The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

The Blurb On The Back:

It begins with someone else’s story.  The story of a woman who leaves a busy restaurant on a chilly spring night in Washington, DC, walks out into the night and disappears completely.

Evelyn Carney is missing.  For brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly, that’s a story worth investigating.  But as she traces Evelyn’s last movements, she finds herself stumbling on secrets that powerful people want kept out of the news.  Soon, it’s clear that before she uncovers what really happened that night, she’ll need to fight for her career, her sanity –and even her life. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Virginia Knightly was a TV reporter until she found herself traumatised reporting on the disappearance of a mother and her child.  Now she works as a producer on Washington DC’s number one rated evening show and when she comes across a police bulletin about a missing young lawyer called Evelyn Carney, who was last seen walking away from a DC restaurant, she knows that there’s a story there – especially as she’s sure she’s seen Evelyn before in footage for another report.

With the police playing down the disappearance despite having some of their top people on it, she decides to dig deeper helped by newsreader/sparring partner Ben Pearce and brilliant cameraman Nelson Yang.  But piecing together Evelyn’s last moments brings her to the attention of some of DC’s most powerful movers and shakers, not to mention old flame Michael Ledger (a rising star in the DC police force) and some people don’t want Evelyn found, no matter what the cost.

Christina Kovac’s debut thriller is a solid affair that utilises her own experience in news media to provide a compelling account of newsroom politics, economics and competing egos but neither the romance element nor Virginia’s troubled history interested me enough and the mystery element itself didn’t feature the victim enough to care about the outcome and is hampered by a limited list of suspects, which makes the result predictable.

Virginia is a dynamic character and I liked the fact that she’s good at what she does but could have done without the messy romantic life (the love triangle element left me cold and an impulsive sex scene seemed to exist only to spice up the plot) – I especially wished there’d been of her working relationship with Ben, which had a lot of potential – and I don’t think that her childhood or the scenes with her father added a huge amount to the story.  The pacing works well with Kovac keeping the revelations coming but Evelyn herself is a bit of a cypher, ultimately a pawn to spark the plot rather than a character who you want to find out more about and there simply aren’t enough suspects to create much mystery about the culprit (who I guessed early on).  That said, I liked the intermingling of politics and media and I think there’s a lot of potential for this to be a series and would check out Kovac’s next book.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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