Never kidnap kids on the way to a science competition.
“Cut to the Bone” opens with the death of a police officer in Washington, DC; this will be a high-stakes case, one of those cases without a good outcome. When a second victim is found and the murders show some ritualistic nuances, FBI Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair, a neuroscientist for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, is called. In a shocking turn of events, an entire busload of children traveling to a science competition is reported missing, kidnapped. The atmosphere is tense and frantic as the search for the children turns up only misdirection and false leads.
The story unfolds in alternating points of view. Readers have an inside view of the elite FBI squad action strategy, sources, procedures, and readers also learn the FBI does not know. The children themselves take things into their own hands. They are observant, resourceful, and determined, far from timid. The action is conversation driven; both casual and friendly, but deadly serious when the situation dictates. The narrative sometimes goes back in time slightly to show just how people got to a particular event.
“Cut to the Bone” is hard driving, fast paced, and intense. Help and answers come from an unexpected place, and those answers are shocking. However, there is a nice dog that can be counted on when things get bad physically and emotionally. I received a review copy of “Cut to the Bone” from Ellison Cooper, St Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books. The pace is frantic, and the plot is powerful. Just when readers think things are over, there is a startling revelation that hints of what is to come next. I can hardly wait.