Final Cut
For generations Blackwood Bay, a quaint village in northern England, has been famous only for the smuggling that occurred along its coastline centuries ago, but then two local girls disappear bringing the town a fresh and dark notoriety. When Alex, an ambitious documentary filmmaker, arrives in Blackwood Bay, she intends to have the residents record their own stories as her next project. But instead of a quaint community, Alex finds a village blighted by economic downturn and haunted by a tragedy that overshadows every corner.Alex pushes on with her work, but secrets old and new rise to the surface, raising tensions and suspicions in a town already on edge. Alex’s work takes her to dark places and uncomfortable truths which threaten to lead to a deadly unravelling.

Final Cut Details

TitleFinal Cut
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 25th, 2020
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062382153
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Suspense, Fiction

Final Cut Review

  • Ceecee
    January 1, 1970
    Alex is a documentary film maker. She is commissioned by Channel 4 to make a fly on the wall type film about Blackwood Bay, a small Yorkshire coastal village. Alex travels there with a heavy heart as the village has an unsettling past. Several girls have gone missing over the last ten years, one of them, a girl called Daisy is reputed to have committed suicide. Alex knows the place but how and why? Over the following few days, Alex begins to have some perturbing partial memories which haunt her. Alex is a documentary film maker. She is commissioned by Channel 4 to make a fly on the wall type film about Blackwood Bay, a small Yorkshire coastal village. Alex travels there with a heavy heart as the village has an unsettling past. Several girls have gone missing over the last ten years, one of them, a girl called Daisy is reputed to have committed suicide. Alex knows the place but how and why? Over the following few days, Alex begins to have some perturbing partial memories which haunt her. She starts to ask a lot of questions to make sense of this and her feelings that something bad is happening is further reinforced by some of the film clips villagers send her. What is the truth? What happens to the girls? Alex is determined to find out. Alex tells the story which is interspersed with news and case reports from a few years ago. The premise is good as is the first half of the book which has a sense of mystery, intrigue and a ghostly element. The setting is very atmospheric with the steep streets, quaint shops, surrounded by the North York Moors and enclosed with secrets. I imagine somewhere like Robin Hoods Bay which helps me to get a vision in my head! There are some intriguing elements that bind the missing girls together and Alex’s returning memories are interesting as a lot of these are raw and show she sank low at one point. The characters are good with a mix of likeable, unlikeable and untrustworthy. Unfortunately, about half way through the storyline flatlines and is never shocked back into life. It goes round and round in circles, with pointless questions and oh boy, are there ever a lot of questions, there’s too much navel (and star) gazing, the plot wears thin, so much becomes obvious so the element of surprise is gone and it goes on and on with no resolution in sight. The tension and menace of the first half diminishes and the conclusion is so melodramatic I just didn’t buy it. This is such a pity as the first half I’d rate a four star and the second is sadly a two star, hence the meet in the middle three. Overall, this was shaping up to be a good read but the momentum disappears which is disappointing. With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the ARC.
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  • Javier
    January 1, 1970
    Alex is a film maker going back to shoot her latest documentary to Blackwood Bay, her hometown, a seaside town where in the last ten years a girl committed suicide and another two went missing. When she was young she suffered some kind of trauma that caused her dissociative amnesia so when she goes back she intends to find out what happened to her and the other girls.While not being the most original premise it started strong enough with a MC with an intriguing backstory, a good set of character Alex is a film maker going back to shoot her latest documentary to Blackwood Bay, her hometown, a seaside town where in the last ten years a girl committed suicide and another two went missing. When she was young she suffered some kind of trauma that caused her dissociative amnesia so when she goes back she intends to find out what happened to her and the other girls.While not being the most original premise it started strong enough with a MC with an intriguing backstory, a good set of characters (maybe too many) and an atmosferic setting that added to that sense of menace. But it came a point where the story started to stall, going aroung in circles and not getting anywhere. It felt like Alex was in a hamster wheel! We get a lot of "I can't tell you", "you better get out of here", "it's better you don't know" and loaded glances and silences. Come on! What's the point of having Alex investigate if no one is telling her anything. Communicate, people, COMMUNICATE! Alex running around Blackwood Bay trying to solve something It's not till the last 25% that it picks up some pace again, but the ending felt a bit contrived and the big twist wasn't so surprising as I've recently read another book with the exact same one, so I saw it coming from afar.Not a bad book per se, but for fans of psychological suspense one we've already read dozens of times.Thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK/Transworld Publishers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pauline
