I am a big fan of Giles Blunt's John Cardinal mystery series. But I've also enjoyed his stand alone novels that cover a broader range of style and themes.
Blunt's latest novel, The Hesitation Cut, is another stand alone novel that is dark, unsettling and so very hard to put down.
Brother William has lived in the Our Lady of Peace Monastery for the last ten years. He's outwardly happy with his life and his work in the library. But when Lauren, a young female poet comes to the monastery's library to do some research, life changes - for both Brother William and Lauren.
Brother William can't stop thinking about her - her looks, her voice, and that scar on her wrist. She just seems so sad......Brother William makes Lauren his next calling - he can help her, save her and look out for her. And so, he leaves the monastery and heads to New York City as Peter to find her.
And he does. But Peter's desire to help evolves into desire alone. Obsessive desire.
Neither Peter or Lauren is a likeable character. (The character I liked the most was Lauren's on again off again boyfriend Mick - and he has serious flaws as well.) As the story progresses, both characters alternate between victim and perpetrator. Obviously both characters have mental health issues and their meeting is simply the fuse for an implosion in both their lives.
That fuse is slow burning. The reader is helpless, along for the ride, as Blunt builds the tension and the suspense with another layer, another incident and another nuance until it seems there can be no turning back. Sharp eyed readers will take note of a few off the cuff remarks that hint at something more in Peter's past.
As he did in Breaking Lorca, Blunt has crafted an intense psychological study in the pages of The Hesitation Cut, exploring love, hope, devotion, faith and obsession. But it's also an excellent thriller that keeps the reader wondering what is going to happen next - and to whom. Read an excerpt of The Hestiation Cut. You can connect with Giles Blunt on his website, as well as on Twitter.