The Cutting Edge by Ace Collins is the story of a popular supermodel who has just received the offer of a lifetime, a dream contract that will make her career. Unfortunately, accepting this offer will require that she compromise moral standards she’s mostly managed to cling to in spite of pressure from her industry. Leslie decides to head home to talk with her parents before making any decision. Before she can get there, though, she’s brutally assaulted in a dark alley. Her attacker leaves her for dead, yet hopes that she’ll live, knowing he stole something that probably meant more to her than life: her beautiful face.
The story has potential, but fell a bit short of reaching it. To be fair, I’m writing this review from an unedited ARC (advanced reading copy) that I received from the publisher (Abingdon Press) in exchange for this honest review. The final version may shine. We’ll see what a great editor can do!
The sequence of events leading up to the climax and the final resolution were good. Through the rest of the book, though, characters didn’t always act believably. For example, though Leslie was from and in a small town, she’d been living alone in New York City. She would have known better than to leave the lighted area of a mostly abandoned airport in the middle of the night and to approach a strange vehicle pulling up to the curb. Even though she had called a taxi, those vehicles are clearly marked. A single woman who’d been living in New York City would have known to be cautious. It would have been instinctual. Further, Collins implies that Leslie had no choice but to live with her parents after her attack because she had nowhere else to go. I didn’t understand this. She lost her job because of the attack, but she wouldn’t have lost her bank account. She’d been a successful supermodel. Where did all her money go? Elements like this made it hard for me to engage with this story.
I did appreciate the opportunity to read it, though. And, as it’s the second in a series, I’m curious to read Leslie’s cousin’s story, Darkness Before Dawn. Meg, the cousin, encourages Leslie throughout The Cutting Edge.