Cut to the Bone – Alex Caan

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I do love it when I get so wrapped up in a story that it totally consumes me & I can’t stop reading until I have all the answers I need. Cut to the Bone has that very special all-consuming quality and I absolutely LOVED it.

This book really cleverly picks up on the rise in popularity of vloggers; the young people who share their lives on the internet & the online audiences who watch them every day. My teenager has introduced me to a few of these real-life stars (some I have enjoyed watching more than others….exactly who CARES what’s in someone’s handbag so much that they watch a 14 minute video outlining the contents in DETAIL?! A half-eaten cereal bar, a hairbrush, old train tickets & a battered paperback anyone?…Sadly, some of these young girls’ handbags are far more glamorous – and clearly sponsored by companies – than mine!)

Team Internet marks a fascinating shift in entertainment culture and is an area ripe for exploring through this genre. I am often astounded at the amount of intimate information people share through these online channels and the vulnerability this opens them up to. It’s such a perfect setting for an exciting thriller.

Some internet stars have turned vlogging into a beautiful artform (I must hat-tip the amazing Casey Neistat here. Casey shares daily videos with incredible craftsmanship & production values weaved into crazy adventures and family life. I’m a huge fan and I highly recommend subscribing to his Youtube channel ) Neistat fangirling over…back to the book…

Ruby is our main character and a rising internet star with an audience of millions of impressionable teenagers. When she goes missing & videos start appearing that indicate she is in trouble, we start to unravel the truth behind her online life. The pace of the story is perfectly pitched as the story flows with just the right amount of suspense and intrigue, throw in a few red herrings and we have a brilliant recipe for a thrilling read.

Just one disappointment – I am gutted this is a debut. When I find an author voice I really enjoy, I love to go back & read all of their previous stuff. For that reason, I really hope there will be more to come from Alex.

An exciting read with relatable characters, based in a really current & interesting setting. Pick up a copy here. Five cwtches!

Missing, Presumed – Susie Steiner

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Police procedurals often tend to be a bit too uncomfortable for me to #CwtchUp with, however I do love a book with a bit of a buzz about it (FOMO anyone?) so when Netgalley offered me the chance to read a copy of Missing, Presumed I jumped on the book bandwagon with big hopes.

For me, the thing that sets this apart from other books in the genre is the three dimensional aspect to the characters and the personal detail that really brought them to life. DS Manon Bradshaw is not only trying to locate a missing woman and compile a pretty complex criminal case with many leads, she is also navigating the more relatable worries of distastrous internet dating and insomnia.

Balancing the two sides of our characters & trying to keep a handle on everything is just modern life, amirite sistas?

We are treated to equally detailed descriptions of the disappearance of Cambridge post-graduate Edith Hind as the insights into Bradshaw’s soul-destroying internet dates and this makes for a really engrossing read.

As far as the conclusion goes (no spoilers, promise) I wasn’t left feeling as satisfied as I’d hoped. Perhaps I was expecting something a little more complicated than what eventually transpired, but this didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment.

This book has been selected to join the Autumn Reads in the Richard & Judy Book Club so you can expect to see & hear much more of it in the coming months. (Side note: I LOVE the R & J Book Club podcast, however WHO monitors their backing track sound levels? Jeez… I appreciate that it’s a fairly niche whinge, but if you listen regularly, you’ll know what I mean….anyway, I digress)

A cracking police drama – Four cwtches!