Books,  Crime Fiction Books

Book Review – The Cutting Room ~ Ashley Dyer | June ’19 Release

‘The Cutting Room’ by Ashley Dyer

Genre: Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural

Published: June 18, 2019, William Morrow

Swathi’s Rating: 4.5/5

Been eyeing this thriller/police procedural for a long while and my sincere thanks to the Publisher for making my wishes come true! This book is a fantastic dark tale and perfect for the fans of Crime Thrillers involving serial murders and extensive police investigation. So, enjoy the plot and my thoughts on the book! Happy reading. xoxo


Detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver, introduced in the electrifying Splinter in the Blood, must stop a serial killer whose victims are the centerpiece of his macabre works of art.

While Britain is obsessed with the newest hit true-crime television show, Fact, or Fable? detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver are tormented by a fiendish flesh-and-blood killer on the loose.

Lured to a “crime scene” by a mysterious digital invitation, Ruth Lake is horrified by what she finds: a bizarre and gruesome tableau surrounded by a crowd of gawkers. The deadly work is the latest “art installation” designed by a diabolical criminal dubbed the Ferryman. Not only is this criminal cold-blooded; he’s a narcissistic exhibitionist desperate for an audience. He’s also clever at promoting his deadly handiwork. Exploiting England’s current true-crime craze, he uses social media to titillate and terrorize the public.

Ruth is joined in the investigation by her partner Greg Carver, who is slowly regaining his strength after a run-in with another sadistic criminal. But Greg can’t seem to shake the bewildering effects of the head wound that nearly ended him. Are the strange auras blurring his vision an annoying side effect of his injury, or could they be something more . . . a tool to help him see a person’s true nature?

In this utterly engrossing and thrilling tale of suspense, a pair of seasoned detectives face off against a wickedly smart and inventive psychopath in a tense, bloody game that leads to a shocking end.


Swathi’s Thoughts:

The book opens up with a serial killer at loose targeting and killing young men of Liverpool as the missing persons list pile up everyday. Detective Inspector Ruth Lake is brilliant and a fast thinker for her job who tries to best to cover for her now-suffering boss Detective Chief Inspector Greg Carver whose insomnia and depression does not let him do his job 100 percent. As the story picks up right where Ashley’s previous book ended and I haven’t read it yet, I am not aware of what caused Greg’s current state of mind. Apart from that, the book is quite standalone.

There are chapters where the killer talks to us and this was surprising to me. In usual thrillers like these, it’s not until the climax when the villain is finally revealed and the reasons explained. Even though the identity of the killer is still unknown, the narcissistic sadistic nature of the killer is slowly narrated through his own chapters in his own voice. Unlike other killers, he doesn’t show the entire bodies of his victims. He prides himself and creates meticulous ‘art pieces’ out of human body parts and uses the help of social media (Twitter, Instagram) to acquire followers who’d help him anonymously to serve his purpose. He then stages an exhibition of his ‘art show’ and that’s how the police finds out everytime about his killings!

Oh he calls himself ‘Ferryman’. Did I mention that?!

This was really a cracker for me and way more than what I had expected out of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the intricate details of the investigation as well as knowing the killer’s twisted mind. It was such a thrilling experience. Ruth Lake is instantly likeable for her fierce decisions and sharp mind while solving the crime. She also runs a good precinct when her boss needs her.

I loved the contributions from the author duo as they present their readers with as much inside information as possible. it’s totally enjoyable and intriguing to know the latest procedurals involved in high profile cases in big cities. Ashley Dyer is definitely a name you want to add to the list of Crime Thriller Authors who you can blindly choose to read. Because they do not disappoint. And hey, look out for a surreal jaw dropping surprise at the end!!

Happy reading guys! xx

Meet the Authors

Margaret Murphy
Helen Pepper

Ashley Dyer is the U.K. writing-duo Margaret Murphy and Helen Pepper, two longtime crime experts. The Cutting Room is their second novel together, after Splinter in the Blood.

Margaret Murphy is a long-standing Writing Fellow and Reading Round Lector for the Royal Literary Fund. She is a past Chair of the Crime Writers Association (CWA), and founder of Murder Squad. A CWA Short Story Dagger winner, she has been shortlisted for the First Blood critics’ award for crime fiction as well as the CWA Dagger in the Library.

Helen Pepper is a Senior Lecturer in Policing at Teesside University. She has been an analyst, Forensic Scientist, CSI, Crime Scene Manager and Crime Scene Co-ordinator, and has co-authored, as well as contributed to, professional policing texts. Her expertise is in great demand with crime writers: she has been a judge for the CWA’s Non-Fiction Dagger award, and is also Forensic Consultant to several TV shows including Vera and Shetland.

Twitter @AshleyDyer2017

Instagram @ashleydyerauthor

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