A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.
Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He’s cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he’s paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it’s hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.
Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again — this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer’s knife.
While reading this book I had quite a few thoughts circling in my mind, but of those the most prominent three were:
1. Gods, save me from the adverbs.
2. Gods, save me from the repetition. I’ll forget the adverbs as long as the repetition ends NOW.
3. This isn’t a character driven story, because the characters are the story.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a character centric book, but.
There’s hardly any plot. Scratch that. There’s no plot. There’s barely a framework for a murder mystery and an awkward excuse to bring two men together and have them fall in love against all odds and their life experience up until that point.
Ty G. and Zane G. (Grady and Garrett respectively) fall into each others arms repeatedly in scenes that can only be described as fantasy fulfilment. They take turns disrobing in front of each other and getting conveniently hurt to allow the other to touch them in a caring manner. And of course this leads to unresolved sexual tension which quickly becomes resolved.
Too quickly. Their relationship progresses too fast, which is a considerable achievement considering the over all length of the book. My NetGalley copy showed closer to 400 hundred Kindle pages than 300 and half of those could have easily been left on the cutting room floor without any significant loss to the plot. Er. My mistake: -without any significant loss to the character and relationship arcs.
One of my Kindle notes says:
”They’re od’ing on deux ex machina plot point encounters.”
The success of this book hinges on the readers connection to the characters.
As a long time soap opera viewer I’m a sucker prone to suffering through horrible plot lines just to see my favourite characters stumble from one ill-advised adventure to another.
But I’m also a mystery and crime novel fan and whodunnits have made my heart skip ever since I picked up my first Agatha Christie Novel. And in this, too, the novel fails.
Almost all plot advancement mystery partition of the story is done in short paragraphs telling what had happened with the case and the world around them. The foreshadowing is done with a heavy hand and the culprit is clear pretty much from the beginning. At the time it felt like some relevant information like Zane’s wedding ring is withheld until the last minute.
I also have other small complaints like the fact that I’m not sure how accurate the hospital scenes are or like someone on Twitter said: New York is a city that should be a character. It’s not in Cut & Run and that shows the lack of actual research on the authors’ part.
There’s a lot criticism in this review, so why is the rating two stars instead of one?
That’s easy. I’m picturing Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as Ty and Zane.
Wonder why exactly that is.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Series: Cut & Run #1
Pages: 348 (paperback)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published: September 1st 2008