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Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Worthy Publishing
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 1.25 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
Series: Kristen Connor Mysteries
The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America's FutureJonathan CahnFrontline / 2012 / Trade Paperback$5.00 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 549 Reviews
$16.99Save 71% ($11.99)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW386108Video
AvidReaderCharlotte, NCAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great suspenseAugust 6, 2013AvidReaderCharlotte, NCAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I love this character! She's sweet and funny under her tough exterior. It's not often I read a book and think, "I want to be friends with her" about a main character. The suspense is solid and kept me reading all night. I can't wait to read the second book.
msharryGeorgiaAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5clean thrillerMay 10, 2013msharryGeorgiaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Great police procedural about a serial killer and a feisty female detective with a large extended family. Very suspenseful but clean with no sex or language and a heroine who talks to God. Definitely a thrilling thriller.
SapphireWyomingAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Don't Wait - Order it Right Away!October 22, 2012SapphireWyomingAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book is phenomenal! The heroine is deeply flawed, yet still entirely likeable. The action scenes are incredibly realistic, taking into consideration female limitations, injuries, and adrenaline surges. And the twists are perfectly timed: You're positive you've figured it out, when all of a sudden you realize how wrong you were - they're twists you didn't see coming, yet in hindsight, they make complete sense.
This is one of the best-written books I have read in a long time (and I read quite a bit!). I cannot recommend it enough.
Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Thriller in ChicagoApril 18, 2012Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Cuts Like A Knife was either about a very dumb detective or it was written by a very poor writer. That was my initial opinion about half way through the book. I may have been right, I may have been wrong. But whichever, the book was worth the time I spent working through the story.
Kristen is a Chicago cop and the daughter of a Chicago cop. Though her father had died the previous year, he was a well-respected member of the force. And that connection provided part of the support needed for the promotion to detective.
What she did not know was that she was the primary target of a serial killer - his fifty-third target. But it was not only her life that was in danger, but it included her partner, Don, the team composed of CPD cops and the FBI assigned to the case, and her family that were at risk.
Though the story focuses on the search, identification, and capture of the serial killer, there is also a glimpse at what the God's grace can offer to broken people - even people who do not know they are broken. Kristen needs to experience that grace, but she also learns to share that grace with those around her.
Written entirely in the first person, by Kristen, a Chicago based blogger, and the serial killer himself, the story holds the reader's attention from chapter one (written by the serial killer) to the last page. I will look forward to future books from this new author.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Thriller DebutApril 16, 2012IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5The opening chapter of Cuts Like a Knife is narrated by a psychopath planning his next event, and is spine-chillingly outstanding. The main narrator is Kristen, and her point of view is interspersed with short chapters from the murderer and from a online vlogger.
Kristen is a Chicago Police Department detective, soccer coach for her niece's team, and almost-ex girlfriend of Dell (it would be a lot easier to become the ex if Mom didn't keep inviting him home for dinner). She's just been appointed to a team investigating the murder of a young woman, because the FBI suspect she isn't a lone victim: instead, she is the 48th victim of a serial killer that has struck six previous cities.
Kristen is a very matter of fact narrator with a dry sense of humour. She's not a girlie girl, but that fits her tough persona, a hardnosed cop in a family where her sisters have achieved as stereotypical women (one is a pastor's wife, the other is a beautiful TVnews reporter). Kristen is not even close to perfect, unlike many Christian fiction heroines. She has anger issues stemming from her father's death, she disobeys orders and while she can hold up her end in a fight, she is not great with a firearm.
It soon becomes apparent to the reader that the killer is setting Kristen up to be his victim, which raises the ante and makes finding him even more important, but then there is a twist... I don't put spoilers in my reviews but I have to say that this one kept me on the edge. Gilroy is good at employing flashes of humour to cut through the tension, and at giving us a feel for the level of horror without needing to spell out the gory details.
As a Christian literary agent, Mark Gilroy will have seen thousands of manuscripts, and must have a pretty good idea of what is good and what sells. Knowing what is good and what is not does not automatically mean that you (or I) can write something that actually is good. But Mark has managed to cross this barrier, and I recommend Cuts Like A Knife to anyone who likes a good thriller. I hope the ending is setting us up for a sequel, because this is an excellent first novel, and I would certainly read more from Mark Gilroy. Just not late at night...
Thanks to Worthy Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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Located in: Brentwood, TN
Submitted: March 06, 2012
Tell us a little about yourself. I am the father of six great kids - with just one left in the house now. Oh - wait - one came back - so there's two. I've spent 30 years in publishing - from packing boxes, writing articles and curriculum, editing and managing editorial departments, marketing director, and finally serving as exec vp and publisher for three companies. I love book publishing! Amy and I live in Brentwood TN and attend Brentwood Baptist Church.
What was your motivation behind this project? I have always loved character driven mystery and suspense. From the Hardy Boys in grade school, to James Bond and Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe in my teen years, then on to spy thrillers by Deighton and LeCarre in college, and then discovering a plethora of great thrillers from Hillerman, Block, Grimes, Child, Leonard, Mosely, Crais, Silva and a host of others throughout my adult life. I even went through a crime noir faze where I had to reread everything from Chandler and Hammet. I can't forget Graham Greene. The common denominator? Great lead character. I've spent 30 years in publishing and have a couple graduate degrees, but the best training I've received to pen my debut mystery thriller comes from the sheer volume of great books I've read. I've had a tremendous amount of fun writing CUTS LIKE A KNIFE - and count it as a tribute to the writers who have brought me so much enjoyment as a reader. I think you will fall in love with my lead character, Detective Kristen Conner. She's tough and in your face. And she's a fragile mess. She loves God, her family, the Chicago Police Department - her dad was a cop - and anything you put on her plate. Doesn't mean she gets along with all parties mentioned, however - except the food. Kristen also has a secret - but don't expect me to tell you what it is for at least a couple of books!
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I did my best to write a great thriller that has all the twists, turns, and suspense readers love. The fact that my character is such a "graceful mess" to watch in action should make the experience even more fun. I think there will be deep appreciation for Detective Kristen Conner's simple and honest faith.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I got quite a few frequent customer awards from Starbucks while writing Cuts Like a Knife. Wrote early morning and late night so I could do he day job. But I've never been one for a lot of sleep anyway! I do feel a sense of gratitude from the response to Cuts.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? See above! LOL. Let's just say I like a great plot as much as the next person - but the writer that creates a wonderful character is the one I read over and over. Probably my favorite character over the past 10 years has been Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon. The author that inspired me to try and write a Christian character into a general market mystery was Tony Hillerman. His character Jim Chee was deeply religious and reflective as he solved crimes on the Navajo Reservation.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: When books don't do very well you often hear an author complain that his publisher didn't do very much. Having been a publisher I know there are a lot of factors. But what I can state very boldly is that my friends from Worthy Publishing have done a tremendous job bringing Cuts Like a Knife to market. If it should fail commercially the fault will be all mine. However, I think we have something special here. The Worthy leadership team has something 170 years of combined experience in publishing. No one will claim most years of service, however.