    January 1, 1970
    Alex is sent to make a film in her home town of Blackwood Bay.She hasn’t been home for a long time because of an incident that happened to her that she has little memory of.Two girls have gone missing and the town is suspicious of people arriving asking questions.A slow moving psychological thriller.Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Net Galley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author for the ARC of this book.#FinalCut #NetGalleyLet me begin with an apology to the author S J Watson, for having kept his phenomenally successful Before I Go To Sleep in the mountainous TBR pile for few years now. After reading Final Cut, I am cursing myself for not having gobbled up every work that the author has published.I have raised my head from the kindle, walked around quite a bit and gave it a day before I cou Many thanks to Net Galley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author for the ARC of this book.#FinalCut #NetGalleyLet me begin with an apology to the author S J Watson, for having kept his phenomenally successful Before I Go To Sleep in the mountainous TBR pile for few years now. After reading Final Cut, I am cursing myself for not having gobbled up every work that the author has published.I have raised my head from the kindle, walked around quite a bit and gave it a day before I could calm my heart to write this review. Of course, the burning eyes also needed a respite after that intense concentration to keep going and going and going in the race to finish and find the truth.Alex Young is in Blackwood Bay, the last place she wants to be for a documentary film. The quiet fishing village harbors dark secrets with 2 girls missing and 1 having committed suicide, but Alex, suffering from a traumatic past that has left her with dissociative amnesia is determined to unravel the past and the reasons for her fugue state. The past seems to be holding sway even in the present as Alex finds out about young 13 and 14 yr old girls being lured by drugs and booze for causes unknown. As Alex delves further into the mystery, clueless about whom to trust and battling her own fractured mind, the story becomes more murkier like the black waters surrounding the village.Many characters get introduced into the story and there’s quite a bit of going round and round with almost all the people refusing to confide in Alex and talk about the missing girls but the final part of the story was cracking with menace, the atmospheric feel in the story adding to the chill factor.As fans of psychological thrillers, the twists and turns can be fairly guessed at, but still the book was extremely compelling and riveting enough that I had a real hard time keeping it down for even a sec. Well deserved 4.5 stars!
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of S J Watson's writing and storytelling generally speaking and Final Cut was again a well written and well plotted novel so as far as quality goes, excellent. The story is a fairly standard psychological thriller- girl returns to town she fled years ago, lacking memory of reasons for trauma, the town is hiding secrets and we have plenty of twisty happenings. It is very readable and entertaining, I got through it in two large bites and enjoyed it for the most part. I guess my one littl I'm a fan of S J Watson's writing and storytelling generally speaking and Final Cut was again a well written and well plotted novel so as far as quality goes, excellent. The story is a fairly standard psychological thriller- girl returns to town she fled years ago, lacking memory of reasons for trauma, the town is hiding secrets and we have plenty of twisty happenings. It is very readable and entertaining, I got through it in two large bites and enjoyed it for the most part. I guess my one little bugbear is that despite the authors very obvious talent the story itself is probably one of the most predictable I've read in a while. That is subjective of course and I do read this type of book a lot so am used to the various tropes of the genre -that plays into the predictability or lack thereof in any that I read. But you know this is, at the heart of it, a book you may well feel you've read multiple times already. That said it didn't stop me liking it. The characters were intriguing and well drawn and it was a good read to while away an afternoon with.
