A Book Spy Review: ‘Cutting Edge’ by Ward Larsen

Cutting EdgeA Coast Guard swimmer’s life is suddenly turned upside down after a helicopter crash that killed his entire crew in the latest thriller from Ward Larsen (Assassin’s Code, 2017).

Stationed in Alaska, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Trey DeBolt loves everything about his job–the action, the sense of purpose, and the rewarding feeling he gets each time he saves someone’s life. But when the helicopter carrying his crew goes down, the twenty-something-year-old was officially declared dead. Unofficially, he was saved by an ambitious nurse who hid him off the grid. . . 

Waking up in Maine, DeBolt is surprised to still be alive, having remembered, vaguely, hearing the doctors pronounce him dead. Confused and struggling to remember what happened to him, Trey is confronted by Joan Chandler, who explains that they’re safely tucked away in her beach house. Over the next few weeks, Joan slowly nurses him back to health. The stronger his body gets, so too does DeBolt’s mind, which continues to race with questions.

Joan continues to promise him answers once he’s back to full strength, but a snooping Trey locates a file with his name on it that only causes more confusion. Before he can confront her, however, a team of trained killers assassinates Joan in her beach house as a horrified Trey stands helplessly on the beach, unable to help in any way. Realizing that the gunmen are looking for him too, he takes off towards the one place he thrives the most. . . the water. 

Surrounded by darkness and crashing waves, Trey finds himself navigating with an eerie sense of direction that he never possessed prior to his accident. That sense soon grows into visions, guiding him as he races to stay alive and uncover the truth about what happened to him. Behind the mysterious door lies a top-secret government conspiracy so controversial that those involved will stop at nothing to keep it hidden. 

Ward Larsen dials up the heat for his latest thriller, featuring a polarizing new hero in the vein of Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne, but with a twist. Cutting Edge isn’t your prototypical action thriller, as Larsen mixes in a ton of suspense and more than a few surprises on his way to an electrifying ending. The formula works well — as good as his David Slaton series is, this is almost certainly Larsen’s strongest work to date. Beyond the characters and plot, the writing itself is top-notch. Larsen uses beautiful, rich, and vivid descriptions to set the scene and tone early on. And his description of what it’s like to be in icy waters will chill readers to the bone. 

Like the violent, harsh waters Trey DeBolt is used to battling, Cutting Edge will shake, toss, and spin readers nonstop while they race through the pages. Ward Larsen takes his game to a whole new level. . . this book is an absolute blast to read! 

Book Details

Author: Ward Larsen
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0765393417
Publisher: Forge
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10
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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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