Cutter by Thomas Laird

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He’s a cutter. He accosts unsuspecting young women, he overwhelms them with a pad of ether. Then he kills them. And eviscerates the corpses. The crime scenes he leaves behind are not pretty. Nor is the talk, in this tough, tautly plotted, and tersely written crime novel that sets Jimmy Parisi of Chicago Homicide, a strictly no-nonsense kind of Italian cop, on the gruesome trail of an elusive but very efficient—and alarmingly active—killer. The bodies are beginning to pile up. Death in fact is reaping so ghastly a harvest in the city’s parks and streets that the press and police are calling the merciless perpetrator “the Farmer.” When Parisi and his partner, Doc, a homicide cop with an unlikely Ph.D. in English literature, begin to zero in on their quarry, the Farmer abruptly alters his modus operandi. Turning his murderous attention away from attractive, vital young women, he focuses his formidably perverse intelligence instead on investigating detective Jimmy Parisi himself. At a pulse-popping pace, through unexpected twists and surprising turns, from the scenic precincts along Lake Shore Drive to the perilous criminal underbelly of Chicago, Parisi and the Farmer follow the paths that bring them inexorably to a shocking confrontation. The suspense is riveting, and the outcome—as explosive as it is unexpected—will leave the reader gasping.

About Thomas Laird

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Laird has published short stories in numerous American literary magazines. For twenty years he has been teaching creative writing and literature in central Illinois, where he lives.
Published June 1, 2002 by Chivers. 329 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cutter

Kirkus Reviews

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Short-story specialist Laird (Blue Collar, not reviewed) pads his way to novel length with the exploits, all too explicitly described, of a Chicago serial killer who first chloroforms his prey, pretty young gals, and then removes vital organs, presumably to sell on the black market to desperate s...

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Publishers Weekly

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Laird has come up with a newsworthy dimension to the story in the illegal procuring and selling of human organs for vast sums, but Parisi and the killer are the only characters with enough depth to come to life, and too often the dialogue jarringly slips from the vernacular to the stiffly formal.

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