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Knife Music: A Novel Hardcover – July 8, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Carnoy's debut, a thriller set in California's Silicon Valley, fails to deliver on the promise of its intriguing conceit--the degree of a doctor's legal responsibility in a patient's suicide. Shortly before hanging herself from a showerhead, 16-year-old Kristen Kroiter wrote in her diary about having sex with 43-year-old Ted Cogan, a senior trauma surgeon reputed to be a playboy. The doctor treated her in the hospital after she drove her father's Volkswagen Jetta over a curb and struck a telephone pole a few months earlier. Arrested for contributing to Kristen's death, then suspended from his job, Cogan begins playing gumshoe to clear his name. He eventually tracks many of the case's weak underpinnings to a fraternity at nearby Stanford University. Despite a varied cast of characters and some snappy plotting, the story flattens in the middle and struggles to resuscitate itself. Readers who stick around for answers to nagging questions may find it wasn't worth the wait.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Carnoy injects an uncommon level of medical expertise, from physical trauma through hospital hierarchy, into his fine debut thriller about the fraught world of doctors. The novel certainly works as medical drama, but it is also a gripping detective story and a revealing character study about what makes docs tick. We learn, for example, that many doctors’ lack of empathy can be seen as stemming from the fact that they were trapped in labs and libraries during the crucial social-skills-gaining years. One such doctor may be Ted Cogan, a surgeon, who is questioned by detectives after the death of one of his former patients, a female high-school sophomore. Cogan saved her life after a car accident six months before. Now the girl has taken her own life, and a trail of evidence points to a sexual relationship with Cogan and a motive for him to have killed her. Veteran detective Hank Madden, in charge of the case, is a brilliantly realized secondary character. Utterly baffling until the very last page. --Connie Fletcher
Top customer reviews
A lot of the novel just doesn't ring true, nor does the dialogue of the teenagers in the book. I didn't understand the motivations of any of the main characters, which made the novel move slowly. There is a "big twist" at the end, but it frankly came out of nowhere and was simply sad and sordid. Not recommended.
Tying together all the elements of this excellent literary thriller is the author's cinematic sense of pacing. The novel covers a period of about ten months and is written in the present tense, except for the intermittent flashbacks that supply back-story. Carnoy zips backwards and forwards through the immediate and distant past with remarkable ease, giving the reader an easy-to-follow timeline in the form of a police log date stamp at the opening of each scene. Along the way he manages to reveal just enough of the hidden depths of his characters' hearts to keep his reader turning the pages.
Some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, Nelson DeMille, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Stieg Larsson, and James Patterson. If you like them, I think you'll enjoy "Knife Music".
One of the most enjoyable reads I've had for a while. Have been telling all my friends about it. Can't wait until the author's next book comes out!
Most recent customer reviews
different perspectives, and it is not as simple as it first seems.Read more