Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘A Cut for a Cut’ by Carol Wyer, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. This is the second book in the Detective Kate Young series, and you can find my review of the first book in the series ‘An Eye for an Eye’ (HERE). It was a pleasure to return to this series, and I hope that you will check out the other blogs on the tour (see the banner below) as well as the author.
Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’
In the bleak countryside around Blithfield Reservoir, a serial murderer and rapist is leaving a trail of bloodshed. His savage calling card: the word ‘MINE’ carved into each of his victims.
DI Kate Young struggles to get the case moving—even when one of the team’s own investigators is found dead in a dumpster. But Kate is battling her own demons. Obsessed with exposing Superintendent John Dickson and convinced there’s a conspiracy running deep in the force, she no longer knows who to trust. Kate’s crusade has already cost her dearly. What will she lose next?
When her stepsister spills a long-buried secret, Kate realises she’s found the missing link—now she must prove it before the killer strikes again. With enemies closing in on all sides, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to bring them down. But time is running out, and Kate’s past has pushed her to the very edge. Can she stop herself from falling?
This is the second book in the series, and while it can largely be read as a standalone you do lose out on some of the nuance and backstory especially with regards to the overarching plot, and I know for me at least part of the enjoyment was mapping the development between the two books, especially for the titular character. DI Kate Young was one of my favourite aspects of the first book because she was so well-written and as our POV character, she made for a fascinating and sympathetic narrator because of what she had gone through. In A Cut for a Cut, it feels as though Young has grown into herself, or rather that she is coming back to herself and beginning to see the world around her, and the situation she is in – and that her husband was caught up in – more clearly, and I loved how Wyer managed to capture this development making it very human and believable as gradual progress, not free of stumbling blocks, and it was wonderful to see the process of anger and grief being explored as part of life, and having to continue to work and focus on an active case.
This great characterisation is not limited to Young, and Wyer has populated her book with vivid, interesting characters on all sides of the situations that Young is involved in. In particular, though, I have to give a shout out to how Wyer writes her villains – and although I managed to connect the dots about who the killer was, it did not detract from the impact of the character.
As with book one, the plot and the pacing of this book are full-throttle from the very beginning and you can’t help but be swept along for the ride. I think Wyer upped the ante in this one, particularly with regards to atmosphere, because there was a wonderful combination of menace and fear as we are drawn into this case, and follow the course of the investigation. While I did connect the dots, there was a wonderful web of red herrings and clues, both with the investigation into the predator in the active case and within Young’s clandestine investigation. This was combined with a difficult, yet well-executed exploration of the emotional impact related to the rapes and murders being committed- it certainly wasn’t easy to read, and Wyer does not shy away from the brutal reality of these crimes, but nor are they sensationalised and that can be a very hard line to tread.
An engrossing, if not always easy to read continuation to this series. Wyer has taken Young and the subplot to new heights in A Cut for a Cut, while also upping the ante with regards to the ‘main’ investigation. I look forward to seeing where Wyers will take us and Young in the next book, and I would recommend this series and book to anyone who loves crime fiction, especially with a lead detective who stands out from the crowd.
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.
A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.
To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.
She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.
When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.