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The Cutting Edge: A Suspense Novel Kindle Edition
|Length: 234 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the third Darcia Helle book that I have read and each one has been totally different and equally as exciting. I love that her books are so different. This one has a bit of dark humor to it as the reader can understand Skye's "urge to kill" considering what some of her clients say and do and expect of her. This reader wanted to slap them up the side of the face herself. Skye isn't really a bad character; she just associates with some annoying people! I like to read using immersion reading, listening to the audio version while reading and the audio of this book definitely enhances the reading. The narrator's voice just eeks with the frustration Skye feels. Although she didn't start out that way, will Skye soon become a possible victim for the Mass Avenger?
I have to say I was pleased with the first half of the book, where protagonist Skye, a hair stylist with murderous thoughts about her overly-demanding clientele, gave voice to some very astute observations about the selfishness that seems rampant in our me-me-me society. What made her rants so enjoyable was the humor with which she infused them. It was easy to relate to her frustrations, and fun to laugh at her characterizations.
A problem, perhaps, is that so much of the book is filled with these humorous characterizations (Skye describes at least 50 of her clients through the first 24 of 36 chapters), that it feels at times more like a stand-up routine than a crime thriller. Now, for me, that wasn't all bad--it spared me having to close my eyes too often (I'll admit to skipping a page or two during the killer's activities, which are meticulously described), but it detracted from the suspense that should have been building as the story interspersed the killer's machinations with Skye's day job and personal life.
But the plot overall was entertaining. I knew that that the two story threads would eventually intersect, but I didn't know just how, and by the time they did I was anxious to find out. The resolution was satisfying; I'm glad I read the book.
The ease with which the author paints her characters made them colorful, relatable, and humorous in their all-too-human foibles. It also made it a joy to read such tight, evocative prose. Knowing that the author was once a stylist leads me to conclude that these portraits of strangle-worthy fussbudgets were drawn from actual clients. After all, what author dreams up fifty or more incidental characters for a novel!
I may still have to skip the most grisly pages, but I'll be reading more of Darcia Helle's books.
The protagonist in The Cutting Edge, Skye Summers, frequently fantasizes about killing her hair salon clients. Their constant gossip and self-centered perspectives have Skye on the verge of burnout. As domestic obstacles add to Skye's stressors, her fantasies darken.
When a serial killer comes to her suburban section of Massachusetts, Skye's fantasy world converges with reality. Author Darcia Helle does a masterful job of intertwining the points of view of Skye and the killer, while subtly braiding in the moral conflict that arises when fantasy and reality grow dangerously close to one another.
My only problem with The Cutting Edge involved wanting a book that I could read for an hour or two each night during a work week. Instead, I had to deal with a reading hangover after repeatedly telling myself, "One more chapter," into the wee hours of the morning. But, for a story as compelling as The Cutting Edge, a little sleep deprivation was a small price to pay.
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