A Knife's Edge - Book Review


A Knife's Edge

Author: Eliot Parker
Genre: Fiction - Thriller - General
Date Published: October 3, 2018
ISBN-10: 1946664421
ISBN-13: 9781946664426


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Book Review of :  A Knife's Edge


A Knife’s Edge by Eliot Parker is a police thriller set in the author’s home state of West Virginia. His knowledge of Appalachia is reflected in his vivid descriptions of the book’s locations and the story’s backdrop of late winter.  The protagonist, police Sergeant Ronan McCullough is drawn into investigating several brutal murders. The novel is a fast-paced thriller that opens with an explosive out of the gate start. Murders and mayhem befall Sergeant McCullough right from the very first chapters.  A catastrophic incident leads him to the discovery of the gruesomely mutilated body of a woman he knows.

Intrigue at its best, the storyline is based on a newspaper article the author read and pondered, “What if?” From his deliberation of the “what if,” the A Knife’s Edge took root. Albert Einstein said, “the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Parker’s novel exemplifies his imagination as his protagonist investigates BTech, a laboratory company. Under cover of legitimacy, BTech has set up a blood testing lab that will “facilitate the early detection and prevention of disease, and empower people everywhere to live their best possible lives.” Understated in the plan is the company’s goal to ultimately process all blood samples for the state’s crime lab. Forensic blood analysis in criminal investigations would be handled by the private lab. Could this lead to test result tampering? Why?

Ronan is characterized as a gay police sergeant working for the municipal police department of Charleston, West Virginia, a state right in the heart of Appalachia.  His domestic partner, Ty is an emergency room nurse. Ty also becomes ensnarled in the murders as he plays amateur detective. His efforts sometimes help Ronan and other times prove to be a hindrance and liability. Ty’s engagement in the murders’ investigation puts him at peril, and he soon discovers how real and great that peril can be. Will he be one of the unfortunates who become eviscerated by the killer’s knife?

Ronan is somewhat reminiscent of the main character in James Patterson’s Alex Cross crime series. Parker shadows Ronan with violence and mayhem and complicates his investigation with internal police strife and personal family endangerments. A knife’sEdge, is the sequel to Fragile Brilliance, and continues to develop the characters in the previous investigation of Krok drug dealing. An addictive drug made from codeine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous from matchstick heads. It is a highly toxic cocktail cheap to produce and very deadly. Ronan had struggled against gangs introducing it to the drug addicts of  Charleston, WV.

The plot’s involvement around the possibility of a criminal takeover of medical testing was intriguing.  As Parker ends the novel, he opens the door to the next murder mystery awaiting Ronan. The sergeant just can’t get a break. A Knife’s Edge is a well-told story; altogether a thoroughly enjoyable crime thriller.

About Eliot Parker


Eliot Parker is the author of four novels: Breakdown at Clear River, Fragile Brilliance, Code for Murder, and A Knife's Edge. Fragile Brilliance was a 2016 Finalist for the Southern Book Prize in Thriller. He also received the Bronze Award from the National Literary Habitat organization for mystery/thriller writing. He also won the West Virginia Literary Merit Award. He currently teaches writing and literature at Mountwest Community and Technical College.

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