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The Cutaway - Book Review

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Published July 26th 2017
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Former NBC journalist Christina Kovac impresses with her maiden foray into the world of fiction writing.

Riveting debut: Christina Kovac's debut novel, The Cutaway, featuring high-flying news producer Virginia Knightly's investigation into a missing woman in Washington DC, and the sinister circumstances surrounding the case

Kovac, who spent seventeen years managing Washington, DC newsrooms and producing crime and political stories in the District, has written her first novel, The Cutaway about a high-flying news producer who takes on the story of a missing woman and finds herself up against powerful people with secrets to hide, and who are prepared to kill in order to do so.

The protagonist of The Cutaway is Virginia Knighty. She is a news producer at a DC television station at the top of her game as the story opens. Virginia lands the story of Evelyn Carney, a young hotshot lawyer who goes missing after storming out of a restaurant following a tiff with her husband. As she digs deeper, all is not what it seems. To get to the bottom of this story, Virginia would have to risk not just her career, but also her sanity and possibly her life. Fans of Stieg Larsson would certainly love to hear about it.

The Cutaway incorporates several unique elements of American politics into the narrative, most notably how political funding is handled. A lot of money that goes into political organisations in the United States comes from grey sources, with legal and ethical implications involved. Evelyn Carney is employed by one such firm handling political donations. The book also describes life in DC and what it means to be in close proximity with high-flying people with access to classified information 24/7, in addition to putting a human angle to the goings-on in the network news industry full of cutthroat competition for a slice of the shrinking market.

Virginia Knightly's television station can be likened in some way to Millennium magazine in Larsson's series of the same name. As a matter of fact, Virginia has a lot in common with Milennium founder Mikael Blomkvist. Both are passionate about journalism and go great lengths to follow through with their stories. They also have well-placed sources with access to information not available to competitors.

The Cutaway is above all, chick-lit with a hint of David Baldacci's political intrigue and Scandinavian noir thrown in for good measure. The best thing is it features a strong female lead in Virginia Knightly. It would certainly be pleasing if she would return in future at the forefront of more exciting news stories.
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Why? chick-lit with a hint of David Baldacci's political intrigue and Scandinavian noir
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