The Cutaway

The Cutaway

by Christina Kovac

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501141690
Publisher: Atria / 37 INK
Publication date: 03/21/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,208,972
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Christina Kovac worked for seventeen years managing Washington, DC newsrooms and producing crime and political stories in the District. Her career as television journalist began with Fox Five’s Ten O’Clock News, and after that, the ABC affiliate in Washington. For the last nine years, she worked at NBC News, where she worked for Tim Russert and provided news coverage for Meet the Press, the Today show, Nightly News, and others. Christina Kovac lives with her family outside of Washington, DC. The Cutaway is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

The Cutaway


  • IT BEGAN WITH someone else’s story. In the beginning, a woman went out to meet a man, and on her long walk, she disappeared. I didn’t know the woman. I’d never met her. But I could see her clearly in my mind, walking the streets of Georgetown, her heels striking the sidewalk to the percussive music booming out of city bars. That same path I’d traveled many times myself.

    Her married name was Evelyn Carney. She’d been born a Sutton, small-town country club people hailing from the cold north. I didn’t discover much about her people, except they seemed to have no time for her or to care very much about what she did, and when she disappeared, gave a collective shrug. Had she fled them, or was she like so many other young women, women like me, who’d come to DC with dreams of making herself anew? She had none of the typical means to success in the District, no powerful sponsor or academic prowess or massive wealth. She had no family connections, either. But she had ambition and a powerful appeal to men, and she wasn’t afraid to use either.

    I never figured out how that captured my sympathy, but somehow I got hooked by that first glimpse of her. My mind is devilishly quick to fasten itself to an image, and I should’ve been more careful. I’d certainly been warned. When I was a young and reverent girl making those gestures that good girls must make, my parish priest had told me: “Be careful what your eyes take in. What you see becomes a part of you.”

    It might have been advice worth heeding, but I didn’t, not when I was a child or a cub reporter, or much later, a too-young executive producer playing with the power of pictures. By then, I was hip deep in my quest for Evelyn Carney, and it was too late.

    ————

    On an early Wednesday morning, her story arrived in a stack of press releases left on my desk. I’d been flipping through the papers when the big, bold letters—MISSING—caught my attention, and then the text:

    The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing person identified as Evelyn Marie Carney. She was last seen at approximately 9:48 p.m., on Sunday, March 8, in the twelve hundred block of Wisconsin Avenue, NW.

    The MPD lingo description—thirty-year-old white female, five four, 115 pounds—could have fit any woman. It almost fit me.

    Maybe thirty seconds of airtime, no more, but then I thought: Georgetown? No one went missing from Georgetown. Not with police officers standing sentinel every couple of blocks, protecting the expensive houses and trendy restaurants and upscale shops.

    Beneath the text was the missing woman’s photograph, blurred by a bad copy job. Her face was grainy and gray with two white spots for eyes—like a mask, creepy as hell—and I thought she was probably dead. It happened with sickening frequency: a woman killed by someone said to have loved her, or less often, by a stranger preying on her. Throughout the decade I’d been in the District, I’d worked different variations of this same story with sickening frequency.

    There was a tap on my office door as Isaiah came in. He was the managing editor, my right-hand man, and he knew everything—changing technology in broadcasting, history of the city, local politics and crime stats, who’s who, and what’s what. Nearly forty years ago, he was one of the first black journalists to break into television. He was a great newsman.

    “You’re late for your own meeting,” he said, looking at me over the top of his black horn-rims. “What happened to your Virginia Knightly early-for-everything rule?”

    It was a rule he’d taught me, along with everything I knew about reporting. I glanced at my watch and was surprised to see he was right. “Let’s go,” I said.

    As we cut through the newsroom, I got that rush of joy that comes at the oddest times—in the quiet moments before an editorial meeting, in the midst of my shows if there was a beautiful shot of video. Sometimes it came at the end of the day after everyone had gone home and only I was left to turn out the lights.

    In the conference room, Nelson Yang, our best young photographer, stood with his shoulders pressed against the glass wall and his Dodgers cap pulled low, covering his mop of dark hair. He had a careless disposition and a penchant for gossip. Now he was telling a lewd tale of a competing news director caught with a female employee on the floor of the Graphics Department. “Talk about graphic,” he muttered.

