Title: Cut to the Bone
Author: Roz Watkins
Publication date: 25th June 2020
My rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads rating: 4.21
Genre: Crime, mystery, thriller
I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers HQ in order to review as part of the blog tour. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by receiving a gifted copy of this book in any way. I would like to thank the publishers HQ, and the author Roz Watkins
*Trigger Warnings – Rape, victim shaming, incest, abduction, suicide, drug overdose, animal abuse, animal death, murder, gory and bloody content talked about in detail.*
A DISTURBING DISAPPEARANCE
When beautiful young social-media star Violet Armstrong goes missing in the middle of a scorching Peak District summer, the case sparks a media frenzy.
A CHILLING MURDER
The clock is ticking for DI Meg Dalton and her team to find Violet before online threats explode into real-life violence. And then the blood and hair of a young woman are found in an empty pig trough at the local abattoir…
AN IMPOSSIBLE CRIME
The more Meg finds out about this unnerving case, the more she becomes convinced that something very, very bad has happened to Violet. With temperatures rising and the press demanding answers, the case is about to take a terrifying turn…
Overall opinion of the book:
Cut to the Bone is the third book in the DI Meg Dalton series. When I requested to be a part of the blog tour, I hadn’t realised this wasn’t a stand alone book (I later realised that I own the first book in the series – Devil’s Dice, which I definitely need to read now!). Although this is the third book, you can absolutely read it before reading the first two as each book focuses on a different investigation. There are references to the first and second books when referring to Meg’s personal life, but nothing that impacts the readers knowledge of the main plot.
There’s so much to unpack in this book, it was jam packed with many twists and turns. The story not only covers the disappearance of Violet, it also touches upon the strange case of the Pale Child and uncovers the past of many characters in the town of Gritton. Gritton is home to a pig abattoir and has a past of many deaths. Sightings of the Pale Child have been linked to the deaths and the storyline of the mystery behind this intrigued me so much.
Living in Wales, I live near a reservoir that is home to a flooded village. Similarly to the book, when we experience particularly warm weather, the church steeple can be seen above the water. The concept of there being a village underneath the water has always equally fascinated and terrified me. When I began reading this in the book I was hooked and found the storyline interesting and also creepy! I read some of Cut to the Bone late in the evening and I would be lying if I said it didn’t give me nightmares!
There were so many layers to the investigation and Watkins had me second guessing every character. You know a thriller is a good one, when you don’t fully guess what will happen. I had my suspicions, but nothing prepared me for the second half of the book and the ending in particular. I don’t want to give too much away, but Watkins tied everything up very well and I didn’t expect it at all.
As you can see from the trigger warnings above, this book isn’t for the faint hearted, and you’ll definitely need a strong stomach to read some of its content, but if you like books that are quite gory and a little bit disturbing, this will be right up your street!
I liked that the main detective was a woman. This is only the second detective book I’ve read where the main detective is female. Dalton is a headstrong and likeable character. The way in which she handles the situations she’s placed in is brilliant and she’s not afraid to stand up to her male counterparts. I wasn’t so keen with her feelings for a particular character in Gritton as I prefer character’s feelings to blossom over time. It did make some aspects of the book more interesting, but I personally wasn’t keen on the character she grew to like very much. Her relationship with Jai is interesting though and I want to know what will happen with them next!
I particularly enjoyed that there was constant action in Cut to the Bone, when there was a break in the investigation discussions, there was plenty of things happening in Dalton’s personal life that kept the book continuously interesting.
The story switches from past to present, focusing on Meg Dalton in the present and giving an insight to Bex, Violet’s mother, in the past. This was a brilliant technique as it gives the readers more of an insight to the characters living in Gritton when Bex was a teenager and adds further detail to the plot. It also allows the reader to understand Bex and some of the key character’s actions better.
The writing is fantastic, Watkins is a very talented writer. The plot was interesting throughout and the writing flowed well and was easy to follow. All of the conversations felt very natural and the writing didn’t feel forced at any point. I’d love to read more by Watkins in the future and will certainly be reading the first two books in the series and continuing with the series in the future.
The only niggle I had with the plot was that the Animal Rights activists were very vocal at the start of the novel and involved significantly, but as the book progresses, they’re not mentioned as much. I would have liked to have found out what they thought about the outcome of the investigation and also what Anna and other villagers in Gritton thought. I also wanted to find out who was responsible for what nearly happened to Hamlet as I don’t recall the person being responsible named.
There is lesbian, disability rep and also a brief mention of a transgender character in the book. Meg Dalton is a strong female character that knows her own mind and isn’t afraid to question the opinions of those around her. I liked that the author included a cat called Hamlet that appears in the story on more than one occasion. This is a lovely nod to her being a cat lover and I’m sure those who love cats as much as I do loved Hamlet just as much!
This was a brilliant thriller overall, it was haunting and kept me on my toes from beginning to end. The writing was brilliant and the plot was intricate and brilliantly thought out. It focuses on the idea of whether pigs can and will eat human remains. This idea for a book may not be to everyone’s tastes, but if you’re a horror fan or someone that likes to read particularly gruesome books, then this is probably something that’s crossed your mind in the past and is particularly intriguing as it is gruesome. Watkins has written a fantastic book and although some of the content is certainly not for the faint hearted, this is a must read for many. I can’t wait to read more books by Roz in the future!
If you would like to pre-order a copy of this book, you can do so here:
Cut to the Bone will be released on the 25th June 2020, don’t forget to get your copy! 😊
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Cut to the Bone blog tour, running from 19th- 25th June. It’s full of brilliant bloggers who are reviewing the book! You don’t want to miss out on this awesome content!
Social Media Links:
For The Love Of Books Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FTLOBOOKS/
Personal Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ashleigh.williams.9041
For The Love Of Books Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/FTLOBOOKS
Personal Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ashleighcanflyy/
For The Love Of Books Twitter – https://twitter.com/FTLOBOOKS
Personal Twitter – https://twitter.com/ashleighcanflyy
Goodreads profile – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/69229254-ashleigh-williams
Email – email@example.com