Cut to the Bone – Alex Caan


Published 14th July 2016 by Twenty7/Bonnier and available (soon) here

For fans of THE FALL and Sarah Hilary, this slick, dark contemporary thriller will have you on the edge of your seat…

Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. And she’s missing. She’s an adult – nothing to worry about, surely? Until the video’s uploaded. Ruby, in the dirt and pleading for her life. Who better to head up the investigation than the Met’s rising star, Detective Inspector Kate Riley? She’s leading a shiny new team, high-powered, mostly female and with the best resources money can buy. It’s time for them to prove what they can do. Alongside her, Detective Superintendent Zain Harris – poster boy for multiracial policing and the team’s newest member – has his own unique contribution to make. But can Kate wholly trust him and when he’s around, can she trust herself? Ruby’s millions of fans are hysterical about what may have happened to her. The press is having a field day and as the investigation hurtles out of control in the glare of publicity, it becomes clear that the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much, much darker than anyone could have imagined in their worst nightmares. And the videos keep coming . . .

My thoughts

Sometimes I hear about a book, with everyone singing its praises and I want to know MORE… This is one of those times. I found ‘Cut to the Bone’ by accident, and was very intrigued. Obviously I am ancient and the whole internet stars thing has totally passed me by. Alex Caan’s first novel brings the YouTube vloggers sub culture to a wider audience, in a twisty turny engaging DARK crime read.

The book introduces us to Ruby, a girl who is worshipped by millions. Ruby is a vlogger, who has a massive following on the internet. She’s made a name for herself, filming to camera her thoughts and feelings on different subjects. She is out there, successful and sparkling. Ruby goes missing. Where is she? Who would wish her harm? On the case is the mysterious American DI Kate Riley and her new sidekick Zain Harris.

WOW!!!! What is not to love about a book set in a world, that you have never encountered before?! Seriously I am too old (thank goodness!) to look on YouTube for beauty tips or morale boosting advice. I am vaguely aware of it out there. Caan brings this teen phenomena to life and makes it all very accessible. The missing Ruby is more complex, than she first appears and her world is not straight forward. It is full of hidden under-currents and sad manipulation. Ruby is a contradiction; powerful and exploited, a victim of her own success. I was fascinated by her. Caan’s storytelling gave her a depth and made me feel compassion towards her.

As for the central characters, Zain and Kate, I really enjoyed getting to know them. Zain Harris was tortured in the line of duty and has PTSD written all over him. I know tortured heroes can be a bit of a cliché. But I loved him. I REALLY LOVED HIM. He is a techy geek, an alluring bad boy and I just wanted to know more. Kate was rather interesting as well; with secrets a-plenty and a hint of chemistry with the alluring Zain! If this is the start of a series (fingers crossed), then we are in for some serious good times ahead.

Blisteringly fabulous dark crime, that is hard to put down. Recommended.






About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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3 Responses to Cut to the Bone – Alex Caan

  1. crimeworm says:

    Ooh! New books on the top! I’d do that but I’d probably make a mess of it! I did try watching some of these vloggers, but they’re all about 22 – if that – gorgeous, and highly repetitive. They get really excited – over excited, in fact – about loads of books I’ve never heard of – probably YA. Sorry but I have more than enough adult books to read!

  2. This sounds brilliant and I want to read it! Book bloggers are massive on YouTube. Huge followings. As Linda said a lot of it is YA based though. But the Internet used that way is mostly for those younger than us! 😊

  3. Pingback: Bradford Literature Festival – Secrets of Crime Writing – 8 July 2017 | #northern #crime

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