    “No news director would risk his job in such a way,” Isaiah said, taking his seat next to me.

    I lifted my hand, ever the traffic cop. “True or not, it’s unprofessional to talk about our colleagues’ personal lives.”

    “But, Virginia,” Nelson whined, “it’s what we do.”

    Moira swept into the meeting. Swept is the only way to describe how Moira moved. She was built like a runway model, and her loose bohemian clothes trailed behind her as if she were caught in a constant headwind. She was the perfect female anchor, defying demographics of gender and age and race. She had the androgynous beauty of a Greek statue and the warm toast-colored skin of newly baked bread.

    “They’re laying off people at Channel 5,” she said in her perfectly articulated voice.

    “Coming soon to a theater near you,” Isaiah said.

    Here we go again. Every week there was some new anecdote about the demise of broadcast television. Now it’s true that awhile back when the sponsors were losing money and pulling their ads, I panicked a little. Our fate was tied with theirs. But you didn’t cry disaster in the face of disaster. You put on your game face and dug in harder.

    “They’re offering early retirement,” I said. “Not layoffs.”

    “Same thing.” Moira shrugged one of her shoulders, as if she didn’t care enough to exert both. “The experienced people lose their jobs.”

    “Not nearly the same,” I argued. “Early retirement comes with a big, fat paycheck that no one would take if they didn’t want to.”

    “I’d love to get money for nothing,” Nelson said, and then he leaned across the table toward me. “What are you huddled over?”

    “It’s called a press release. Maybe you’ve heard of them.”

    “A press release of what? A Rorschach test?”

    I studied the eerie eyes of Evelyn Carney again. “It’s supposed to be a picture of a woman missing from Georgetown.”

    “It’s the picture that’s missing,” Nelson said with disdain. “That ink stain could be anybody. You, Moira, anybody.”

    I rubbed the back of my neck. “Yeah,” I said, and then to Isaiah, “Get the police to email a color photo, will you?”

    When he opened the glass door to go, I asked Isaiah to find Ben. “Ask him to call his cop buddies. See what they think of the case.”

    He gestured to the digital clock above the bank of televisions, meaning Ben was late, as usual. “I’ll try to find him, but you know how it is with the beautiful people,” Isaiah said. “No offense, Moira.”

    She did her one-shoulder shrug.

    ————

    Later, when the evening news was under way, I left the control room and climbed the stairs to my office, where I turned off the overhead lights. The soft yellow desk lamp threw shadows over shelves holding my mother’s antique tea set and my books, waiting like old friends. There were shadows, too, on the awards hung on the walls—some from stories with Ben, some all my own—and on the framed articles I wrote during my early days at the Washington Post.

    I kicked off my shoes, and lifting the remotes from my desk, turned on the monitors showing newscasts from each competing station, leaving them on mute. At the end of the hour, the color photograph of the missing woman flashed across the row of monitors simultaneously.

    Evelyn Carney was young and pretty, with shoulder-length brown hair, thick and wavy, wilder than my own. Her skin was rosier, too, and her face rounder, and her green eyes tilted up in the corners like a Disney princess.

    I’d seen her before, but not in person. She’d been in a video, although I couldn’t place the clip. It’d been brief, maybe two seconds long, three at most. Probably a cutaway shot, one of those quick flashes of video used to show a reaction, but I couldn’t be certain.

    I went to my desk and clicked on the database for archived video on my computer and ran a search for Evelyn Carney. Her name brought up no hits. I was expanding the search when Ben knocked on my door.

    He must’ve come directly from the anchor desk. His face was still covered in makeup, and his dark hair had that perfect gelatinous sheen he’d mess up as soon as he hit the street. He was giving me that look of his, his smile slow and dark eyes direct, as if I were the only woman in the world. I was pretty sure he looked at all women that way.

    “I’m in the mood for some Russian lit,” he said, and I waved him in. He bent his big body to the bookshelf, pulling out the hardbound copies of Anna Karenina and War and Peace and grabbing the bottle of vodka they hid. He poured a hefty shot into the teacup from my mother’s set. His hand eclipsed the cup as he swirled it. “I always wondered what you kept behind your Ulysses.”

    “Stay away from my Irish,” I said. “The alcohol isn’t a good idea anyway.”

