A young, wounded woman’s redemptive journey of healing through past trauma with the help of a special horse. Haunting, moving, deeply powerful, and ultimately uplifting— Marlene Adelstein, author of USA Today Bestseller Sophie Last Seen
“…an engaging story of a woman’s emotional journey…Damien creates a
compelling, sympathetic, and admirable protagonist.” Kirkus Reviews
“A polished Texas thriller that pits a survivor, her horse, and an ex-Chicago cop against a brutal cult.
The stakes are high, the twists jolting, and the action is crisp and brutal. What’s most memorable, though, is not the rescues and violent confrontations but the disquieting tension as Blake passes through a world she knows hides horrors. Damien’s tale is complex and occasionally harrowing, though never explicit or gratuitous.”
BookLife Prize Review
“A suspenseful and thought-provoking thriller, Damien’s The Gershwin Cutter is sure to keep readers engaged with its surprising content and admirable composition.
Plot/Idea: Damien’s novel is expeditious and intricately detailed. The storyline is impeccably and effortlessly crafted, including the several twists and turns along the way.
Prose: Damien’s adeptly composed prose speaks to his extensive research on the content of the book. The writing is a perfect concoction of mystery, romance, drama, and adventure.
Originality: Despite containing all elements of a classic murder mystery and the vivid descriptions of unimaginable crimes, the light shed upon unchartered territories and insight into the life of rural America makes the novel stand out.
Character Development/Execution: The characters in Damien’s The Gershwin Cutter are memorable and endearing. The seamlessly inserted backstories for the characters add to the novel’s intensity. The shocking atrocities on the titular character are sure to move the readers to tears and the brief yet effective background on the villainous Wright siblings provides a better understanding of their convoluted mentality.”Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite
“What, you may well ask, is a Gershwin cutter? The cutter is a term used in cow herding, but is there any connection to the famous Ira Gershwin? Oh yes, but in a most unexpected and beautiful way in The Gershwin Cutter by Paul Damien. But wait! Isn’t this novel a thriller? Unless you’re a fan, what’s so thrilling about herding cattle? When the person training a partially blind horse to “cut” has been the victim of horrific mental and sexual abuse at the hands of an immoral and brutal cult leader, this incredible story with its basis in true events becomes one of the most touching and simultaneously frightening books you will ever read. Impossible to put down? You bet! It’s rare for me to want to write 500 or more words in a book review, but I almost can’t say enough about The Gershwin Cutter. From its basic plot and engaging, realistic characters to the author’s excellent use of dialogue and setting to help us visualize and feel what the characters are experiencing, this novel shines. I loved it. Add The Gershwin Cutter to your reading list now.”Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
“The Gershwin Cutter by Paul Damien is a thriller with a twist.
I love when novels open with a suspenseful scene filled with action and intrigue. Author Paul Damien opened the story with a bang and made sure to keep the suspense going until the end. The opening chapter was enough to make me believe the story was going to be amazing. Blake’s character cemented that idea and made me want to read on.
The author highlighted how survivors of cult abuse could damage a person but, even then, there is a chance of saving someone from a life of hell. Loved it, felt it, and enjoyed it!”
“This was a thrilling tale of survival, both in terms of Blake’s efforts to move beyond her traumatic past and find some sense of peace in her new life and in terms of Sonny’s fight to keep himself and Blake safe after his investigation brings her into danger. I was a particular fan of Blake’s characterization and the natural way she evolved throughout the story as she moved from ignoring her trauma to acknowledging it, all the way to confronting it and beyond. The prose throughout was gorgeous and ensured that not an ounce of narrative potential was wasted, making The Gershwin Cutter a fantastic read for thriller fans everywhere.”Reviewed By Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite
“The Gershwin Cutter by Paul Damien is a thriller with emotional power inspired by several factual events.
The Gershwin Cutter proves thrilling and captivating as it highlights the magnetism of a cult, the blind devotion of its followers, and those who are willing to go against it to get to the truth. At its heart is a religious movement that becomes an antithesis of the morals that organized religion is designed to proselytize as the murder takes center stage. Paul Damien brilliantly crafts a convincing plot surrounding a cult’s bizarre activities that attract the attention of an intrepid investigator. Damien’s narrative choice of the third-person allows you to maintain a safe distance yet brings you close enough to understand what is going on. Moreover, the subject of cutting is well-researched as evidenced by the detail that Damien puts in his scenes-they are enough to evoke sensory images even in those like me who are not familiar with the sport. This is a must-read novel that is undoubtedly written with an intense passion for the craft of storytelling.”
“Inspired by true events, The Gershwin Cutter by Paul Damien is one thriller you don’t want to miss. A story of redemption and healing, this powerful story will have you glued to the edge of your seat. Written in the third-person narrative, this book has a very easy plot to follow, teamed with complex, well-developed characters who come alive on the pages through Paul Damien’s tense dialog. The characters grow as you read, developing into people you will relate to, and the action is non-stop – it starts on the first page and doesn’t let up all the way through. The subjects of cult abuse, both sexual and mental, are dealt with sensitively but thoroughly, leaving you in no doubt as to what the main female protagonist has fought to survive. This is a well-researched novel written with real feeling and one that will leave an impression on you long after you finish it.”
4/4 stars: Reviewed by Everydayadventure15 for OnlineBooks.org
“Discover the riveting tale of Blake’s fate in Paul Damien’s novel, The Gershwin Cutter. Despite the dark nature of the cult and the painful accounts of their actions, this book was hard to put down.
There was nothing that I disliked about this well-edited book. Therefore, I give The Gershwin Cutter four out of four stars.”