Title: The Cutting
Author: James Hayman
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
Hardcover: 326 pages
About The Cutting:
Someone is Stealing the Hearts of Beautiful Young Women. NYPD homicide detective Mike McCabe left New York for Maine to escape his own dark past and to find a refuge from the violence of the big city for himself and his teenaged daughter, but on the fog-shrouded, cobblestone streets of Portland he finds far more than he bargained for. On a warm September evening the mutilated body of Katie Dubois, a pretty high school soccer star, turns up, dumped in a Portland scrap yard. Her heart has been neatly and expertly cut from her body. The same day Lucinda Cassidy, a young Portland business-woman and competitive runner, disappears during her morning jog. Soon other bodies turn up. All young, all blond, all athletes. Very quickly McCabe discovers he’s on the trail of no ordinary killer. Rather his prey is a brilliant, psychopathic surgeon who kills in a bizarre way to satisfy his own strange and frightening desires. McCabe knows he has to move fast. He has less than one week to find the killer before Cassidy dies and Casey, McCabe’s own daughter is threatened. He also knows the clock is ticking.
The Cutting by James Hayman is a suspense packed novel that will keep the reader intrigued and guessing until the end. This debut page-turner is filled with a rich plot, action, twists, and thrills while at the same time offering tender and personal insights into the lives of the main characters, this is most evident between McCabe and his daughter. McCabe is a tough former NY Detective who decides to leave NY behind after a divorce renders him a single father to his young daughter. McCabe assumes a move to a small town in Maine will be much safer for himself and his daughter and allow him a more stable workweek. McCabe could not be more wrong. The main characters are believable and likeable. The battle that McCabe finds himself encaged in with his ex-wife for their daughter is also very realistic and expertly woven into the story line as McCabe is busy trying to solve a mystery before another woman loses not only her heart, but also her life. As for the central theme of the novel, a brutal serial killings of young, healthy people for their hearts, is not only thought provoking, but will keep the reader not only engaged, but turning the pages, looking for more clues to solve the puzzle. In the end, Hayman’s debut novel, The Cutting is expertly written and I look forward to his future novels. Anyone who likes a good suspense/thriller will no doubt enjoy The Cutting.
About the Author:
Like McCabe, I’m a native New Yorker. He was born in the Bronx. I was born in Brooklyn. We both grew up in the city. He dropped out of NYU Film School and joined the NYPD, rising through the ranks to become the top homicide cop at the Midtown North Precinct. I graduated from Brown and joined a major New York ad agency, rising through the ranks to become creative director on accounts like the US Army, Procter & Gamble, and Lincoln/Mercury.
We both married beautiful brunettes. McCabe’s wife, Sandy dumped him to marry a rich investment banker who had “no interest in raising other people’s children.” My wife, Jeanne, though often given good reason to leave me in the lurch, has stuck it out through thick and thin and is still my wife. She is also my best friend, my most attentive reader and a perceptive critic.
Both McCabe and I eventually left New York for Portland, Maine. I arrived in August 2001, shortly before the 9/11 attacks, in search of the right place to begin a new career as a fiction writer. He came to town a year later, to escape a dark secret in his past and to find a safe place to raise his teenage daughter, Casey.
There are other similarities between us. We both love good Scotch whiskey, old movie trivia and the New York Giants. And we both live with and love women who are talented artists.
There are also quite a few differences. McCabe’s a lot braver than me. He’s a better shot. He likes boxing. He doesn’t throw up at autopsies. And he’s far more likely to take risks. McCabe’s favorite Portland bar, Tallulah’s, is, sadly, a figment of my imagination. My favorite Portland bars are all very real.
Learn more about The Cutting by James Hayman or visit his other tour stops here.
I received a copy of The Cutting by James Hayman from Pump Up Your Promotions as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.