately, means that she comes across her old boyfriend, Commander Michael Ledger, aka Mr. Complete Jerk Face. Honestly. This guy made me want to pull him from the page and punch him in the face. At one point, I prayed that he was the killer just so he could be thrown in jail and I would never have to think of him again.

But the list of good characters – Nelson, Isaiah, BEN {insert heart eyes}, even the new girl Heather – more than make up for Michael. Everyone wants to help Virginia, from her camera guy to Evelyn’s husband, but none of them are willing to put themselves out there like Virginia does. This is her story and she’s going to do whatever she can in order to bring Evelyn’s killer to justice.

At the end of the novel, I read the author bio and found that Christina Kovac actually works in the television news sector. It makes sense because the behind the scenes world of TV news was so richly detailed in this book and everyone seemed to be moving at a TV news pace. Then I wondered how many characters were based on people she knew. Especially Nick Mellay, the new boss at her network, a guy so pompous and idiotic that he must have been based on someone. Either that or Christina Kovac can just really, REALLY write annoying men super well.

If you want a fast-paced, well written mystery, pick up The Cutaway. It’s thrilling and terrifying, and it offers a great peek behind the curtain of the TV news. I’m already preparing to reread this one, and it’s probably going to trick me once more.

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