Cut to the Quick: A Novel

Cut to the Quick: A Novel

4.4 7
by Dianne Emley
     
 

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The crime scene was like something out of a horror movie. Billboard tycoon Oliver Mercer has been brutally slain in his home in the Pasadena hills, joined in death by his long-legged trophy girlfriend–both of their bodies displayed in a chilling tableau. The murder scene reawakens terrible memories for homicide detective Nan Vining, who survived her own…  See more details below

Overview

The crime scene was like something out of a horror movie. Billboard tycoon Oliver Mercer has been brutally slain in his home in the Pasadena hills, joined in death by his long-legged trophy girlfriend–both of their bodies displayed in a chilling tableau. The murder scene reawakens terrible memories for homicide detective Nan Vining, who survived her own harrowing attack a year earlier. While tracking the taunting gameplayer her daughter Emily dubbed T. B. Mann–The Bad Man–she is now working the Mercer case alongside her ex-flame Jim Kissick, stirring up conflicted feelings in her. From the ritzy estates of L.A.’s Lamborghini-driving set to a rocky desert outpost where rattlesnakes whisper murder, Nan will risk both her badge and her heart on a case that cuts close to the bone.


From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Emley's compelling follow-up to 2006's The First Cutfinds homicide detective Nan Vining faced with a grisly double homicide in a Pasadena mansion. Physically but not psychologically healed from the vicious knife attack in The First Cut, Vining questions Mark Scoville, the homeowner's business partner, who's cooperative at first. But when he suddenly clams up and asks for a lawyer, Vining's suspicions deepen. Discovering recent calls between Scoville and ex-con Jack Jenkins, Vining wonders if Jenkins misinterpreted Scoville's sour comments about his partner as an invitation to a classic criss-cross murder scheme. Complicating matters, a mute vagrant is arrested carrying disturbing drawings hinting at Vining's previous attack, as well as pointing to other victims. As she struggles to piece together the Scoville case, Vining also steps up her obsessive, private search for her assailant, whom she now fears is a serial killer. The tease of this ongoing subplot is underdeveloped, though Emley skillfully juggles several other plot lines. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this edgy, unpredictable heroine. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Pasadena homicide detective Nan Vining wrestles with a violent double murder while she's still struggling to exorcise the horrors of her own brush with death. Millionaire playboy Oliver Mercer has become the target of the ultimate home invasion. Somebody knocked on his front door, entered and killed him, dismembered him with a chainsaw-and then, for good measure, murdered his girlfriend, art-museum administrator Lauren Richards, when she turned up, and arranged the two corpses with ritualistic precision. Pasadena's finest suspect is Mark Scoville, Mercer's business partner, whose wife, glamourpuss newscaster Dena Hale, is her own biggest story. Nan in particular is sure that shifty-eyed Scoville knows more than he's telling. From the opening scene, however, Emley has made it clear that Mercer was killed by a stranger, a man dressed as a woman, though it's not clear whether he's a transvestite, a transsexual or just a guy in a really unconvincing disguise. Unfortunately, Emley, whose eye for the visceral effects of violence is as unsparing as Patricia Cornwell's, has also picked up Cornwell's fondness for subordinating the not-very-interesting homicide du jour to the ongoing saga of her menaced heroine. Two years after a savage knife attack left her clinically dead for two minutes (First Cut, 2006), Nan encounters Nitro, a crafty/crazy street person whose drawings of women in extremis include one that bears an uncanny resemblance to Nan, and another that's got to be Johnna Alwin, the Tucson police detective whose murder has never been solved. Does that mean that Nitro is really T.B. Mann, Nan's nightmarish assailant? The smart money won't expect any answers to what the author obviouslyintends as a long-running set of riddles. Scary killers and solid procedural work, as long as you don't mind a modicum of mystery and many more questions than answers. Agent: Robin Rue/Writers House LLC

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345504586
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/27/2009
Series:
Nan Vining , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
77,995
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Dianne Emley gained critical acclaim with her Los Angeles Times bestseller The First Cut, the first thriller featuring homicide detective Nan Vining. She is also author of The Deepest Cut. She lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband, Charlie, and two cats.

www.DianneEmley.com


From the Paperback edition.

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