Friday 9 November 2012

The First Cut by Ali Knight

Back in August of last year, I read and reviewed Ali Knight's debut novel Wink Murder (you can read my review here).  I was impressed by her writing then and having just read her second novel The First Cut, I'm still very impressed.

The First Cut is another very cleverly written psychological thriller.  The lead characters are not the most likeable of people, they are flawed and damaged individuals who constantly make the wrong decisions, yet the story is compelling.

In the prologue, Nicky's best friend Grace is brutally murdered.  Her throat is slit and her body is dumped in a lake.  Nicky finds the body and the murderer is never found.

Grace's murder shapes the rest of Nicky's life.  The story then begins proper, five years later, and the reader discovers that Nicky is now married to Grace's widower Greg.

Nicky writes for a newspaper, Greg works in film and is often away from home.  Life seems pretty normal until the day that Nicky meets Adam on a flight home from Spain.  This meeting turns her life upside down.  What starts out as pretty harmless flirting with a sexy younger man soon turns into a nightmare for Nicky.  What really happened to Grace?  Does she really know the man that she is married to?  Could Greg really be a murderer?

Ali Knight
The First Cut is a roller-coaster of a read, full of suspense, red-herrings and an intricate if sometimes over complicated plot.  At times I found the cast of characters a little confusing and this is certainly not a book that can be rushed.  Despite being fairly short at just over 300 pages long, it took me quite a while to read this.  It needs to be digested fully in order to follow the plot line completely.

Although this is definitely a thriller, it is also a relationship study and looks at how a marriage can work even when there are secrets being kept that could change everything.  With themes of guilt and betrayal, this is much more than a murder story.

It is clear that Ali Knight's writing is going from strength to strength, she has mastered the art of creating characters that the reader does not have to particularly like, but will care about what happens to them.

The First Cut was published by Hodder on 11 October 2012.  Ali Knight has a website here.

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