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  • Rachel Bridgeman
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book to be read strapped into your favourite chair as it takes off at breakneck speed, and doesn;t let up. The ominious warnings are there right from the start for Alex, film maker on her last chance to really follow up her award winning doucmentary with a film that will make her career.A mysterious , unsigned postcard to her producer recommends she goes to a small costal town called Blackwood Bay.Dubious musgivings about what she can film there aside, her introduction to the town is a This is a book to be read strapped into your favourite chair as it takes off at breakneck speed, and doesn;t let up. The ominious warnings are there right from the start for Alex, film maker on her last chance to really follow up her award winning doucmentary with a film that will make her career.A mysterious , unsigned postcard to her producer recommends she goes to a small costal town called Blackwood Bay.Dubious musgivings about what she can film there aside, her introduction to the town is a dead sheep in the middle of the road which forces her to swerve and crash her car.Rescued by Gavin,. a local contact/community center film club organiser who will connect her with various locals in order to film her expose of small town life, she steps into a deeply gothic nightmare of identity, personality and abuse.The young girls of the town are being targeted in a manner that makes disappearances look like they were runaways-at least 3 in the past decade have either taken their own lives of vanished. Sadie, Daisy and Zoe have become spectres which haunt the landscape, populated by oddball characters recognisable in any small town or village pub, who regard Alex with suspicion tempered with curiousity as to how they will be portrayed.Havign set up a website where locals can submit their own films to create an honest protrait of the town, sinister occurences lead Alex to believe that she is getting closer to the truth of how teen girls are being exploited. But as her suspicions grow, so memories of her own teen years slowly trickle through the amnesia she has suffered as the result of a near drowning.Add in the mysterious Bluff House-VERY cleverly named-and it's odd inhabitant seen wandering the cliffs with binoculars, a singularly recognisable tattoo on the arms of teen girls and Alex's battle with her own sanity, and you have a recipe for a book which will keep you up all night.Playing fast and loose with the concept of amnesia. abandonment , growing up in a stultifying environment whilst examining the cutltural and societal constructs which trap you there, 'Final Cut' is about a woman finding herself whilst searching for the truth in others. Using her camera lens as a disconnect to remain impartial, what she sees and films begins seeping into her consciousness and changes Alex forever.I thoroughly enjoyed the way this book flips back and forth between a teenage diary/letters and the now of a grownup who never really understood the world going on around her. The truth and narrative of her life up to this point explode cataclysmically in a shocking denouement that will leave you breathless.
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  • Rachel Bridgeman
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book to be read strapped into your favourite chair as it takes off at breakneck speed, and doesn;t let up. The ominious warnings are there right from the start for Alex, film maker on her last chance to really follow up her award winning doucmentary with a film that will make her career.A mysterious , unsigned postcard to her producer recommends she goes to a small costal town called Blackwood Bay.Dubious musgivings about what she can film there aside, her introduction to the town is a This is a book to be read strapped into your favourite chair as it takes off at breakneck speed, and doesn;t let up. The ominious warnings are there right from the start for Alex, film maker on her last chance to really follow up her award winning doucmentary with a film that will make her career.A mysterious , unsigned postcard to her producer recommends she goes to a small costal town called Blackwood Bay.Dubious musgivings about what she can film there aside, her introduction to the town is a dead sheep in the middle of the road which forces her to swerve and crash her car.Rescued by Gavin,. a local contact/community center film club organiser who will connect her with various locals in order to film her expose of small town life, she steps into a deeply gothic nightmare of identity, personality and abuse.The young girls of the town are being targeted in a manner that makes disappearances look like they were runaways-at least 3 in the past decade have either taken their own lives of vanished. Sadie, Daisy and Zoe have become spectres which haunt the landscape, populated by oddball characters recognisable in any small town or village pub, who regard Alex with suspicion tempered with curiousity as to how they will be portrayed.Havign set up a website where locals can submit their own films to create an honest protrait of the town, sinister occurences lead Alex to believe that she is getting closer to the truth of how teen girls are being exploited. But as her suspicions grow, so memories of her own teen years slowly trickle through the amnesia she has suffered as the result of a near drowning.Add in the mysterious Bluff House-VERY cleverly named-and it's odd inhabitant seen wandering the cliffs with binoculars, a singularly recognisable tattoo on the arms of teen girls and Alex's battle with her own sanity, and you have a recipe for a book which will keep you up all night.Playing fast and loose with the concept of amnesia. abandonment , growing up in a stultifying environment whilst examining the cutltural and societal constructs which trap you there, 'Final Cut' is about a woman finding herself whilst searching for the truth in others. Using her camera lens as a disconnect to remain impartial, what she sees and films begins seeping into her consciousness and changes Alex forever.I thoroughly enjoyed the way this book flips back and forth between a teenage diary/letters and the now of a grownup who never really understood the world going on around her. The truth and narrative of her life up to this point explode cataclysmically in a shocking denouement that will leave you breathless.
