Book Review of The Cut by Chris Brookmyre – Interesting Read
My Rating – 3.8 out of 5
Plot Summary (Storyline) – The Cut
Another author I’ve read for the first time, and there have been quite a few in this year. While most of them have really enriched my literary journey, a few have disappointed and if I had stopped reading The Cut within the first few chapters, I may have erroneously classified it in the second category! But thankfully, I ploughed on, and very soon I was hooked and rushing to finish the book. What starts off as a slow, meandering buildup to an albeit interesting story, suddenly develops a few extra feet and gallops away to the finishing line. It’s like a long distance race, where things start off in a sedate manner before finishing the last lap in a sprint.
Set in Glasgow, Scotland and then taking a trip all over Europe, the booke opens with its chief protagonist just stepping out of jail, paroled after serving 24 years for murder. Millicent Spark was in her 40’s in the year 1994 when she wakes up next to her then boyfriend, Markus, viciously slashed to death. Though she is the one to call the Police, she is the lone suspect, thought to have killed Markus in an alcohol and drug fuelled frenzy. In the ensuing trial, Millie dithers from not guilty to unsure, not being able to remember anything from that fateful night, including why she would want to kill her boyfriend for whom she did have soft feelings.
For background, Millie was an established special make-up artist, specializing in horror movies – supplying all the gore for the slasher flicks and b-grade indie movies being made by the dozen in the late ’80s and ’90s. She does have a reputation in those circles and that’s how she had met Markus. Lucio was a big time producer of these b-grade movies and even some porn flicks and at his party, Millie and Markus had met and later became an item.
Back to present time, after her release, she is taken in by two women Vivian and Carla, who are also in their seventies now, like Millie. They try to set Millie up for a normal rehabilitated life but a depressed Millie is on a dangerously fatalistic course, with nothing to live for. Around this time, Jerome or Jerry comes into their shared life like a breath of fresh air. He’s a teenager looking for accomodation, away from his college digs and the bad company that he’d got into there. In response to an advertisement Vivian had put out looking for a lodger, Jerry applies and is taken in. Millie is wary of the newcomer but doesn’t care much by now.
Jerry also happens to be a big-time horror movie fan, courtesy his grandmother’s video rental business, particularly of those from the ’80s and ’90s. Soon, Millie and Jerry seem to hit it off, particularly when Millie stumbles upon an old photo featuring Markus. Only to be told that that it is not Markus but an undercover cop! Suddenly, Millie realizes that she has been framed and by getting to the bottom of it she can finally exonerate herself and only the truth can set her free. Jerry is her able companion in this quest and together they set off tracking Millies’s acquaintances from that past life, in order to unravel the mystery. But they are up against powerful forces…
A cat and mouse game soon ensues as some people are keen to keep their secrets buried forever and they will not stop at anything to protect their identities!
Conclusion – Book Review of The Cut
The characters are nicely built up with well developed backstories and like I said earlier the narrative picks up speed in the second half of the novel. The twists in the climax are trademark for this genre and though surprising are not entirely unexpected. The writing style is fluid and simple but the language is richer than many recent authors I have read, some of them far more well-known!
It’s a good enough read for the Holiday season, so in case you haven’t read it earlier, grab your copy now!!
*I hope you have enjoyed reading this book review as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *