By: Christina Kovac
Publisher: Atria / 37 INK
Publication Date: 3/21/2017
My Rating: 4 Stars
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...
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Christina Kovac delivers an intriguing suspense; highly-entertaining action debut, THE CUTAWAY —a brilliant and tenacious TV news and producer uncovers a video and sets out to discover the whereabouts of a missing female attorney while discovering something even more sinister.
From power, greed, dirty politics and corruption in Washington, this heroine will not stop until she has uncovered this dangerous web of deceit.
The author brings a wealth of her own experience managing Washington, DC newsrooms and producing crime and political stories as well as a TV journalist from the top networks to the pages as her story comes alive.
A beautiful woman, Evelyn Marie Carney an attorney; has gone missing in Georgetown. The Metropolitan Police Department is looking for this woman, last seen on Sunday.
TV news producer Virginia Knightly thinks she may have seen this young attorney somewhere. Most likely not in person; perhaps a cutaway shot, one of those quick flashes of video used to show a reaction. She was uncertain.
Evelyn was a recent law school graduated and worked at a prestigious firm. On the night she disappeared, she had dinner at a restaurant in Georgetown. She left alone. Police recovered her car abandoned not fifty yards from the restaurant.
Knightly has a memory, which is not exactly photographic; however, things, places, details, and events burn a permanent place in her memory, which is a gift at deadline. She can recall the angle of every frame, where it was shot, and what time of year, and the specifics. Armed with this kind of information can also be dangerous.
She loves telling stories, on or off camera. However, she may get more than she bargained for. Dark money.
Soon Knightly suspects foul play and begins her own investigation. Investigators seemed more interested in Evelyn’s martial problems. A martial separation was requested by Evelyn the night of the disappearance. What about her war-hero husband, Peter? Who was romantically involved with Evelyn?
What did Ian Chase’s official portrait from the Department of Justice have to do with the missing woman? Who was Evelyn looking at in the video? Was someone expected to turn a blind eye to illegal activities?
She becomes enthralled and caught up in a high-stakes case, murder, greed deceit, dark money, power, and corruption. Hot on the trail, she soon realizes for every great story, there is a risk. Some far greater than others.
Virginia discovers road blocks every way she turns, even in her own backyard, plus Michael Ledger, the detective which she had a relationship. Also PACs, political fund raising with anonymous donors (so-called dark money) to nonprofit groups, made in secret.
Money missing from the fund. Was Evelyn being set up? By whom?
Compelling! An edgy mystery with "behind the scenes" intensity in a contemporary suspenseful cutthroat news business. An intense tightly wound debut suspense. Looking forward to more from this author, who definitely knows her way around a story and a newsroom.
For fans of authors, Neely Tucker, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Lis Wiehl, and Jennifer Vaughn (some of my top favorites).
A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.
Top 20 Mar Reads
"The Newsroom meets Gone Girl” (Cosmopolitan)
"An insider's look at TV news and the real workings of Washington DC, The Cutaway combines relentless pace, a compelling story, and a truly memorable protagonist. Terrific." (Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Suspicion and The Switch)
"Readers will want to see more of this tenacious, lovable heroine." (Publishers Weekly STARRED Review)
"A smart, highly satisfying story of crime, politics, the media, and ruthless ambition. With an insider’s knowledge of how to do everything from produce a live TV shoot, trade tips with cops during an investigation, or navigate the complex dynamics of gender in the modern workplace, Kovac brings intelligence and breathless plotting to The Cutaway. The result is sensational, in the best sense of the word." (Thomas Mullen, author of DARKTOWN)
"THE CUTAWAY" is as clever as its title, a smart, fast-paced thriller that rolls through the murky waters of D.C. media and politics that Christina Kovac knows so well. Virginia Knightly, the television news producer at the heart of this story, makes her debut with all the panache and style you wish the evening news still had." (Neely Tucker, author of Only The Hunted Run and Washington Post national desk correspondent)
“Former D.C. newsroom manager Kovac knows her milieu and portrays it vividly in this smart, absorbing mix of media, politics, and mystery, with twists and turns to the end.” (Booklist)
"A fast-paced and exciting story set in the glitz, glamour, and danger of DC.” (E.P. Clarke)
“A great story that has romance, intrigue, and great dialogue. It is also a walking tour of the nation’s capital and a peek behind the scenes of politics, justice, and the news business.” (PAULDALEANDERSON)
“...a fast-paced, engrossing adult mystery whose biggest strengths are its top-notch writing, a noble protagonist, and the many fascinating insights Kovac shares about the world of television journalism.” (Eve Messenger’s OtherWORDly Endeavors)
“...this will appeal to readers who enjoy (Paula) Hawkins and (Gillian) Flynn, though Kovac has her own voice.” (Mirkat Always Reading)
“Smart, strong, well drawn women characters add an extra dimension to this page-turning thriller, looking at the greed and power of the politically connected through a feminist lens.” “Smart, strong, well drawn women characters add an extra dimension to this page-turning thriller, looking at the greed and power of the politically connected through a feminist lens.” (Genrefluent)
"A crackling thriller." (B&N Reads, March's Best New Thrillers)
About the Author
Photograph by Tina Krohn
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 More