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  • Jacqueline sharp
    January 1, 1970
    I was really looking forward to reading this, having read other books by this author. Set in a small village in the north of England, Blackwood Bay, is a struggling tourist destination, haunted by events of the past, two girls missing, a third jumped off the cliff.The story is told by Alex in first person, she is a documentary film maker, looking for a new story. She wants to interview normal people in a normal small community. But she ends up being sent to Blackwood Bay, the community are suspi I was really looking forward to reading this, having read other books by this author. Set in a small village in the north of England, Blackwood Bay, is a struggling tourist destination, haunted by events of the past, two girls missing, a third jumped off the cliff.The story is told by Alex in first person, she is a documentary film maker, looking for a new story. She wants to interview normal people in a normal small community. But she ends up being sent to Blackwood Bay, the community are suspicious of her motives for going there. Alex knows she has been there before, but cannot remember what had happened in the past.As she begins her job, things start to gradually come back as to what happened. This is a well -logged and suspenseful read, I did find the beginning quite slow to get into, but that could be down to focus, I did find myself having to keep reading though to find out what had happened and how it was going to end. The story definitely picks up after the halfway mark.The ending was a total shock that I just didn’t see coming. So I think if you like a slow burn read, an evocative tense atmosphere, gradually building up the tension, having you gripped at the end, then grab yourself a copy of this.I would like to thank #netgalley and #Harper for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.Alex is a documentary film maker who winds up in a small seaside town called Blackwood Bay to shoot her latest film. Though she is not there to investigate, she becomes interested in the suicide/disappearances of two girls, Daisy and Zoe, 10 years ago. After absolutely loving Before I Go To Sleep, I am sorry to say this one was just ok for me. It started off interestingly enough but soon I found there were Thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.Alex is a documentary film maker who winds up in a small seaside town called Blackwood Bay to shoot her latest film. Though she is not there to investigate, she becomes interested in the suicide/disappearances of two girls, Daisy and Zoe, 10 years ago. After absolutely loving Before I Go To Sleep, I am sorry to say this one was just ok for me. It started off interestingly enough but soon I found there were too many characters to keep straight and I was struggling to remember which side player was which, and that detracted from my enjoyment and caused my mind to wander. I also found the ending to be a little too farfetched to be believed and I do understand that you often have to suspend disbelief with this genre, but it didn't quite work for me. Hoping the next one is a return to previous form.
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  • Catríona Conboy
    January 1, 1970
    Final Cut is told from the perspective of Alex, a film maker who plans on making a new film that will make her career. When she arrives in Blackwood Bay, secrets start to emerge and she soon discovers this place has a really dark history.I think this was honestly one of the best thrillers I have ever read. I didn’t know what way it was going to turn out. My heart was literally thumping when I reached the end!! This is definitely one I will be recommending to my customers.Thank you to Netgalley f Final Cut is told from the perspective of Alex, a film maker who plans on making a new film that will make her career. When she arrives in Blackwood Bay, secrets start to emerge and she soon discovers this place has a really dark history.I think this was honestly one of the best thrillers I have ever read. I didn’t know what way it was going to turn out. My heart was literally thumping when I reached the end!! This is definitely one I will be recommending to my customers.Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 starsAlex gets pulled back to where she started from when a new documentary project chooses the location of a small town that is all too familiar to her. This is a town with many secrets and the more Alex digs into what she thinks is her past and that of some missing teens, the more dangerous this documentary will become. This is a very twisty thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It has all the necessary parts of a good thriller - unreliable narrator, shady past, drugs, se 3 1/2 starsAlex gets pulled back to where she started from when a new documentary project chooses the location of a small town that is all too familiar to her. This is a town with many secrets and the more Alex digs into what she thinks is her past and that of some missing teens, the more dangerous this documentary will become. This is a very twisty thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It has all the necessary parts of a good thriller - unreliable narrator, shady past, drugs, sex and much danger. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Darina kelly
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a huge fan of S. J Watson. I absolutely adored Before I Go To Sleep when I read it. It's a book that has stayed with me for years. So I was super excited to hear he had a new thriller coming out.In this explosive thriller we have Alex, a young documentary filmmaker sent to Blackwood bay in the north of England to record stories of the villagers. While there she realises the village is hiding some sinister secrets with unexplained missing teenagers and suspected suicides. This book was full o I'm a huge fan of S. J Watson. I absolutely adored Before I Go To Sleep when I read it. It's a book that has stayed with me for years. So I was super excited to hear he had a new thriller coming out.In this explosive thriller we have Alex, a young documentary filmmaker sent to Blackwood bay in the north of England to record stories of the villagers. While there she realises the village is hiding some sinister secrets with unexplained missing teenagers and suspected suicides. This book was full of twists and turns and raced towards an explosive ending with a twist you wont see coming. I loved it and would definitely recommend to all my customers.
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  • Tanza Voth
    January 1, 1970
    3 or 3.5. It was ok.
