Author: Veit Etzold

Rating: 2 stars 

Publication Date: May 15th, 2012

Genre: Thriller, Crime

Format Read: Paperback

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads

When I came across this title in the school library the cover design captured my attention among the thousands of other books. The story follows the protagonist, Emma Carow, a forensic psychologist who is called in to investigate a series of gruesome murders that appear to be related to a film production company. The premise seemed engaging, but Final Cut is a thriller that ultimately disappointed me. 

First of all, the plot of the novel is convoluted and confusing. The story moves back and forth in time without any clear indication of when it is doing so, making it difficult for the reader to follow. The unusual style, combined with the prose being a bit coarse and sometimes even clumsy, makes it a heavy read. In addition, the characters are poorly developed, making it difficult to become invested in their fates.

The dialogue between the characters is stilted and unnatural, failing to convey the characters’ emotions or motivations. 

Furthermore, the book is replete with unnecessary and graphic violence including several scenes of sexual violence which are particularly disturbing and exploitative. They seem to have been included solely for impact. These scenes add nothing to the story or the characters. 

The overall theme of revenge is also problematic. While the idea of seeking justice for past wrongs is a common trope in crime novels, Final Cut takes it to an extreme that seems unrealistic and even dangerous. The characters’ actions are often brutal and immoral, making it difficult for readers to sympathize with them.

As for homophobia, there are a few instances in the book where characters use derogatory terms or make negative comments about gay men. This type of language can be hurtful to people like me who are in the LGBTQ+ community, as it perpetuates harmful stereotypes. Similarly, female characters are often objectified or sexualized. This type of sexism reinforces harmful gender stereotypes and I found it extremely offensive and uncomfortable.

The book perpetuates classism, as characters from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are portrayed as less intelligent and less deserving than those from more affluent backgrounds. This type of portrayal can be damaging and reinforce systemic inequalities.

Overall, Final Cut is a poorly written, poorly executed crime novel that fails to engage or entertain its readers. The book’s confusing plot, underdeveloped characters and gratuitous violence make it a difficult and unsatisfying read. I would not really recommend this book.