It’s important to note that this is the second book in a series. I haven’t read the first Carver and Lake book, titled Splinter in the Blood yet, but after reading this one I definitely want to. While there are a handful of references to the first book in the series, it doesn’t seem necessary to have read it first in order to read The Cutting Room, though the experience may be richer if you have.
The Cutting Room follows detectives Carver and Lake as they try to track down a vicious killer with an “artistic” side. The killer enjoys displaying their victims in prominent ways and begins to build a strong following on social media, particularly Instagram. Carver and Lake have to deal with the impediment this causes, as it means the Ferryman’s “fans” are among the first on site at the “exhibits” in many cases. This of course is problematic as it means evidence could be destroyed, either purposely or not, as well as providing a crowd for the Ferryman to hide in and observe the reaction to their “art.”
All-in-all this was a very engaging book. The characters are fleshed out enough that they feel real, but not so much that you feel like you know everything about them and won’t learn anything else by reading more in the series. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but not really — it’s more of a solid setup for the next book and it shouldn’t leave you feeling frustrated at having to wait.
As far as the identity of the Ferryman…well, there are a couple of red herrings. One is a bit obvious, but even realizing that the character is probably a distraction doesn’t take away from the mystery of the book. There’s at least one other red herring, but by the end I felt like I’d considered all the obvious suspects. Yet the big reveal still managed to surprise me, which is always nice with thrillers like these.
I highly recommend reading The Cutting Room — it’s a great pick for any mystery lover. As for me, next on my TBR list is Splinter in the Blood — if it’s half as good as this one, it’ll be worth it.
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