The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

4.7 13
by Darcia Helle

My name is Skye Summers. I'm a hairstylist and I can't stop fantasizing about killing my clients. Not all of them, of course. I only want to kill the ones who irritate me, which, if I'm being honest, is most of them. My occasional fantasies have turned into chronic daydreams. They're bloody and vivid, like watching a slice-and-dice movie on IMAX.

I also want to

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My name is Skye Summers. I'm a hairstylist and I can't stop fantasizing about killing my clients. Not all of them, of course. I only want to kill the ones who irritate me, which, if I'm being honest, is most of them. My occasional fantasies have turned into chronic daydreams. They're bloody and vivid, like watching a slice-and-dice movie on IMAX.

I also want to kill my husband's ex-girlfriend. She's not a client but she tops my list. Eighteen years ago, she gave birth to his daughter and she has tormented him ever since. I should be troubled by this growing desire to use my surgically sharpened shears for more than a haircut. Instead, I wonder how I can get away with it.

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.49(d)

Meet the Author

Darcia Helle has a head full of characters insisting their stories be told. Originally from Massachusetts, she now writes in the sunshine of Florida. She lives with her husband, in a home ruled by spoiled animals. You can learn more about Darcia and her books at:

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Cutting Edge 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
224perweek More than 1 year ago
The fact that the main character is a hairdresser is what first got me interested in this story as I am a ex-hairdresser. It mad me laugh as she described her feelings towards her clients. I could so relate. The serial killer in the story is totally creepy and disturbed. This story will give you nightmares for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious! Loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
splatpunk More than 1 year ago
I know "Psychological Mystery" doesn't quite sound as sexy as "Psychological Thriller", but marketing labels aside...I enjoyed the strong emphasis on "the inner psyche" in this story. Both that element and the mystery/murder component components went extremely well together. I've entertained the idea of being a hairstylist in the past (during my late teens), so that aspect of the book piqued my interest easily ;). This is a book/story which starts with the opening line of "My name is...", without sounding contrived or annoying. I thought it was a confident opening, and drew me in to read more about the characters and the story they found themselves in. I would've enjoyed a bit more on the murderer himself -- maybe something even more intense and one-track-minded (with regards to Skye!)...though I understand how this might have diverted attention from the warmer, realistic, at-times-tender moments of the story, which I greatly enjoyed too. I think what I enjoyed most about the book/story was that it was entertaining, while staying true to a feminine pysche, without being boring and stereotypical. Kudos to Ms. Helle!
MSM23 More than 1 year ago
Let me begin by saying that this book is totally outside of my normal reading genres. I'm generally not a big fan of suspense stories, whether books or movies. That said, I found The Cutting Edge to be a great read. Darcia Helle has a remarkable ability to breathe life into her characters, whether it's the endless stream of annoying clients in her hair salon, Skye Summers and her family, or most notably, the serial killer stalking the town. Much of the story is told in the first person through Skye Summers. As I approached the breaks where the story shifts to follow the serial killer, I found my stomach tightening because the thoughts and actions of the killer seemed so authentic, creepy, and disturbing. If you like psychological drama, you will love this story. Ms. Helle is so adept at putting herself into the mind of the serial killer, that if I were her husband, I'd be sleeping with one eye open.
MariaSavva_Author More than 1 year ago
From page 1, where Darcia Helle's protagonist introduces herself as Lilly Skye Destiny Summers (LSD Summers -- named by her hippie parents), and then goes on to explain that she is known as Skye, and her husband's surname is Skyler, so she kept her maiden name, I knew that I was going to enjoy this book! Anyone who has worked in a job where they have to deal with the general public on a daily basis will appreciate the humour in this book. Skye is a hairdresser and begins to have fantasies about killing her clients. She has reached the stage where she no longer enjoys her job and her clients irritate her. On top of that her husband's ex is causing problems. Skye wants her dead. At the same time as Skye is having these murderous thoughts, there is a serial killer loose in town. He is killing women, seemingly randomly, no one is safe. The book is written in the first person where Skye is narrating her daily life, and then in the third person where we follow the 'Mass Avenger', the serial killer, as he takes revenge on women for the way his mother treated him. He believes women use their 'power' to break men down. He sees something different in Skye, though. He is one of her clients. He becomes obsessed with her but does not want to kill her. He has other plans. This is a murder mystery which you will not want to put down. Helle has written an entertaining, psychological thriller. One minute you will be laughing at Skye's wild thoughts, the next you will be on the edge of your seat wondering about the fate of the women abducted by the Mass Avenger. There is some violence in the book, prepare to be shocked. Also, prepare to be amazed by Helle's skill at crafting a book that hooks you from the first page, keeps you captive to the very last, and leaves you feeling awestruck. This book reminds us how daily toils can turn us into someone we don't like, and that we should be careful what we wish for...
