The First Cut by Ellery Kane

 

 

Title: The First Cut

Series: Doctors of Darkness #3

Author: Ellery Kane
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: January 8, 2019

My review:

What an intense book! We experience this story through the eyes of Ava, a psychologist and ex-wife of Ian Culpepper, famed TV relationship doctor along with his new wife, Kate. However, we are not sure we can trust Ava’s perspective. Especially since all evidence points to her being the murderer of Ian and Kate.

Complicating matters is the fact that her boyfriend of a year, Luke, is a cop, along with his brother and father, who is the lead detective on the case. The book goes back and forth between the present, and various Valentine’s Days over the previous eight years of Ava and Ian’s meeting, relationship, marriage, and divorce. Many characters are not who they seem to be, and we never know who to believe. This is a page turning thriller that keeps us guessing until the end.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Blurb
When “Love Doctors” Ian and Kate Culpepper are brutally murdered in their Carmel mansion on Valentine’s Day, Ava knows it’s karma. Because Ian’s leaving her for perfect Kate four years ago had cut her bone deep. And then they had the nerve to show up here, on her turf. With their perfect house and their perfect daughter and their matching perfect smiles. It’s no wonder Ava can’t stop watching. It’s no wonder she can’t let go.

But Ian is far from perfect, and Ava owes a debt too. For the unforgivable thing they’d done together. The dark deed that severed their marriage in two. When Ava’s name is found inked in blood at the crime scene, a reckoning seems inevitable. Someone knows what she’s hiding. Someone sees what she’s done. And karma is ready to collect its pound of flesh.

 

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Excerpt
I believe in karma. Because Ian’s dead. Kate, too. But mostly because the news is delivered to me by the half-naked man in my bed.
“Are you okay?” Luke’s voice is measured. Ninety-nine percent hotshot cop. Which he is. One percent boyfriend. Which he wants to be but isn’t. Not officially anyway.
The faint furrow between his brows deepens. How cute. His first wrinkle. “Talk to
me. Please.” 
“Is Madison alright?” I ask, my own voice high and breathy as a child’s. Ian’s daughter is quite possibly the only good thing he ever did. And I swear I’m not a heartless bitch. Though Ian had branded me one more than once. Back in the days of old when I’d called him a poor excuse for a husband and an even poorer excuse for a man.
“She’s fine. At least that’s what Coop said. He was first on the scene.” Luke gestures
to his cell on the nightstand. The one that had buzzed us awake five minutes ago and exploded the world as I’d known it. “I’ll know more when I get there.”
Guilt, that slippery eel, writhes in my stomach, reminding me I’ve done something wrong. But I lop off its head. To hell with guilt. Whatever happened, Ian brought it
on himself. He’d all but asked for it coming back here to my hometown. Invading
my turf. With her. Besides, guilt is a useless emotion. 
Ian had said it himself years ago, after I’d told him I didn’t want any special treatment in his class. The back-row girls will talk, I’d said. And he’d pushed me up against his desk and kissed me like a pathetic cliché. Dr. Culpepper always had his favorites. Easy come, easy go.
“Ava? Are you sure you’re okay?”
Luke strips off the covers, hurries into his jeans, and tucks his badge into his back
pocket. I can’t look away from the lean muscle of him. Ian never had abs like
that. Though to be fair, he’d been pushing forty when I met him.
“Ava?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Because I don’t have to leave if—”
“You do. And I am. I promise.”
When Luke leans down to kiss me, his lips impossibly warm, I run my hand across his taut stomach and stifle a grin. Then, a grimace. Karma may be as slow moving as a freight train, but boy does she pack a wallop.
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Author Bio
Forensic psychologist by day, novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been
writing–professionally and creatively–for as long as she can remember. Just
like many of her main characters, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason
she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than
fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating
violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique
perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. And
she’s heard her fair share of real life thrillers. An avid short story writer
as a teenager, Ellery recently began writing for enjoyment again, and she
hasn’t stopped since.


Ellery’s debut novel, Legacy, has received several awards, including winning the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, young adult, e-book category, and the Gold Medal in the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards, teenage category. In 2016, Ellery was selected as one of ten semifinalists in the
MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition.
Author Links

 

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