Synopsis: Glasgow is being terrorised by a serial killer the media have nicknamed The Cutter. The murders have left the police baffled. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind the killings; no kind of pattern or motive; an entirely different method of murder each time, and nothing that connects the victims except for the fact that the little fingers of their right hands have been severed. If DS Rachel Narey could only work out the key to the seemingly random murders, how and why the killer selects his victims, she would be well on her way to catching him. But as the police, the press and a threatening figure from Glasgow’s underworld begin to close in on The Cutter, his carefully-laid plans threaten to unravel – with horrifying consequences.
Me: I picked this book up at my office book swap purely based on the premise that it’s written and from the perspective of the serial killer. The only reason we know details of the police and how well they are doing in the quest to capture a criminal is by the newspaper & TV reports The Cutter sees himself. And I have to call him by his nickname because at no point do I think his real full name is revealed. I caught his surname somewhere but if the first name was said I missed it.
I enjoyed the premise I think it worked quite well. It does make it difficult to get any really feel for secondary characters which was basically everyone besides Cutter. Very much a loner, especially after the death of his daughter I don’t think the character talks to anyone except the odd perfunctory chats with his distant wife and as little small talk as possible with passengers sitting in the back of his taxi cab.
The back of the cab serves to drive the plot forward as besides the newspapers this is where he learns how the case is proceeding, gossip about the victims and so on. The downside is that we are expected to believe that in the sections which involve Glasgow gangsters that they regularly take his cab without recognising him (to say more would spoil the plot) at key points later in the book and that they have such loose tongues. Cutter knows far too much about the inner workings of the gang leader and how he goes about his business. This is the one bit of the book I found hard to deal with. It’s just not possible to get that level of information.
Going back to reasons for picking this book. The second reason was the nature of the crimes. Each one is chosen at random using different (random) ways to kill – picking from a phone book, the 50th person to walk past him, the last person to get off the bus. Each killing is different; some are obvious, some are designed like accidents. All are to confuse the police while the real masterplan is carried out. I loved the twist at the end – the big reveal of why he kills and what drove him to it. Again to reveal why gives away too many spoilers.
All in all I really enjoyed this book, it made a nice change from formulaic crime dramas with depressed cops. A change of pace must read