The Cutting Room by Jilliane Hoffman – a review

This was one of the books I treated myself too at Harrogate, so it was a nice change to read a hardback book for once, and as much as I do love my kindle you can’t beat the feel of a proper book.

In this story women are being brutally killed which heralds the return of serial killer and death row dweller Bill Bantling who we’ve met in Jilliane Hoffman’s previous books. This book felt almost like two separate stories. There was the rich ‘boy about town’ who is accused of murder, and then the development of the Bill Bantling and CJ Townsend story. Bill apparently knows members of the the snuff club that is linked to the murder and offers this knowledge in return for being moved to a different prison.

I’ve read Jilliane Hoffman’s previous books and enjoyed them, and this was no exception. Her books are always nerve wracking, and she has an ability to build suspense that makes them a real page turner. Some scenes such as one which leads to a room in a basement make you want to scream at the characters to stop being so stupid!

If I’m honest though this book was not quite as good as the previous ones and it felt very much that it was a stepping stone to bring back CJ and to bridge a gap to the next proper novel. The new character of Daria seemed a bit one dimensional and from the start I felt she was more of a plot device rather than a new main protagonist.

Although there was a lot of back story included in the Cutting Room, I imagine it would have been tricky to read without having read the previous books as there was a lot of referencing of the previous stories. I quite like a series of books though, as sometimes it is good to follow a character through the years and you feel almost rewarded for the effort and investment put into reading.

The ending was a little bit unsatisfying, not to mention in part slightly unbelievable, which may be why I felt that it was a stopgap to the next book. Although having just been onto Jilliane Hoffman’s website she describes the Cutting Room as the third and final instalment of the CJ/Cupid ‘Thrillogy’ so I’m obviously wrong. In which case dare I say it, the ending was actually very unsatisfying.

Lets hope she changes her mind and we can actually look forward to the return of the clown masked killer!

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