THE CUTTER (The DI Melanie Watton Series Book 3) by CHARLOTTE BARNES

A gripping crime thriller full of suspense and mystery

Book blurb

This killer is playing a deadly game and DI Melanie Watton must win if she wants to survive.

When DI Melanie Watton is called in to investigate the brutal murder of a taxidermist, she and her team find themselves tracking a killer and a thief.

With very few leads to go on, the trail goes cold, until one of the missing taxidermy projects finally appears planted at another crime scene.

The killer continues to leave clues and messages behind and the team soon realise they are in danger. And when one of the projects from the original scene turns up at Melanie’s door, she knows she’s the target.

As Melanie gets closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is getting closer to her with each step…

My thoughts

With an unusual initial investigation into the murder of a taxidermist along with the theft of some of his pieces D.I. Melanie Watton and her team seem to be chasing a dead end.

Then at a number of crime scenes one of the missing pieces is left. If the murderer didn’t kill to get hold of these apparently valuable items to sell, then why?

As the investigation goes on it becomes clear that one of the team is the ultimate target. Why them? Is it the whole team or just one of them? It must surely be linked to a past investigation and, so, the team check out all their old cases in order to find out who is being targeted and catch a killer.

Measures are put in place for the safety of her team and as it becomes clear who the target is D.I. Watton is placed in a safe house known only to her boss. Why is she the target? Will the team be able to identify and find the killer before Melanie’s whereabouts are discovered?

A solid police procedural which gives a good sense of how long investigations can take when there are no obvious leads and how important it is to be thorough. Still it doesn’t get bogged down into too much minutiae or an overly convoluted storyline.

This is a story which moves along nicely, the characters are well drawn and it picks up pace, taking the reader along for the ride, to it’s ultimate, thrilling conclusion.

This is the third in the series which I feel has more to give in terms of the characters themselves especially with regard to D.I. Walton’s relationships – in work and personally – but also in regard to future cases.

An intriguing and absorbing book which readers who enjoy police procedurals that move with pace will appreciate, I certainly did.

Thanks: With many thanks to Maria Slocombe, Publicity & Social Media Manager, Bloodhound Books for the invite to read and review The Cutter by Charlotte Barnes and for the eBook.


Published: Bloodhound Books (15 March 2020)

Buy: AmazonSmileUK | Amazon U.K. | AmazonUSA | The Cutter is currently available for 99p/99c

Dr Charley Barnes

Author: C.S. Barnes (Charley to her long-time pals) writing as Charlotte Barnes is a Worcestershire-based writer and poet who has achieved her Doctorate degree in Creative Writing and now spends a lot of her time wondering what to do with it. She is a lecturer, content writer, tea-drinker and book-reader with a passion for psychological thrillers that shines through her work.

Barnes is also one of three directors of Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe literary festival and, independently of this, she runs her own monthly open mic/spoken word event in Worcester City Centre, titled Dear Listener. She is currently writer-in-residence at The Swan Theatre (@theswantheatre) and is also managing director of The Sabotage Review.

She published her debut short story collection in May 2017, titled The Women You Were Warned About (Black Pear Press), and her debut poetry pamphlet, A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache, was published in July 2018 (V. Press). Intention is Barnes’s debut novel, published by Bloodhound Books in 2019.

For writerly updates you can follow her on Twitter: @charleyblogs


The DI Melanie Watton Series

The Copycat | The Watcher | The Cutter

Books as C.S. Barnes


The critically-acclaimed psychological thriller.


Looking for thoughtful discussions about books and beverages? Well, you've come to the right place.

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Books, Cats, Etc.

A place to share my love of books, old and new


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Just One More Chapter

Book Reviews & More

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Crime Cymru

The Welsh Crime Writing Collective

Sharon Dempsey

First Chapter

Beverley's Reads

Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading

the dead authors club

a classics club blog


The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!

The Last Word Book Review

Musings about books and a blog journal

Crime Writer Margot Kinberg

...a crime-fictional site

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!

The Classics Club

A Community of Classics Lovers

Reading Matters

Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads

The book review café

Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger

A crime readers blog

A place for crime fiction reviews and occasional ramblings of a 40 something in York

A Fangirl's Opinion

One Girl, Too Many Books

Jen Med's Book Reviews

Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger

Digital Reads Media

Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions

KayCKay Book Reviews

No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.

Being Anne...

Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting

What Cathy Read Next...

For book lovers everywhere

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Book related stuff in English and Dutch!

Nordic Lighthouse

Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections

Novel Deelights

Escaping reality one book at a time

Jess Bookish Life

Reader | Writer | Blogger

Scribbling Clouds

The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations

Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

A book blog with a speculative focus

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader

Reading under the light of a Carolina moon



Ah Sweet Mystery!

Celebrating the Golden Age of Detection in books and on screen

Bibliophile Book Club

Books, reviews and more...


Life in Newcastle and beyond...

Reviews by Chloé

Feast your eyes on all the books that I have absolutely LOVED


Book reviews and random musings

%d bloggers like this: