Cut and Run book review: a complex, emotional mystery

Cut and Run book review

What is this about?: Imagine one day you find you have a twin sister, who may die and you find yourself embroiled in a case she was following (sort of) and you happen to find out secrets about yourself and your adoptuion you really probably wish you didn’t find. That’s this in a nutshell: secrets, lies and babies.

What else is this about?: Family, in all its incarnations. 

Blurb 

Twin sisters separated by the past are reunited by unspeakable crimes in New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton’s throat-clutching novel of suspense…

Trauma victims are not new to medical examiner Faith McIntyre, but this one is different. The unconscious woman clinging to life after a hit and run is FBI agent Macy Crow. What the woman from Quantico was doing in a dark alley after midnight is just one mystery. The other is more unsettling: Macy is Faith’s mirror image—the twin sister she never knew she had.

Faith knew that she was adopted, but now she’s finding that her childhood concealed other secrets. Following the trail of clues Macy left behind, Faith and Texas Ranger Mitchell Hayden make a shocking discovery on an isolated country ranch—a burial ground for three women who disappeared thirty years before.

They weren’t the only victims in a killer’s twisted plot. And they won’t be the last.

As the missing pieces of Faith’s and Macy’s dark lives snap into place, Faith is becoming more terrified by what she sees—and by what she must do to save her sister and herself from the past.

So Faith is going about her life – autopsying bodies and secretly sleeping with a widowed ranger whose wife she knew – when she finds herself with a twin sister, close to death the first time they meet. Macy Crow is the adopted daughter of Jack Crow, a man recently murdered and Faith recently finished his autops

Interesting beginning to Cut and Run, yes?

In the first few chapters, Macy is very present. Readers follow her as she goes to her father’s place to clean it out, and finds herself with clues leading to what, she’s not sure. But she follows them because Jack was her father, and finds herself in a bar with a suspicious bartender that knew her father, though he claims not to have seen him in ages. And on the way out, Macy snaps a picture of a young girl’s missing person’s picture because that’s what she does at the FBI and it’s her natural instinct to do so. Except, someone thinks she’s a liability and runs her over, and from there author Mary Burton begins to build a bigger and more far-reaching mystery.

You would think that seeing you have a twin sister might cause a bit of an emotional reaction, but I had to keep in mind that Faith is a doctor, a scientist and in shock – a lot. But as she begins to follow Macy’s investigation, she begins to find out secrets – of her family’s, of her friends and why there are three headstones at a ranch that Macy visited.

There was a point in the story where the twists and turns became familiar, but it was the characters and the emotional impact of the story that drew me in. I was afraid for Macy and Faith and wondered if they would ever meet. I wondered about the young girl Faith was helping – an inhabitant at a shelter that she raised money for. Kat was pregnant, headstrong and unsure about whether to give her kid up for adoption or not. I liked that the author gave a Faith a full life outside the case as such, it made her all the easier to empathise with.

I also enjoyed the different portrayals of women in this book: they are flawed, generous, stubborn and loyal — and they are at the heart of this story in different ways.

The case itself unspools at a steady pace, drawing the characters in and revealing clues enough to compel me to read more rather than irritate me into wanting answers ASAP. Sometimes thrillers do that to me.

All in all, this was an utterly compelling read, with the question of how and why Macy and Faith were separated at birth answered in a  fashion I could see coming, but damn, it was still emotional – much like the case itself.

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