Friday, 22 July 2016

Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan


(3 Nov. 2016)

The Blurb . . .

Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. And she's missing. She's an adult - nothing to worry about, surely? Until the video's uploaded. Ruby, in the dirt and pleading for her life.

Who better to head up the investigation than the Met's rising star, Detective Inspector Kate Riley? She's leading a shiny new team, high-powered, mostly female and with the best resources money can buy. It's time for them to prove what they can do. Alongside her, Detective Sergeant Zain Harris - poster boy for multiracial policing and the team's newest member - has his own unique contribution to make. But can Kate wholly trust him and when he's around, can she trust herself?

Ruby's millions of fans are hysterical about what may have happened to her. The press is having a field day and as the investigation hurtles out of control in the glare of publicity, it becomes clear that the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much, much darker than anyone could have imagined in their worst nightmares.

And the videos keep coming . . .

My thoughts . . .

I am rather shocked that this is Caan's debut novel! What a start!

When I read the blurb for this book, I was really intrigued to discover the angle the author would take, hoping that I wouldn't be met with thousands of pointless police interviews with randoms who had once sent Ruby a negative comment online, and I wasn't disappointed!

When the special task force are called straight to a missing persons case, an adult who has been missing less than 12 hours, they can't help but wonder why, there doesn't appear to be any reason why she is any different to any other missing young adult, other than her parents "just know" something is wrong. I was a little concerned with where this was going to start with, however, as the plot starts to dramatically unfold, things start to become clearer.

The attention to detail Caan portrays in his knowledge surrounding the workings of the elite police squad, the politics around them and his clearly intimate knowledge of the world wide web and technology is wonderful. All three are areas I like to think I know a bit about, but to no real intelligent level I'm afraid, yet Caan details aspects of each in such a way that you can understand it, and I mean really understand it, explaining jargon and not going over board with lengthy descriptives, which for me made the book so much better as I actually understood what they were talking about! Authors can run the risk of over explaining things, of making the reader feel stupid for not knowing something but Caan got the balance perfectly right.

I really loved how these characters developed - a new team, thrown together not so long ago, working on their first major crime case - seeing the dynamics between them was refreshing, and, as they are part of a new elite squad, their procedures and resources are different to those that we find in mainstream police crime thrillers, which added a really brilliant dimension to the story.

Kate and Zain clearly have pasts that they are keeping from each other, and it was a pleasure to watch their development on a personal level, seeing how they grew together and tried to learn to work together and trust each other. There is so potential for the whole squad, I really hope that Caan has plans for them in the future!

The plot twists and turns are intelligent and shocking, just when you think you have it all worked out, BAM, another heart stopping twist that keeps you more than engaged, it makes it impossible to put down, you will keep turning the pages until you get to the very end!

Cut to the Bone is an absolutely terrific debut novel from an author I hope sticks around for a long time to come!

I would like to thank the publishers and Net Galley for sending me this copy in exchange for my honest review.

About the author . . .

Alex Caan has spent over a decade working in Information Systems Security for a number of government organisations, and is currently specialising in Terrorism Studies. A lifetime passion for writing was sparked by the encouraging words of an English Teacher in school, and eventually led to Alex successfully completing an MA in Creative Writing, and write Cut to the Bone.

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