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Monday, March 20, 2017

#CJSReads2017 REVIEW: The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

The Cutaway by Christina Kovac
Atria Books / 37 INK
Publishing  3/21/17

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Synopsis 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.

Jessica's Thoughts:
5 / 5 Stars

I give this 5/5 stars. I loved this book! What an amazing debut for Christina Kovac. It was such a refreshing change to the typical thriller. This wasn't from the typical police detective perspective. So we didn't have the overflow of police procedural jargon (as well as the following plot traits). This instead was from the perspective of a journalist trying to find a missing girl. 

We follow Virginia Knightly, a producer for 'The Evening News' show, and her interest in a Missing Persons case that came across her desk.
Unable to shake her fascination with Evelyn Carney, she begins her first fieldwork case in years. Teaming up with her show's best news anchor, Ben Pearce, they begin to unfold the events leading up to her disappearance. Without giving away too much of the plot, Virginia follows the trail to Evelyn through the streets of Washington DC and learns of connections with high profile attorneys, detectives, and even political figures. Murder, cover ups, spying, embezzlement, this book as a little bit of everything to keep up a great pace for a page-turning thriller!

The change of perspective is what really made me love this book. It was well-written, you really connect with the characters, and I felt like I was right there with Virginia trying to get the latest scoop! We were brought on a ride through all of the follow ups, finding new leads, all while trying to stay out of the cross-hairs of the killer. It was a great change of pace not having the same disgruntled cops, ex-cops that just want to be brought on for one last case, or the corruption high up in the police force. This book has been compared to Gone Girl and Newsroom - I've said it before, but I'm always skeptical when books are compared to Gone Girl. I can definitely see the connection! I was guessing until the very end. I changed my mind probably three times as to what happened to Evelyn and who was behind it! 

If you're looking for a thriller with a change of pace, but still has the crazy plot twists and fast reading pace, then you will not be disappointed with The Cutaway! I think it's a great debut for Kovac and I'm excited to see what she comes out with next. 

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Sam's Thoughts:
4 / 5 Stars

I find myself struggling with police procedurals lately; I am easily distracted and find that they all fit the same mould.  Enter The Cutaway, the debut by Christina Kovac.  This one reads like a police procedural but with a twist, instead of following the internal investigations of the police force, we are thrown into the folds of an investigative journalist.   What a breath of fresh air.

Filled with considerable twists and turns, I was pulled into the world of journalism and I loved every second.   I read this novel easily in the course of a couple of sittings.  It was fast paced, dynamic and easily digested.  

After receiving a “MISSING” notice on her desk, Virginia Knightly finds herself hot on the trail of a murder investigation.  I loved this character; she was smart, resourceful and ambitious.  She was the type of character that I felt I could have been friends with.  I loved when Kovac really began to develop her character within the second half of the novel.  I would love to see Virginia Knightly developed into a series.

I also loved the insider scoop into the cutthroat world of broadcast journalism; I have always been fascinated by this world.   I was impressed with the way Kovac was able to delve in and deliver information without it becoming too heavy or complex.   Instead, we go along with Virginia for the ride as she gathers facts, looks for sources and works alongside the police and prominent members of society to find this missing woman.

I did find that the novel lagged a little in the middle, enjoyable still, just not as fast paced, as I would have enjoyed.  However, this is short lived.  By the end of the novel, the pace picks up and the end delivers!

Overall, I’d have to say that this would appeal to crime fans who enjoy police procedurals but long for a new perspective, or for anyone who likes a plain, old, entertaining novel. 

Follow Sam on InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and her Blog!

My Thoughts:
5 / 5 Stars

Virginia Knightly knows her journalism. She gets down and dirty into the nitty gritty of a story and nothing or nobody will stop her from getting what she wants. A missing notice makes it way to her desk regarding a young attorney going missing in Georgetown. Nothing new really in the grand scheme of things, but her instincts tells her there's more to this than meets the eye. Risking everything, she digs deep into DC's political and business world, unraveling secrets of both. Will all her efforts help or hinder not only her professional life, but her personal life as well? How far would you go to get the story of a lifetime?

Basically read in one sitting, this debut novel (I can't believe it's her debut!) by Christina Kovac grabbed my hand, took off running and never let me stop to breathe. Short, concise chapters all from the point of view of Virginia keep the pages turning. Each bend around the corner kept me wondering as to what was going on and who the culprit could be. I love it when a book keeps me guessing up until the very end. Told, refreshingly, from the point of view of a journalist, you get to see the gritty side of our nation's capital and how a news story comes together as that world, like most businesses, has their own internal politics to meander. Highly recommend this read and will certainly be keeping an eye out for more of Kovac's work.

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