    He lifted his cup. “To all the bad ideas that make life worth living,” he said and tossed back the shot, a momentary grimace on his handsome face.

    I rotated the monitor with its picture of Evelyn to face him. “Where have we seen her before?”

    One eyebrow shot up. “We have?”

    “On video,” I said. “Somewhere.”

    He dragged a chair stuttering across the carpet, flipped it backward, and sat with his elbows on my desk. He angled the monitor for better viewing.

    My nails drummed across the top of the desk.

    “Shhh,” he said without looking away from the monitor, pressing the tips of his fingers against mine, stilling them. He had thick-veined, red-knuckled hands marred by a half-moon scar; strong, capable hands. When I pulled mine away, a corner of his mouth lifted. He continued to study the photo.

    Finally, he said, “I’ve never seen this woman in my life.”

    “And you’d remember because she’s beautiful.” I’d meant to tease him, but it came out like a complaint.

    He looked up. “But you remember?”

    “I’ve seen her in a short clip. I can’t place it.”

    “What goes on in there?” he said, tapping his forehead. “How does that work?”

    As I concentrated, my eyes grew heavy, and the memory isolated, sharpened: “It’s two seconds of video. A crowd-reaction shot to a main story that I can’t see. She’s clear, though, dead center in an audience of some sort, seated. The rest of the room, or any identifying feature, is beyond the frame.”

    My forehead scrunched up. “But the woman, this Evelyn Carney—she’s got the photographer’s attention. It’s the way she leans forward, some intense emotion . . .” My voice drifted off.

    “You can’t read the emotion?” he asked softly. “Or you can’t see it clearly?”

    “I don’t understand it. Whatever it is, she’s alone in it. No one around her acts as she does.” I blew out a breath of frustration. “All I got.”

    He eased back in the chair. “You think she’s going to be a big story?”

    “Not sure. I need more information.”

    “That’s why you had Isaiah hunt me down, nagging me to make calls.”

    “Isaiah asked you to do your job. You used to love reporting.” I paused. “That was before the anchor desk ruined you.”

    He laughed. “Poke at me all you please. I know about your soft underbelly. Besides, men like mean women. Mean or crazy, not both at the same time. Not even I could handle that.”

    “Not true.”

    “You’re right. I probably could handle that.”

    “About what men like, I mean.”

    “Truest thing I can tell you, Virginia.”

    I lifted my hands impatiently. “Did you get information on Evelyn Carney or not?” If I let him, he’d draw the whole damn thing out all night. He had to be the slowest newsman I’d ever met.

    He had discovered that Evelyn was a recent law school graduate. She worked at a prestigious firm. On the night she disappeared, she had dinner at a restaurant in Georgetown. His source didn’t know the name of her dinner date, but she left alone. Police recovered her car, abandoned not fifty yards from the restaurant. I asked if we could get a shot of the car.

    “It’s in the garage at Mobile Crime,” he said.

    “So investigators think something bad happened. What does your guy think?”

    “My guy always thinks something bad happened. He says the chief took the case out of the district today. She assigned it to detectives up at CID.”

    Criminal Investigations wouldn’t normally handle a missing persons case so soon, not unless there were special circumstances. I wondered what those might be.

    “How about we grab some dinner?” Ben said.

    I gazed up, still lost in my what-ifs about Evelyn Carney.

    “Someplace quiet,” he went on. “You could expense it, we both get a free meal, and we could talk. We need to talk.”

    “About the case?”

    He stretched his shoulders, pushing outward, as if fighting some terrible constriction, before he hefted himself from the chair and made his way to the door.

    I waved helplessly at the spread of papers over my desk. “It’s only that, you know, there’s so much—”

    “Work, yeah, I know.”

    After Ben left, I searched again for that video of Evelyn. It was maddening. I began to question what I’d remembered. Maybe the video hadn’t even been on our news. Maybe it was video from a competing station. That was especially worrisome.

    By the time I looked up from the computer, bleary-eyed, it was late. So I sorted my work into piles of what I’d done and what I’d yet to do and made a note about assigning someone to resume the video search tomorrow, knowing in the end, that someone would probably be me.

    It was a five-minute drive to my neighborhood in Cleveland Park. I parked a half block from my house, the closest spot I could find. The night was cool and clear and the street was cast in blue. A full moon was over the National Cathedral tower.