timetravel More than 1 year ago
Skye Summers is not your ordinary hairstylist. What is so different? This hairstylist fantasizes about killing her clients. Skye takes the reader through her day with her regular clients and their problems, confessions and families. The Cutting Edge is written with a combination of styles. There is a little of everything in this book - a serial killer mystery, humor, thriller and more. As the book starts, it is written in a sarcastic and humorous tone with the main character describing her regular customers and her dislike for them. It is at this point the story is borderline cozy, but then it takes on a darker tone. Later in the book the serial killer storyline takes over and it becomes more intense and gruesome, a little too gruesome for me. The story wraps up in a very satisfying way and a little different than I expected. Even though it was a little too brutal for me, I enjoyed this unique storyline and this very special character.
Syria_Says More than 1 year ago
Storyline: With her razor sharp wit and even sharper critiques of the main character's agonizingly annoying hair salon clients. We meet Skye at the peak (or would it be low point?) of her career as a small town hairstylist who has just about had it up to her eyeballs with the daily complaints, snarky comments and just general absurdity of her clientele. Skye begins to have morbid and detailed fantasies about giving her customers something to actually complain about. And that's when the murders begin. Someone is killing women and calling themselves The Mass Avenger. The killer claims to be righting the injustices of those who feel they're entitled in this world. The Cutting Edge is a quick, hard to put down and delicious read that's absolutely hilarious and keeps the reader guessing until very nearly the end. Grammar/Spelling: I noticed some very minor grammar/formatting discrepancies. Perhaps one more read-through from a beta reader would clear that up. Character Development: Poor Lilly Skye Destiny Summers. All she wants to do is her job: cut, color and style hair and all she seems to get are women (and even men) who do nothing but complain about this, that and bacon fat. Now all Skye wants to do is commit hairstyle homicide with her surgically sharpened shears. Skye is very relatable because everyone has been there: the fake plastic smile; the underappreciated work; the selfish people that we must put up with in our daily lives. How great would it be if we could really give some of those people a good what-for?! Ms. Helle makes it possible to live vicariously, somewhat, through Skye's daily grin and bear it grind. Diane is Scott's (Skye's husband) vindictive ex-girlfriend and mother of their now 18 year old daughter. Her goal in life is to make Skye and Scott miserable by demanding them to fork over money for her selfish daughter's life. She is the epitome of a heinous hag and, needless to say, Skye has several fantasies of causing grievous harm to her as well. I'm not sure if Ms. Helle could have made her anymore perfectly terrible. Nearly anyone with a terrible ex can understand and truly feel this situation. Writing Style: The Cutting Edge is told through the eyes of both Skye and an anonymous serial killer. This aspect helps push the story along without being bogged down too many details that can often happen in a first person narrative. The story does have some graphic scenes (one of the main characters is a serial killer, you know!), but it has enough laughter throughout to more than make up for the dreadfulness of the killings. Continuity: I noticed no issues with the continuity. Overall Rating: 4+ I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who has just about had it with their service industry based job. Or just about anyone who has ever been underappreciated in their line of work. I would warn that this novel does have some adult themes, language and contains depictions of violence. The violence isn't overwhelming nor is the imagery extremely detailed, it is there and it is realistic. I did have a few "Ohhh! *inward hiss*" moments as Ms. Helle described certain aspects of the serial killer's choice of torture. As I said before: for every horrendous act of the killer, there are multiple moments of genuine laughs. Ms. Helle did an excellent job and I look forward to reading more books in the future from her!
AAR More than 1 year ago
CUTTING EDGE by Darcia Helle is an exciting mystery thriller. It is set in modern day America. It is well written with depth,details, twists and turns. It has romance, suspense, dark comedy, sex, and shows how fate, upbringing,circumstances and personal values can effect how we view life. It also has two storyline going that intertwine together nicely. Skye, the main character is funny, smart, likable and imagines killing one of her clients. She is a beautician. The other storyline is a serial killer. You will be surprised who that really is. Do not let the cover fool you! If you enjoy guts,gore,sex, romance and a set on the edge of your seat thriller you will enjoy this one.This book was received for review from the author and Library Thing and details can be found at CreateSpace and My Book Addiction and More.
