The Cutting (McCabe and Savage Series #1)

The Cutting (McCabe and Savage Series #1)

by James Hayman

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062362988
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/03/2014
Series: McCabe and Savage Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 11,129
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

James Hayman is the New York Times bestselling author of the McCabe and Savage thrillers The Cutting, The Chill of Night, Darkness First, and The Girl in the Glass, which combined have sold more than half a million copies.

Read an Excerpt

The Cutting

By Hayman, James

Minotaur Books

Copyright © 2009 Hayman, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312531294

Chapter One

Portland, Maine

September 16, 2005

Friday. 5:30 A.M.

Fog can be a sudden thing on the Maine coast. On even the clearest mornings, swirling gray mists sometimes appear in an instant, covering the earth with an opacity that makes it hard to see even one's own feet on the ground. On this particular September morning it descended at 5:30, about the time Lucinda Cassidy and her companion Fritz, a small dog of indeterminate pedigree, arrived at the cemetery on Vaughan Street to begin their four-mile run along the streets of Portland's West End and the path that borders the city's Western Promenade.

The cemetery was one of Portland's oldest and was surrounded by a chain-link fence, now falling into disrepair. The gates on the Vaughan Street side were locked to keep out neighborhood dog walkers. The earliest gravestones dated back to the late 1700s. On most of these stones, dates and other specifics had faded to near illegibility. Those that could be read bore the names of early Portland's most prominent families, Deering, Dana, Brackett, Reed, Preble. These were old Yankee names, many of which had achieved a mea sure of immortality, having been bestowed upon the streets and parks of a young and growing city. More recent stones marked the graves of Irish, Italian, and French-Canadian immigrants who came toPortland to work in the city's thriving shipbuilding trades or on the railroads in the last half of the nineteenth century. Today, however, no more of the dead would be buried here, regardless of ancestry or influence. The place was full, the last remains having been interred and the last markers erected in the years immediately following World War II.

When the fog moved in, Lucy considered canceling her run, but only briefly. At age twenty-eight, she was preparing for her first 10K race. She had more than enough self-discipline not to let anything as transitory as a little morning fog interfere with her training schedule. It was tough enough getting the runs in, given the long hours she worked as the newest account executive at Beckman and Hawes, the city's biggest ad agency. In any case, Lucy knew her route well. The fog wouldn't be a problem as long as she took care not to trip on one of the sidewalk's uneven pavers.

The air was cool on her bare legs as Lucy performed her stretches—calves and quads and hamstrings. She pulled off her oversized Bates College sweatshirt, revealing a white sports bra and blue nylon shorts, and tossed it into her car, an aging Toyota Corolla.

She saw no other joggers or dog walkers and thought she and Fritz might well have the streets to themselves. She slipped off his collar to let him run free. He was well trained and wouldn't go far. She pulled a Portland Sea Dogs cap down over her blond hair, stretching the Velcro band down and under her ponytail. She draped the dog's lead around her shoulders and set off along Vaughan Street at a leisurely pace, with Fritzy first racing ahead and then stopping to leave his mark on a tree or lamppost.

Lucy liked the quiet of the early morning hours in this upscale neighborhood. Passing street after street of graceful nineteenth-century homes, she glanced in the windows and imagined herself living in one or another of them. The image pleased her. She saw herself holding elegant dinner parties. The food would be simple but perfectly prepared. The wines rare. The men handsome. The conversation witty. All terribly Masterpiece Theatre. Ah well, a pretty picture but not very likely. She was not, she knew, to the manner born. She watched Fritz scamper ahead and then turn and wait for her to follow.

Lucy moved through the damp morning air, bringing her heart rate up to an aerobic training level. She thought about the day ahead, reviewing, for at least the twentieth time, details of a TV campaign she was presenting to the marketing group at Mid-Coast Bank. She'd worked her tail off to land this new client, but they were turning out to be both difficult and demanding. After work, she planned a quick trip to Circuit City to pick up a birthday present for her soon-to-be twelve-year-old nephew Owen. Her older sister Patti's boy, Owen told her what he "really really wanted" was an iPod, but he wasn't optimistic. "We don't have the money this year," he added in grown-up, serious tones that had Patti's imprint all over them. Well, Owen was in for a big surprise.

After that it was back to the Old Port for dinner with David at Tony's. The prospect of dinner at Tony's pleased her. The prospect of sharing it with her ex-husband didn't. He was pushing to get back together, and yes, she admitted, there were times she was briefly tempted. God knows, no one else even remotely interesting was waiting in the wings. Yet after a couple of dates, she was surer than ever that going back to David wasn't the answer for either of them. She planned to tell him so to night.

She ran along Vaughan for a mile or so, climbing the gentle rise of Bramhall Hill, before turning west across the old section of the hospital toward the path that lined the western edge of the Prom. The fog was thicker now, and she could see even less, but her body felt good. The training was paying off, and she felt certain she'd be ready for the race, now ten days away.

