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When 17-year-old Kristen Kroiter, a former patient, kills herself after penning a diary entry describing a sexual encounter with him, hotshot emergency-room surgeon Ted Cogan faces an uphill battle to clear his name. Kristen had indeed spent the night at his home when she washed up there drunk after a frat party. Cogan had been drinking a little too, and Kristen's best friend swears she saw them in bed together. Anyone who knows him can imagine the 40-something Cogan, a notorious womanizer with an eye for college girls, in the scenario. For detective Hank Madden of the Menlo Park, Calif., police department, that--along with a personal animus stemming from his traumatic past--is enough to charge Cogan with statutory rape and manslaughter. It's also enough to draw readers into this subtle and engrossing mystery.
As Cogan struggles to reconstruct that night's events, first-time novelist Carnoy paints a landscape of complex, flawed characters, mixed motives and twisting intrigue. He takes readers into the toxic office politics of a hospital surgery department, the rancid machinations of a frat house full of horny kids on the make and the romantic fantasies of young girls, fueled by a volatile mixture of innocence and desire.
Tautly paced and full of crisp dialogue, Carnoy's prose is pitch-perfect whether delving into medical and police procedural or sussing out the nuances of campus hookup culture. In Cogan, he's concocted an appealing, edgy protagonist--cocksure, arrogant and abrasive towards his less competent colleagues and "difficult" patients, but possessed of a roguish charm that makes readers want to tag along, even if they're not sure where his moral compass is pointing.
A gripping thriller debut that is just what the doctor ordered. --Kirkus Discoveries, December 11, 2008
At 3:00 this afternoon I sat down with "Knife Music" -- and it's now 10:30 p.m. and I just finished reading the last two surprise-ending pages. Loved it. Read morePublished on January 7, 2011 by Barb Wothe
Having served as a USMC infantry squad leader (Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, Vietnam's DMZ, north of Route #9 '68), a portion of David Carnoy's fine book, "Knife... Read morePublished on September 9, 2010 by Mike Regan
David Carnoy's debut novel "Knife Music" follows the old adage "if you need something done right, do it yourself." In this case, it's proving your own innocence for Dr. Read morePublished on July 27, 2010 by MYSTERIOUS ME
David Carnoy's Knife Music is a great read, tight plot, edgy topic and awesome characters that keep you reading (even when you know you should be sleeping because you have an early... Read morePublished on July 15, 2009 by LEJ
A great read - hard to put down. The characters were very well developed and believable. The plot had great surprises throughout and the end, well, fantastic. Read morePublished on July 15, 2009 by Allison Crews
This was a great read! I couldn't put the thing down. I even found myself sneaking chapters in at the office. Author did a great job keeping the suspense going right to the end. Read morePublished on June 26, 2009 by M. Cassidy
Amazingly good suspense story and one that is difficult, if not impossible, to put down. One cannot help but get caught up with the characters and the plot. Absolutely terrific. Read morePublished on May 25, 2009 by Sandy
Absolutely loved this story. Carnoy gave away just enough about each character to keep me rivited without it becoming too wordy. Read morePublished on May 5, 2009 by Suzanne Gallagher
Trust me - you will really enjoy this book. I started reading it while on vacation and was immediately drawn in by the rich character descriptions and multiple plot layers. Read morePublished on April 13, 2009 by David Linn