    From beneath the seat of my car, I pulled out my three-cell flashlight, heavy with a patterned grip that felt good in my hand. It was the kind beat cops carried not for illumination but as yet another weapon, the same reason I carried it up the brick walkway and onto my porch. I went inside and locked the door. The click of the security bolt echoed through my empty house.

  • Reading Group Guide

    This reading group guide for The Cutaway includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
    .
    Introduction

    When brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly receives a disturbing “MISSING” notice on her desk related to the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head. Despite skepticism from her colleagues, Knightly suspects this ambitious young lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister, especially since she was last seen leaving an upscale restaurant after a domestic dispute. Yet, as the only woman of power at her station, Knightly quickly finds herself investigating on her own.

    Topics & Questions for Discussion

    1. Neely Tucker, Washington Post national desk correspondent and author of Only the Hunted Run, said The Cutaway “rolls through the murky waters of DC media and politics that Christina Kovac knows so well.” What role, if any, do you think the city of DC played in the story? Do you think this mystery would have played out differently if it took place in your city? If so, how?

    2. As we’re introduced to Virginia Knightly, she says of Evelyn Carney, “I didn’t know the woman. I’d never met her . . . somehow I got hooked at that first glimpse of her.” Why do you think Virginia fixated on Evelyn Carney’s case in particular? What does Virginia have in common with Evelyn Carney? How do they differ?

    3. In Chapter 14, we see a glimpse into the tumultuous relationship between Virginia and her father. How do you think the events of her childhood have contributed to her current life? How, if at all, do you think it has impacted her approach to the Evelyn Carney case?

    4. On page 155, Virginia wakes up from a nightmare:

    Last night I dreamed I was swimming in the river. In the distance, a woman was drifting facedown. I wanted to help her, but the tide was working against me, and with each stroke, she seemed farther away from my reach. It was hopeless, there wasn’t enough time, and suddenly I was there, as happens only in dreams. My hands were on her shoulders, turning her, the long and tangled hair covering her face. I brushed her hair away to find her eyes were alive and open, a summer-sky blue, and she gasped a deep gulp of air.

    It was my mother.

    How would you interpret this dream? Why do you think her mother comes to life? How does this relate to Virginia’s circumstances in that moment?

    5. Would you consider Virginia Knightly is better equipped for a fight or for love? Why?

    6. Virginia and Ben have very different approaches to their jobs and even their relationships. How would you characterize both of them as individuals? How do their differences positively and negatively affect their partnership? Which personality, if any, do you believe is more fitting to the role of a journalist? In which character do you see more of yourself?

    7. On page 65, Virginia says to their intern, “You’re a female journalist. Under no circumstances can you show emotion. Do you understand?” How does this speak to the challenges of being a professional woman? What are some of the biggest obstacles female journalists face? How does this impact Virginia’s career? How does it impact Moira’s? Heather’s?

    8. Throughout the novel, we see many different purveyors of justice, including the police (Michael), journalists (Virginia), and law firms (Paige). How do you believe each character would define “justice”? How does their definition of justice impact their actions? How would you define justice?

    9. The Cutaway gives readers a look at the inner workings of a TV newsroom. On page 10, when describing her job, Virginia says, “For me, it has always been about telling stories, no matter where you do it—in front of the camera or behind it—and it’s the best gig going. You hold on to it for as long as you can, knowing that one morning you can wake up at the pinnacle, and by nightfall, you’re clinging to your career by your fingertips. In a snap, just like that.” What surprised you most about the world of television journalism? In your opinion, what is the most important role of the journalist? How did this change your view of journalists, if at all?

    10. At the end of the novel, Virginia is faced with a difficult decision between romance and her career. Do you think Virginia made the right choice? Why or why not? What would you have done if placed in the same position?

    Enhance Your Book Club

    1. The Cutaway has been optioned for a television series. Who would you cast in the lead roles? Why? Which scenes in The Cutaway did you find particularly cinematic? Discuss them with your book club.

    2. Christina Kovac began her career as a television journalist with Fox 5’s Ten O’Clock News, then an ABC affiliate in Washington DC, and the last nine years working at NBC News providing coverage for Meet the Press, the Today show, Nightly News, and others. In her time as a desk editor and news producer for the Washington Bureau of NBC Network News, she worked on such stories as that of missing DC intern, Chandra Levy. Take a moment to watch clips from these networks. How do you think Christina’s career influenced her writing? How does The Cutaway impact the way you watch the news, if at all?