Suddenly Fritz darted past and disappeared into the mist, barking furiously at what Lucy figured was either an animal or another runner coming up the path in her direction. Then she saw Fritz run out of the fog, turn, and stand his ground, angry barks lifting his small body in an uncharacteristic rage. Instantly alert, Lucy wondered who or what could be getting him so agitated. Usually he just wagged his stub of a tail at strangers.

Seconds later a runner emerged from the fog about fifteen feet in front of her. He was a tall man with a lean, well-muscled body. Had she seen him jogging here before? She didn't think so. He was unusually good-looking with dark, deep-set eyes that would be hard to forget. Late thirties or early forties, she thought. Fritz backed away but kept barking.

"Quiet down," Lucy commanded. "It's okay." She smiled at the man. "He isn't usually so noisy."

The tall man stopped and knelt down. He extended his left hand for Fritz to sniff, then scratched him behind the ears. He smiled up at Lucy. "What's his name?"

Lucy registered the absence of a wedding band. "Fritz," she said.

"Hey, Fritz, are you a good boy? Sure you are." He scratched Fritz again. The dog's stubby tail offered a tentative wag or two. He looked up. "I've seen you running here before. I'm sure I have."

"You may have," she said, though she was sure she would have noticed him. "I'm here most mornings. I'm training for a 10K."

"Good for you. Mind if I run along? I'd enjoy the company."

She hesitated, surprised at the man's directness. Finally she said, "I guess not. Not as long as you can keep up. I'm Lucy."

"Harry," he said, extending a hand. "Harry Potter."

"You're kidding."

"No, I was christened long before the first book came out, and I wasn't about to change my name."

They took off, chatting easily, laughing about the name. Fritz, no longer barking, kept pace.

"You live in Portland?" she asked.

"No, I'm here on business. Medical equipment. The hospital's one of my biggest clients."

"So you're here quite often?"

"At least once a month."

They picked up the pace and turned south down the western edge of the Prom.

"Normally there's a great view from up here. Can't see a damned thing today."

A dark green SUV sat parked at the curb just ahead of them. "Could you excuse me for a minute?" Harry pointed and clicked a key ring. The car's lights blinked; its doors unlocked. "I need to get something."

He leaned in, rummaged in a small canvas bag, and then emerged from the car holding a hypodermic and a small bottle. "I'm a diabetic," he explained. "I have to take my insulin on schedule." Harry carefully inserted the needle into the bottle and extracted a clear liquid. "Only take a second." Lucy smiled. Feeling it was rude to watch, she turned away and looked out over the Prom. The fog wasn't dissipating. If anything it seemed to be getting thicker. She performed a few stretches to keep her muscles warm while they waited.

She sensed more than saw the sudden movement behind her. Before she could react, Harry Potter's left arm was around her neck, pulling her sharply back and up in a classic choke hold. Her windpipe constricted in the crook of his elbow. She couldn't move. She wanted to scream but could draw only enough breath to emit a thin, strangled cry.

Frantic and confused, Lucy dug her nails into the man's flesh, wishing she'd let them grow longer and more lethal. She felt a sharp prick. She looked down and saw the man's free hand squeezing what ever was in the hypodermic into her arm. He continued holding her, immobile. She tried to struggle, but he was too strong, his grip too tight. Within seconds wooziness began to overtake her. She felt his hands on the back of her head and her butt, pushing her, headfirst, facedown, into the backseat of the car.

Turning her head, Lucy could still see out through the open door, but everything had taken on a hazy, distant quality, like a slow-motion film growing darker frame by frame and seeming to make no sense. She saw an enraged Fritz growling and digging his teeth into the man's leg. She heard a shout, "Shit!" Two large hands picked the small dog up. She tried to rise but couldn't. The last thing Lucinda Cassidy saw was the good-looking man with the dark eyes. He smiled at her. The slow-motion film faded to black.

Excerpted from The Cutting by James Hayman.

Copyright © 2009 by James Hayman.

Published in July 2009 by St. Martin's Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.


