Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review - The First Cut by Dianne Emley

Book Summary from Amazon

A year after surviving a brutal attack, Pasadena, Calif., police officer Nan Vining returns to duty in Emley's sizzling debut, a hard-edged police procedural with a psychic twist. Nan, a 34-year-old single mom who still bears emotional and skin-deep scars, has her mettle tested by her first case back. The gory corpse of young, blonde LAPD vice cop Frankie Lynde, who got "too close to her work," murmurs a cryptic message to Nan at the crime scene. Nan's ability to hear the dead may be connected to her near-death experience or may be a symptom of post-traumatic stress, but it does help crack Frankie's case and eerily provides a clue about Nan's unknown attacker, whom she and her 14-year-old daughter, Emily, dubbed T.B. Mann or "The Bad Man." Readers will cheer as the fast-paced, high-stakes investigation empowers Nan to triumph over a repugnant criminal and her fears.

My Review - 3 1/2 More Sugar Please

I read this one for the Authors by the Alphabet Bookclub started by Paula over at Tome's Devotee, go here to join us.

The Thriller genre is my favourite so I expected to enjoy this one.  It started out so slow and a little to descriptive for my likings that I was bored and by half way wanted some drama to start.  The end result was that this author keeps giving a little, little, little more and wham, you are completed engaged.

I enjoyed the female detective Nan.  She came back to work after a brutal stabbing and has panic attacks that she is 'trying' to hide from others.  This part of her character was extremely interesting, at times I wasn't sure if she was going crazy, paranoid or really just needing counselling to deal with the past.  One of my favourite characters in books are strong working moms which she was, so a big plus in my mind.

The psychopath killer is so cocky in this book you can't wait for them to bring him down, ugggh, I just wanted to smack him in the face and take a gun and shove it right up his arse, lol, 'ok yes violent thoughts'.

The main case was closed at the end but T. B. Mann, The Bad Man that stabbed Nan is still out there, this was part of the storyline but in the background and it ended with us knowing there is a follow up, good stuff.

I love this quote and the simple meaning in the story.  "Deja vu means you think you've been in this place before.  Vuja de means you never want to be in this place again."  Have you heard of that before?

SPOILER - Only read on if you have read the book.  Q&A for Bookclub

1. Did you like/dislike this book? Why?

Initially I wasn't impressed, but in the end I did enjoy it.  I like thrillers a little bit more right in my face, she gave a little at a time to build intensity.

2. What did you think of Det. Nan Vining?

I love kick ass Detectives, she wasn't in your face about it, but she stood up for what she believed in and took risk, I like that.  More so I enjoy working moms that are kick ass in both areas. 

3. Was there a character that you liked or disliked more than any other? Why?

I really enjoyed Nan's daughter Emily.  I liked the dark artistic but loving daughter part of her.

4. Did you think Nan handled her fear well? Did you think she was too hard on herself?

I don't think she handled it well, she should have been in counseling to get assistance with it.  I did like that she did request this at some point.  Her not handling it could have put her at risk.

5. What were your feelings on her relationship with Det. Jim Kissick and how the author teased about T.B Mann still being out there? Do you hope to see that explored in her other books?

I didn't get enough to really have an reaction to Det. Kissick actually.  I did like the teasers about T. B. Mann, The Bad Man :-)  I would like to know more, but this is why I like stand alone's, I hate the waiting, lol

6. Describe what you liked or disliked about the writers style.

As I stated in my review, I actually didn't like the slow, giving a little trying to engage you slowly, this create a little bit of boredom for me.  At times I also felt things were to descriptive.  I struggled with the 1st half of the book.

7. Being a cop is far from easy let alone a female cop, Frankie’s friend officer Hernandez touched on it with Nan and retired cop Gerardo in Frankie’s condo; do you think the author accomplished this in her writing?

Yes I do and I like how they responded.  I remember one part, someone said 'man, and the response was wo'man'.  I also loved how Nan took control of the meeting with Lesley and he tried to make her uncomfortable but stating to the male detective that he was allowing her to lead.

8. Did you like that you knew who the bad guy was from the start? Did you find it too simplistic?

I prefer trying to figure it out but I don't mind this style, I think it was executed well.

9. If you could change something about the book what would it be?

A little more in my face, faster scenarios.  Also, exploring more about the Pearls being her death stone but maybe this is for the next in series.

10. Will you continue with the Det. Nan series?



  1. you like a little more chill in your thrill, huh - Marce?

    I love participating in the book club to see everyone's answers to the questions. It's fun to see how we differ in our opinions.

  2. This sounds like something I'd like.

  3. I watch more programmes on this genre than reading it and this sounds very good.

  4. Vuja de? Never heard of it. Learned something new every day :) Too funny about violent thoughts. I know what you mean. But hey I guess since we just think about it and not actually carry it out, it made us NOT serial killer materials :)

  5. I love how she had Pussy Cat saying Vuja de and the Count Chocula diddy! She had some great little details in here.

    A little bit more rougher suits me to a T as well, that's why I love Chelsea Cain so much.

    Tomes Devotee

  6. Marce, I'm on the exact same page as you regarding the pace of this book. Exact! I'm curious to see if the second book takes off at a faster clip from the very beginning now that the characters and their situations are established. Do you think you'd read the second book?


Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce, I appreciate your comments. I have decided to make this an Award Free Zone, thank you for thinking of me but I prefer comments and do my best to be a good networking blogging friend also.

If you are a new follower, please tell me so I can come visit also.