ApexReviews More than 1 year ago
Who among us hasn't wanted to kill a client or two...? Such is the case with Sky Summers, a hairstylist with what must be the single most irritating clientele on the planet. No matter how she tries to please them, it's clear that her clients will never be satisfied, which irks Sky to the point where she begins fantasizing about what it would feel like to kill them. Mind you, she's not a psychopathic homicidal maniac; she simply wonders how it would feel to rid herself of the undue stress that her ungrateful clients thrust upon her at every turn. So, when Sky learns of the existence of a real-life serial killer with a rapidly-growing body count, she becomes eerily fascinated with his gruesome crusade...little does she know, their paths are destined to cross - and when fantasy finally meets reality, neither of their lives will ever be the same... Surprisingly funny, The Cutting Edge is an engaging mystery thriller. Well known for her vivid, unique characters and intricately twisted plotlines, author Darcia Helle doesn't disappoint with her sixth standout offering. Given her plight as an aggrieved service provider, Sky makes for quite the sympathetic protagonist, particularly for anyone who has ever been unappreciated or downright disrespected - no matter how dedicated your work ethic. As such, readers are sure to find themselves engrossed in her daily goings on as she fantasizes about the demise of her ungrateful clientele - and is ultimately faced with the disturbing reality of her darkest fantasies finally coming true... An entertaining addition to Helle's growing opus of "killer" classics. Josee Morgan Apex Reviews
Crazy-Bookworm More than 1 year ago
About The Book: Skye Summers is a hairstylist that can't stop fantasizing about killing her spoiled, rude, and big-headed clients. She also can't stop fantasizing about killing her husbands ex-girlfriend who makes it her mission to make their lives miserable. While fantasizing and debating murder day in and day out, someone is on the loose that doesn't hold back. The Mass Avenger, a serial killer that murders young women that use their bodies and mind tricks to get what they want out of men. Will Skye succumb to her fantasies or will someone else make her dreams come true for her? My Thoughts: The suspense in this book is a killer. The author really knows how to build up the drama so you are literally sitting on the edge of your seat flying through the pages dying to know what is going to happen next. This book is raw, blood, gore, sex, and comedy...dark comedy, it is tastefully done and witty. This book has a hint of a Norman Bates/psycho aspect to it. I don't normally read books like this, but after reading the excerpt I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it try, and boy I am glad I did. This book was a guilty pleasure of mine, I couldn't wait to always get back to it and find out what was going to be happening next. Darcia Helle did a wonderful job creating the character Skye, She was funny, smart and real. Almost every woman can relate to her in some way or another. The cast of characters were great and I loved them all. I was cringing, laughing and shaking my head in amazement, this book really did have it all. I would definitely recommend this book, and for those that think they won't like it, I suggest you give it a try, You may surprise yourself like I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Skye was a likable, real character and her honest voice drew me into this novel, a unique blend of dark comedy, suspense, mystery and romance. Skye feels trapped in her job as a hairdresser and fantasizes about "getting rid" of her annoying clients. Anyone who has felt burned out from a job will relate to how Skye's frustration starts to intrude on an otherwise healthy and happy life. Meanwhile, in a parallel storyline, a serial killer takes out his own personal frustrations on the unfortunate victims that capture his attention. I was glued to the pages, wondering how these two storylines would connect. This book is a terrific book club read and has lots of opportunities for discussion. It provides a fascinating look at how fate, upbringing, circumstances and personal values can influence the type of people we become. Some people find the strength to rise above their problems while others allow the bitterness to take over their lives. What will Skye's choice be? This novel has a great deal of depth, masked by an enjoyable and breezy writing style. It is also unpredictable. The killer's identity, and how the author will tie up the riveting plotline, will keep readers guessing. It's interesting how this book will appeal to so many different categories of readers - it has elements of contemporary fiction, chick lit, mystery, suspense, and dark comedy. Anyone who has ever been burned from a job, or dealt with annoying co-workers and clients, will also get a kick out of reading this book. Luckily for fans, Darcia Helle has several other books available and I've enjoyed each one that I've read. This is her breakout novel, the one that should bring her the attention she deserves and send readers running to check out her other novels. Buy this book and recommend it to your friends. It won't disappoint.