Excerpted from The Cutting by Hayman, James Copyright © 2009 by Hayman, James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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The Cutting 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
two-brainbook_reviewersDH More than 1 year ago
Many of the books we review would be categorized as romance/ Adult. However The Cutting went well beyond the usual plot. The book goes into very detailed information that is a must when reading this plot. If you skim through the book, you will miss an important clue that enabled McCabe get to the bottom of who committed this horrific murder. James' book builds up so that I, the reader, is craving more. I was enthralled to the very end of the book. I actually was so involved in reading, I felt nervous about what was to happen next. That there explains how great the book was. I would rate the book a 4.5. If you are looking for a great thriller/mystery, this is the book.
honoliipali More than 1 year ago
Seriously, this book reminded my of the Brian Freeman and John Sanford thriller/mystery novels. The major difference is that this book takes place in Maine rather than Minnesota. This is an outstanding debut thriller that just begs for sequels. I found the story fast paced, smooth flowing, satisfying, with solid strong characters. Check it out - you will be satisfied.
CraigFL More than 1 year ago
Just finished this new mystery in two nights--hard to put down! Great suspense, twists, and intrigue. Clearly written with excellent character development and insight. Hopefully Detective Sgt. Michael McCabe will be the genesis of a series! Anxiously looking forward to his next effort! You can't go wrong with this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story, suspenseful, really enjoyed it. I am reading the series. Have added James Hayman to favorite authors, along with Michael Connelly, John Sandford , Robert Crais.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a page turner. Very entertaining. Hard to put down.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
There is an evil lurking that has stolen someone's heart. Literally. A woman goes missing and later on a teenage girls body turns up in a scrap yard mutilated, raped and missing her heart. Is this an isolated incident or is this the being of a killing spree? Detective McCabe isn't quite sure what to think. Will he be able to track down the missing woman before she meets her demise and ends up resembling the teen? You can't help but fall into this book. I hope he's writing a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Be prepared to take a deep breath and walk away for awhile when you read this fast moving police action story. Great plot, characters and facts. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I really enjoyed reading this book! Loved the plot and characters! Great suspenseful thriller!
JLombardi More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read. I just finished the book and it was sensational. From the start I could not put it down and really did not want it to end. I enjoyed the character Detective Mc Cabe and hope that the he will live on in many books to follow. The author has a wonderful writing style, which keeps you interested and in suspense, following many characters throughout the book. There were numerous layers of crime and personal relationship which you could not help but follow with wonder. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I reeally enjoyed this book. I had read the secondin the series first and bought the other two. I enjoyed the first book! Characters arelikeable, real, and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid mystery reader I believe I'm quite seasoned on what I consider to be "good reads." This series is excellent in my opinion. Kept me on edge and not wanting to put it down. Excitedly awaiting #4!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and very entertaining. I purchased two more of Hayman's novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never read this author, but he was recommended from Barnes and Noble. This was a great read that kept me excited to keep reading. Nice twists throughout the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in less than a week. It grabbed me from the very first page and didn't let go. I love murder mysteries and this one was definitely a great one. Very suspenseful and full or surprises. Constantly leaves you questioning "who did it"? Would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, on the edge of your seat mystery!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I read this I couldn't put it down :-) :-) :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read. Incredibly suspenseful. I strongly recommend this read. Can't wait to begin reading the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first Hayman book I have read. I found it light and enjoyable, a decent beach read. I am not sure why it is a McCabe and Savage series. Savages role is not integral to the plot. Perhaps a bigger part in future novels awaits. I figured out who the murder was fairly early in the story, but it was still fun to see how McCabe figures it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A VERY interesting murder mystery!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great mystery that held my interest until the last word. Ready for book 2.
lynnekennedy1 More than 1 year ago
Excellent mystery, with lots of twists.  Very well written with well-drawn characters.  I look forward to his second.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This thriller kept me intrigued through the entire book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great story, recommended read
bridget3420 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
There is an evil lurking that has stolen someone's heart. Literally. A woman goes missing and later on a teenage girls body turns up in a scrap yard mutilated, raped and missing her heart. Is this an isolated incident or is this the being of a killing spree?Detective McCabe isn't quite sure what to think. Will he be able to track down the missing woman before she meets her demise and ends up resembling the teen?You can't help but fall into this book. I hope he's writing a sequel.
MAINEiac4434 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A very easy - albeit occasionally gory - read. The writing flows nicely, and the characters immediately draws you in. Very good for an opening novel.
jayde1599 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Synopsis: Detective Mike Mcabe moves from New York to Portland, Maine following a divorce. He hopes to have a quieter, safer life for his 13 year old daughter Casey. Things are peaceful for three years, and then a body of a female teenage soccer star is found raped, and murdered. Lying in a scrap yard, it looks it appears as if her heart has been surgically removed. Shortly after, another blonde athlete is discovered missing. McCabe suspects that they have a week to find her, before her heart is taken from her. He and partner, Maggie Savage try to find a connection between the two cases and tackle with politics and personal lives as well.Pros and Cons: I saw this book that is set in Portland, in a local paper. I was curious and went to the author signing. This is Hayman's first novel and I am pleasantly surprised. McCabe is a likable protagonist and the story is engaging and fast paced. It has all of the elements of a thriller, and I liked that it was not that gory. It wasn't mild in any manner however. The creativity of the murders is gruesome in its own way. Hayman's description is vivid and he uses a lot of details, especially describing the Maine locations where the mystery takes place. If I was not as familiar to the area, I may not have been as interested. I could have done without some of the sex scenes, not that I am prudish, but that they felt thrown in and not really part of the story. The plot was interesting, not totally outlandish, but not totally predictable either.All in all, a good book. Recommended if you like murder-mysteries/thrillers.