Nic always hated clubbing.
She only went out that night because she’d promised a friend.
She wakes up, naked and bound in an abandoned cottage in the middle of nowhere. Dappled light comes in through a dirty window. Her body is covered in cuts. Across the room her friend groans in pain.
A shadow passes the window. He’s back.
He picks up a knife. He begins to cut her friend. In that moment of bloody frenzy, Nic wrenches free and runs.
She’s finally safe. But this is only just beginning.
Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch arrive at the scene hours later. There is no body, there is no sign of the killer. It’s as if it never happened.
I was approved for an ARC of Knife Edge by Kerry Buchanan via NetGalley, my thanks to Joffe Books for the approval and I hope that you find my honest review to your satisfaction.
Knife Edge is the debut novel by Kerry Buchanan and follows the story of Nic; having been kidnapped and tortured by the media dubbed ‘Slasher,’ as she embarks on helping the local police force solve the case.
Nic goes for an uncharacteristic night out with a group of her friends only to wake up alongside her friend and tortured. She manages to escape to the sounds of her friend being brutally murdered and get help; in the form of Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch.
The plot of Knife Edge is intense. It’s a thrill-read of epic proportions with high characterisation to help keep the delight of the discoveries entertaining. There are some strong characters written about in the story, some of which I do hop to see again in future novels by the author as this is a very strong debut novel. I enjoyed the easy-flow of Kerry Buchanan’s writing style; nothing overly complicated to impact on the readers imagination paired with some very challenging scenes; that of torture, left my imagination reeling in a way that I find most delightful.
As the story unfolds, Nic plays an ever increasing role in solving the case of her kidnapper. While I enjoyed Nic as a character, her determination throughout the story is admirable and what motivates her actions is reasonably justified. I do feel that Nic falls into the ‘too good’ category at times. Whenever a hook within the plot is discovered it’s by Nic; she takes the law into her own hands and seems to have the Detectives wrapped around her little-finger. I found that she went from relatable to a ‘Miss-know-it-all’ towards the second half that rather hampered my personal enjoyment of the book. I found Nic’s involvement within the case and the relationship she formed with the Detectives rather incredulous; the fact she was allowed access to investigate crime scenes with them and the extent of her involvement as anything other than a victim of crime was a little bit beyond my suspension of disbelief.
As with all thrillers, I was trying to figure out who the culprit was – I think the ‘guessing game’ of thrillers is what makes them so entertaining and I had a good inclination who it was rather early on in Knife Edge. It’s something as a reader that I cannot stop myself from doing but I was rather disappointed to have figured out the ‘big reveal’ so early on.
In between scenes of investigation and family drama there are chapters written from the culprits perspective – it highlights his sadistic intent, his paranoia and the disturbing thoughts he has towards the women he kidnaps. These chapters are brief, but add to the tension throughout the novel in a startling way. They give the whole books a renewed sense of urgency in solving the case and kept the thrill-read rolling.
I really disliked the ‘resolution’ of this novel. It felt a little forced and open-ended. I’d have much rather be left with a feeling of completion from a story and sadly, I found what was offered in Knife Edge a little lacking.
A very well-written debut novel. A fast-paced thriller with detailed scenes of horror and suspense; somewhat let down by an incredulously written protagonist whose instincts are just a little bit too good, despite her being otherwise well rounded. The epilogue ending was a bit of a let down for me, personally, but this is entirely as I enjoy clearer resolution to stories.