    3. To learn more about Christina Kovac, read reviews of her work, and find her on tour, visit her official site at ChristinaKovac.com.

    Customer Reviews

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    The Cutaway: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
    UpAllNightBookAddict More than 1 year ago
    I am not sure where I want to go with this review. It definitely wasn't something I was expecting. The cover drew me in. After reading the blurb, I was curious if it would be something I would like. I am not always a fan of crime thrillers. This one definitely was right up my alley! One of the main things I loved about this book is the perspective it was told from. To have the story given from the news side is not only unique, but it gave the story more intrigue. I definitely wasn't expecting to be so invested with this book. The characters and plot are so well developed in this book. There wasn't a part in the book that I thought drug or made me want to roll my eyes. (Yes, that happens more often than I would like to admit.) I thought I had it all figured out, then I didn't, then I did... Then I thought the book was ending, but it wasn't finished yet. Kovac truly has a gift of storytelling. I have had this book stuck in the back of my head for days. DAYS. I can't stop going back to thinking about it. I highly recommend this book to just about anyone. If you can read, then you should read this book.
    teachlz More than 1 year ago
    I would like to thank NetGalley and Atria Publishing for the ARC of 'The Cutaway" by Christina Kovac. I enjoyed and would recommend this novel to those interested in mystery, fiction with a touch of thriller genre. I find that the author introduces to intriguing and complex characters. The setting is in a newsroom, where we get to see the politics set in motion of producing an accurate story. Christina Kovac , the author has experience in television news. She also provides an interesting portrait of getting the best story. In this novel we see the ruthless world of capturing the news. Other characters are portrayed through the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.as well as politicians. We also see the cast of characters dealing with the news., and their quirky personalities. We first see the disappearance of a character, and then find out she has been murdered. There are persons of interests and many twists and turns. More characters are killed. Who is to be trusted?Why is this news story becoming more dangerous? Why is this turn of events leading to upper law enforcement and high politicians? I hope that you read this and enjoy it.
    SunnyCarolinaGirl More than 1 year ago
    This is a fast-paced book that had an intriguing main character and a story that kept me guessing. A young female attorney is missing, but the homicide unit is looking into it. Is it a missing persons case or do they think that she is dead and a killer is on the loose? No one will give Virginia Knightly, a producer for the Evening News, a straight answer. This story has so many twists and turns and you don't know which sources are being truthful and which ones are lying to her. The ending was a total surprise. This is an amazing first book. I'm looking forward to reading what Ms. Kovac writes next. Thank you to Atria/37 Ink and NetGalley for this e-book. This did not influence my review in any way.
    pet1210 More than 1 year ago
    This was a solid mystery set within the intense world of journalism and hectic news broadcasting. It's told from the point of view of Virginia, a driven TV news producer who is completely focused on her job. She carries around a bit of baggage from a previous relationship and her family history but comes across as strong and independent. I really liked her. The newsroom is abuzz with rumours of job losses and when Virginia is demoted and has to cope with a new boss, she becomes fixated on finding out what happened to a young attorney, Evelyn Carney, who went missing after leaving her husband in a restaurant. The police seem abnormally interested in the disappearance of the attorney, and Virginia feels there is something off about it. She starts interviewing people connected to Evelyn, researching material and following the police investigation. Unluckily, Virginia shares some history with the lead detective on the case, Michael Ledger. On top of that, the relationship between Virginia and her charismatic news anchor Ben is delicate. The romantic aspects of this were well balanced with the mystery elements and added a nice touch. It turns into a complex tale of politics, conspiracy, fraud and cover-ups within the world of Washington DC. The story moved along at a good pace and kept my attention throughout. I actually enjoyed the insights into the news reporting business much more than I had expected. I was becoming really involved in the investigative reporting and the dynamics between all the different characters was riveting. I thought the subplot about Virginia's family could have been incorporated more effectively. There was something missing there for me. But overall, this was a really good, suspenseful novel with some unforeseen twists and turns, which didn't read like a debut at all. I'm really curious to see whether there will be a follow-up? I definitely found the setting and characters interesting enough to read more. I received an ARC via NetGalley.
    toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
