Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Review: The Cutting Room by Ashley Dyer

Kerry Hammond is here with a review of another writing duo.

The Cutting Room by Ashley Dyer was published on June 18, in Hardcover, by William Morrow. It is the second book to feature Detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver, who first appeared in Splinter in the Blood. Ashely Dyer is the nom de plume of the writing team of Margaret Murphy and Helen Pepper. Murphy is the author of psychological suspense and police procedurals and Pepper is an analyst and Forensic Scientist who has consulted for shows like Vera, Shetland and Bancroft.

In The Cutting Room, Lake and Carver are caught in a cat and mouse game as they hunt for a killer who calls himself the Ferryman and who passes his crimes scenes off as art exhibits. The killer sets up the scenes and alerts his followers via social media where to find them. The scenes are as gruesome as they are random and the detectives struggle to find a connection between the victims that could lead them to the identity of the killer.

Carver and Lake are both recovering from on the job traumas. Carver is physically injured and experiencing visions of auras, and Lake is suffering from an attack that has left her vulnerable. Individually they deal with their issues, and as a team they work past them to catch a sadistic killer who taunts the police every step of the way.

The Cutting Room is well-written and full of suspense. The authors combine their knowledge and skill into one seamlessly written novel that I couldn’t put down. Carver and Lake are well drawn, interesting characters whose demons I enjoyed exploring. The killer’s work is complex and horrifying, and I was on the edge of my seat as I read. This is a brilliant new series, and although The Cutting Room read as a standalone, I will go back to read the first in the series to fill in the missing details.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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