Cut You Down is prize-winning novelist Sam Wiebe's second riveting Wakeland mystery.
Vancouver PI Dave Wakeland returns, hot on the trail of a missing college student who may or may not have stolen half a million dollars. What starts as a straightforward runaway case soon gives way to a tangled mess of dirty money, betrayal, and murder, pitting the resourceful but over-his-head detective against suburban gangsters, a corrupt cop, and a contract killer with a fondness for blades--one of which seems destined for Wakeland's throat...
Sam Wiebe's morally challenged young detective takes up a cross-border chase that twists and surprises like only Vancouver's next master of crime could write. Never one to back down from the big issues plaguing his city of shining towers and forgotten corners, Wiebe returns with a vicious caper that threatens to leave no one--not his rogue detective, nor Wakeland's family and friends (or even a few of his enemies)--standing.
About the author
Sam Wiebe is the award-winning author of the Vancouver crime novels Cut You Down, Invisible Dead and Last of the Independents. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Spinetingler and subTerrain. He is a former Vancouver Public Library Writer in Residence and the winner of the 2015 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Sam lives in Vancouver.
- Short-listed, Hammett Prize
- Short-listed, Shamus Award for Best PI Novel
A FINALIST FOR THE 2019 HAMMETT PRIZE
“Wiebe convincingly brings Raymond Chandler into the twenty-first century.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“No one is writing contemporary Vancouver better than Sam Wiebe. Taking in the full life of a North American city while also building out a clever plot that upends femme fatale tropes, creating an incredibly smart and frightening villain in their place, is what Wiebe achieves in Cut You Down.” —Nathan Ripley, author of Find You in the Dark, CrimeReads
“Sam Wiebe is going to become a modern master of noir.” —The Strand
“Wiebe sharpens his prose to a point and uses his twisting, high-paced plot to take on big themes about money and the warping pressure it exerts on everyone it touches.” —The Georgia Straight
“Sam Wiebe pulls no punches in his latest thriller, Cut You Down. Gripping, complex, and with an unusual play on the classic femme fatale trope, this is crime fiction at its best.” —Sheena Kamal, author of The Lost Ones
“Cut You Down begins with a simple missing persons assignment for private detective Dave Wakeland. But fans of Sam Wiebe know that nothing is ever straightforward in Wakeland's life, personal or professional. Wakeland’s efforts to help an ex-lover force him to survey the hinterlands of his own heart even as the plot twists and accelerates through gangsters, corrupt police, money laundering, bleak neighbourhoods and of course, murder. A highly intelligent and satisfying page-turner.” —Janie Chang, author of national bestseller Dragon Springs Road
“Sam Wiebe does it again with Cut You Down—smart and razor-sharp, with a plot that keeps unraveling all the way to its exciting, unputdownable conclusion.” —David Swinson, author of The Second Girl and Crime Song
“Tense, turbulent, and terrific. PI Dave Wakeland is the best kind of anti-hero, riding the edge between right and wrong, creating an unbreakable bond with the reader. Wiebe’s evocative prose, unexpected reveals, and riveting characters—including a contract killer who’s ace with a blade—will grab you from the first page.” —K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker
“Grippingly twisty entertainment, the story also offers provocative thoughts about the state of the west coast’s soul. . . . The book is marked by a curious but attractive mixture of qualities. Foremost is the surprising elegance. Wiebe’s spare meticulous sentences are little marvels of concision. His chapters are likewise brief and to the point. He unreels details and plot artfully, producing a literal page-turning momentum. . . . Wiebe’s plot is propulsive. . . . A well-told and apparently effortless tale.” —Vancouver Sun
Awesome read; pick it up!Disclaimer: read a paperback ARC via Goodreads Giveaways
I loved Wiebe's first book (Invisible Dead) and this sequel did not disappoint! He does a great job of balancing a tense plot with compelling, fully-fleshed out characters and telling detail. His description of Vancouver and surrounding areas is spot-on (to the point that it's creepy because I'm not used to seeing my home through a crime-noir lens). The content is unsettling because of how true-to-life it feels, and how well he's woven real and known players into fictional representations.
There's a real complexity of motivation and sense of empathy in Wiebe's books that I appreciate. I don't read a lot of crime fiction, and the mysteries I do read tend toward historical, so I'm not sure if this characteristic is the norm for the genre or not. The characters are all flawed and conflicted (some significantly more than others), but in terms of the main cast and the protagonist in particular, you feel like they're trying to overcome their baser nature and generally want to help make things better.
I'll be back for more; this is definitely an author to watch.