    Knightly is a producer for a news network. She also has a troubled history with her family and basically a photographic memory. Those traits cause her to focus more on aspects that others might overlook. She sees a piece on a missing woman and can't let it go. Most everyone in her life seems to be trying to hinder her digging deeper into the woman's story. Murder, mystery, politics, detectives, witnesses and more come into play. She isn't a cop, but she is an investigative journalist out to connect the answers and expose the coverups. She's a likable lead, and the storyline is great at keeping the reader hooked and guessing. Anyone could be guilty. The Cutaway was a win for me, and I'm definitely going to be following this author's future works.
    WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
    Set in the backdrop of Washington DC, and combines politics with the cut-throat business of nightly news coverage. TV executive producer Virginia Knightly is investigating the disappearance of Evelyn Carney, a recent law school graduate, working for a prestigious firm. On the night in question, Evelyn had dinner out with her husband before leaving alone, after asking him for a divorce. She had received a text to meet someone, but never turned up. Although this was labelled just a missing person case, Virginia felt that more was a play. Virginia is determined to find Evelyn, whether dead or alive. With evidence pointing to an affair with a politician, could she have left her husband and disappeared with her lover? With no activity on her bank account, credit cards, or mobile phone, Virginia believes the latter could have happened to her. The question is, if Evelyn has been killed, or kidnapped, who would want to do something to a likeable young woman, and why? As the investigation intensifies, Virginia becomes more and more determined to solve the case, even if that means risking her own life in the process. The Cutaway, is a thriller mixing politics, an in-depth missing persons investigation, and a determination to get exclusives for the nightly news show. Virginia is a ruthless character. She knows what she wants, and once she has set her mind on something there is no stopping her. She doesn’t understand why she feels compelled to discover what happened to Evelyn, only that she can’t get her out of her head. The book centres mainly on Virginia and her news team, anchorman Ben, and cameraman Isiah. But with falling ratings at the station, its not long before Virginia is given a demotion. But that just makes her more determined than ever. She needs all the exclusives on the case that she can get, and with her ex-boyfriend, Commander Michael Ledger leading the investigation, exclusives are not hard to come by. The story has a few secondary plots running alongside the main disappearance investigation. One of those is that the news channel is in trouble, financially, as viewer rates are dropping. This means that cuts are being made. Nick Mellay, the station boss is a nasty piece of work, and I can understand, slightly, why the author felt the need to add this information, I just didn’t care for it. It added nothing to the story, which would have worked just as well without it, and to be brutally honest, Mellay annoyed the hell out of me! It felt like, with the missing person case, the news channel in trouble, men issues, and her dad wanting a reunion after many years of being missing from her life, there were just too many things going on for Virginia, and these issues slowed down the pace of the book. A thriller needs a good pace throughout, otherwise the tension drops. Less is sometimes more, as the saying goes. The whole book is exceptionally believable, and you can tell that Ms. Kovac used to work managing newsrooms, producing crime and politics cases. When I read that Ms. Kovac was had worked on the case of missing DC intern Chandra Levy, and having read up on the case, I realised that there were a lot of similarities between ‘The Cutaway’, and the true-life missing persons case. This didn’t spoil my enjoyment, though it did give me a big clue as to what had happened to Evelyn. The book is gripping, it has you eager to know more, and a desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with Virginia, and work the case alongside her. It is
    Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
    I liked this story well enough even if I didn't love it. I think that the newsroom setting was one of the strengths of this book and it did add a rather unique quality to the story. Unfortunately, I was never completely hooked by the story. The mystery was interesting but I just never found myself truly invested in the story. This story is told from the point of view of TV new producer, Virginia. When Virginia sees a missing poster for Evelyn, she knows that she has seen her face before. She remembers Evelyn being in another piece on the news station as a cutaway shot and she is drawn to her story. As Viriginia works to find out what happened to Evelyn, she soon realizes that the case may be much bigger than she originally thought. This book actually had a whole lot going on. Probably too much if I am being honest. While Viriginia was working on this case, it seemed that her whole world was falling down around her. There is a big shake-up at the news station that makes everything tense. Virginia's personal life is also a major focus with past relationships, new relationships, and family making an appearance. These topics were interesting but it seemed to change the focus from the mystery so often that I had a hard time keeping track of everything and I don't think that it always added a lot to the overall story. The overall mystery was rather complex. This book did take a lot of twists and turns that I didn't see coming but there was nothing that was truly unexpected. I thought that the mystery did make sense in the end. As the mystery really started to unfold, the excitement levels increased. I did enjoy the newsroom perspective and thought this felt rather authentic. This is a book that I am glad that I read and I think that mystery readers will enjoy the newsroom point of view. I thought that this was a solid debut novel from Christina Kovac and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Atria Books - 37 Ink via NetGalley.
    Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
    This was a pretty good book. But, this book does not compare to Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn. No way, no how. This was a mystery, a good one. However, it was not a thriller which is what was advertised and what I was expecting. As I said, it was a good book, but with that blurb, I was highly disappointed. Thanks to Atria Books for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
    onemused More than 1 year ago
    "The Cutaway" is an intriguing mystery about the disappearance of a young woman named Evelyn Carney as it is investigated by a journalist, Virginia Knightly. Virginia lives behind the camera, writing stories for the nightly news anchor, Ben. Everyone else assumes they have a thing, but their relationship has always been strictly professional. Virginia is hooked by Evelyn's case and investigates it herself, picking up the trail of clues left by people involved in Evelyn's life as well as those given by the police- often through her ex-boyfriend, Michael. The beginning of the book is really slow. Virginia recognizes Evelyn from a cutaway used a few years back and spends some time finding the video. The scene is set during this time, and we don't really begin to uncover any evidence. After she finds the cutaway, things begin progressing, and we get a clearer picture of all the people in Evelyn's life. I won't say too much more about the case to avoid spoilers. I do not think of this book as a thriller. It was more of a mystery with a few pages that would qualify as a thriller towards the end. Evelyn's case is not so intense, and Virginia is not really involved in the case, just uncovering the clues along the way. Later, when she does become more involved, it really still seems distant from her except for a couple of scenes. The last half of the book moves much more quickly and is more interesting than the first half. I'd rate it between 3 and 4 stars, and I am bumping it to 4 because I was really interested in solving the case and getting to the end. There's also a romance involving Virginia that I wish had featured more prominently in the story (we only get a couple scenes of this, but I loved it when it was happening). It's an intriguing mystery from a different point of view than usual (a journalist), and I would be curious to read more books featuring Virginia in the future. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
    JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
    Book Info Hardcover, 320 pages Expected publication: March 21st 2017 by Atria / 37 INK ISBN 1501141694 (ISBN13: 9781501141690) Other Editions (3) Source:Netgalley EARC Amazon B&N BOOK BLURB The Cutaway draws you into the tangled world of corruption and cover-up as a young television producer investigates the disappearance of a beautiful Georgetown lawyer in this stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn. When brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly receives a disturbing “MISSING” notice on her desk related to the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head. Despite skepticism from her colleagues, Knightly suspects this ambitious young lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister, especially since she was last seen leaving an upscale restaurant after a domestic dispute. Yet, as the only woman of power at her station, Knightly quickly finds herself investigating on her own. Risking her career, her life, and perhaps even her own sanity, Knightly dives deep into the dark underbelly of Washington, DC business and politics in an investigation that will drag her mercilessly through the inextricable webs of corruption that bind the press, the police, and politics in our nation’s capital. Harkening to dark thrillers such as Gone Girl, Luckiest Girl Alive, and Big Little Lies, The Cutaway is a striking debut that will haunt you long after you reach the last page. My Thoughts Relying heavily on the intricacies of the world of political corruption this book combines investigating a disappearance/murder with uncovering the web of deceit that runs throughout the very institutions that are relied upon for being trustworthy. As Virginia discovers the trail of lies and deceptions she finds herself questioning not only who to believe but who to trust as well. Billed as a psychological thriller this story does try to live up to it’s promise, on occasion it actually pulls it off but could not sustain the intensity needed for me to have read in one sitting. While Virginia Knightly proves her ability to unravel clues that lead to solving the mystery she finds herself investigating she also proves to take reckless chances so she can be the first reporter who breaks this story to the public. In doing so she will either attain her highest journalistic goal or become a victim herself. For me the multiple red herrings were at times too misleading with the saving grace they did keep me guessing until the reveal of an unexpected character as the actual murderer. [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]