A Thousand Cuts by Thomas Mogford


It was a complete surprise one day when I came home from work to find a surprise proof of A Thousand Cuts had arrived on my doorstep! This is the fifth book in Thomas Mogford’s Spike Sanguinetti mystery series. Both the author and the series were new to me so I had no idea what to expect, but was intrigued to find out!

‘Frightened?’ Harry looked across at his superior officer in surprise. He couldn’t imagine Engineer Commander Arthur Baine’s being frightened of anything.’

With events taking place in Gibraltar the prologue features a memory from the Gibraltar of 1940 before switching to the present day, so from the start it is clear that this is a story in which the past and present collide. In the present day we are introduced to Spike Sanguinetti, a defence lawyer who is on his way to take his place within a routine court case. However, what would first appear to be a routine case soon takes a surprising and sinister turn. His client, Christopher Massetti, proves to be a challenge for Spike due to his volatile behaviour, and it transpires that there are events from the past that haunt Massetti, and have an impact on the events that unfold in the future. Spike becomes determined to get to the bottom of the case, to find the answers to his questions and the mystery surrounding the crimes. Along the way he must establish who can be trusted, and who holds the secrets that tie everything together…

‘What you need to remember,’ she whispered in his ear, ‘is that everyone was so young.’

I found this to be an enjoyable read and I liked the short, sharp chapters which made the story engaging and well paced. It is told over seven parts some of which are told through the use of documents such as diary entries and transcripts which provide the facts and testimonies from the 1940’s. This helped to build up a picture of those past events which still hold significance to the characters in the present day. The plot itself was an intriguing one with plenty of secrets to uncover as relationships are put to the test. Spike himself is faced with the challenge of pursuing the answers to this unusual case whilst supporting his heavily pregnant fiancée, Jessica. Although this was the fifth in the series there were little details about Spike’s character and family life along the way so I didn’t feel I was missing anything too crucial and I enjoyed the book as a standalone. And as Spike delved deeper into the past I was gripped and eager to find out more about how crimes from the past and present become intertwined under the oppressive Gibraltar heat.

‘For once in his life, he didn’t brush it away. He just told himself to hold onto this moment. A single moment of unblemished happiness.’

I really enjoyed A Thousand Cuts and found it to be an engaging, intriguing read. I found it to be a well written and structured story filled with mystery and memories that tell the story behind those wounds that can never heal.

A Thousand Cuts was published on 23rd February 2017 by Bloomsbury. Many thanks to Bloomsbury for providing a copy for review.

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