Cut to the Bone

For fans of the TV show The Fall, this debut thriller is a fresh spin on a classic police procedural that explores the psychological implications of a life lived online.

Ruby Day is a young vlogger, a rising star of YouTube, and a wholesome role-model to millions of teenage girls. And she is missing. Detective Inspector Kate Riley, the head of a new high-powered team of detectives, and Detective Superintendent Zain Harris, the newest member of the team and a poster boy for multiracial policing, are brought in for what they expect to be a routine runaway. Then a video of a wild-eyed Ruby running through the woods and begging for her life is posted online. Amid mounting hysteria and heightened media coverage calling for Ruby’s safe return, Riley and Harris must decode the dark secrets of this seemingly squeaky-clean internet darling. Their hunt leads them to a smug ex-boyfriend who hungers for online fame of his own, a culture of online cyber bullying by anonymous thugs, and a corporation of ruthless advertisers who exploit online celebrities for their network of eager consumers. It becomes increasingly clear that the case is more complicated and nightmarish than Riley and Harris could have imagined. And the videos keep coming . . .

This debut novel is a slick, contemporary police procedural that explores the dichotomy of public life and one lived online. For fans of Megan Abbot and Kimberly McCreight, Cut to the Bone provides a harrowing glimpse into the friendships, ambitions, and secrets of the internet generation.

Alex Caan’s writing in this book is gripping from start to end. The book starts out interesting and attention grabbing with a story that is well written and engaging. Caan also wrote complex characters who are fascinating with varied backgrounds amidst the tense and suspenseful plot.

The social media theme was a good commentary on how the world has become, the fame people seek, the public life newer generations have become accustomed to and the consequences of it all.

 The chapters are so short it makes it that much easier to get through the book but you don’t really need the extra help because you’ll want to keep reading to find out where the story is going as Caan releases everyone’s secrets a little bit at a time to keep your attention.

 The conclusion came just as I was about to pass out from lack of oxygen as I hadn’t realized how long I had been holding my breath. Caan did a impressive job so if you like gritty crime novels then you’ll be up far into the night glued to these pages.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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