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this and was so excited about a new novel by Watson but I wasn’t bowled over by this novel. It felt very formulaic and predictable from the get go and it felt like an over told idea. Watson still writes well and builds up tension perfectly but it just wasn’t very exciting or unique for me. Sorry!
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  • clara
    January 1, 1970
    HOLY CRAP,, WHY AM I ONLY JUST FINDING OUT ABOUT THIS
  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    Talented film maker Alex is tasked with revisiting her home town to make a documentary for Channel 4. Already haunted by her past, but unable to piece together several incidents that severely damaged and traumatised her, she reluctantly agrees to accept her commission against her better judgement. It will be a challenge for her as she has totally blocked out all but the most basic of her memories of growing up in the area. She drives up to Blackwood Bay in the north east of England to a rented c Talented film maker Alex is tasked with revisiting her home town to make a documentary for Channel 4. Already haunted by her past, but unable to piece together several incidents that severely damaged and traumatised her, she reluctantly agrees to accept her commission against her better judgement. It will be a challenge for her as she has totally blocked out all but the most basic of her memories of growing up in the area. She drives up to Blackwood Bay in the north east of England to a rented cottage which acts as her base. She gradually meets members of the small local community and encourages them to shoot and upload videos of their local area, once a thriving and charming seaside resort, but now suffering badly in the economic downturn with diminishing tourism. She makes her own films alongside the others and is keen to use videos from the locals in her documentary. Then a young girl goes missing in mysterious circumstances. It seems that the community has dark secrets that the townsfolk don’t want publicised, indeed, that they will stop at nothing to supress.The novel is cloaked with mysterious events from the past and present and Alex gradually begins to remember some of what happened there when she was a vibrant and gregarious teenager. She tries to get to the bottom of what happened to drive her best friend to commit suicide, still feeling guilty that she hadn’t helped more. The locals are suspicious of her motives and are not overly friendly. She tries to work out why they are so secretive and cold with her. She experiences flashbacks and night terrors and is keen to complete her documentary as soon as possible and return to her home. Just what are they hiding?I thought the storyline and the storytelling were good. There was a multitude of interesting and diverse characters and throughout the story an air of mystery hung over the story. I also detected a feeling of menace pervade throughout the storytelling. I felt uneasy and edgy. I took longer than usual to get into the novel and found it a little slow at the start. I enjoyed the multiple twists in the story, but none more that at the climax of the story. It really shocked me and I thought deeply about what I had learned, reasoning it out. I liked Alex as the unreliable narrator but felt sorry for her struggles to come to terms with what happened in her teen years. I thought she was quite a sad character, burdened by her memory loss, but conversely brave in her struggle to sort it all out. Secrecy and identity were the main themes explored, but I liked the touch when the author explored family relationships as well.I enjoyed this story but thought it didn’t come even close to his award winning ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ which I thought was his debut masterpiece. That novel absolutely astounded me and I loved every single bit of it. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from publisher Transworld Digital through my membership of NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this novel. These are my own honest opinions without any outside influences. I loved the two-word title – it was so clever and virtually sums up the entire story.
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  • Rai FG
    January 1, 1970
    Note: this was an e-ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest reviewTo me, one of the key features of a thriller or mystery book is that I can't guess the ending. Unfortunately for Final Cut, I guessed the 'big twist' within the first 20% of the book and spent the rest of the time waiting to be proved right as the author threw things at me to try and convince me otherwise. By the final 10%, where said twist is revealed and everything I had guessed was confirmed I fel Note: this was an e-ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest reviewTo me, one of the key features of a thriller or mystery book is that I can't guess the ending. Unfortunately for Final Cut, I guessed the 'big twist' within the first 20% of the book and spent the rest of the time waiting to be proved right as the author threw things at me to try and convince me otherwise. By the final 10%, where said twist is revealed and everything I had guessed was confirmed I felt more like I had been reading as a chore and that the majority of the story had been inconsequential.The MC at times behaves contrary to all the information she has available to her; pursuing a man she's accusing of murdering girls that in a previous or next chapter she's adamant are both alive despite everyone she 'trusts' in the village telling her said man wouldn't have done such a thing, that he's harmless and he's only ever tried to help. Her complete belligerence at blaming him for events seems completely at odds with her relatively logical approach to everything else. It felt too much like the author was trying to force a distraction on the reader to disguise the truth. The MC trusts some complete strangers that no-one has vouched for but then doesn't trust this other stranger who everyone has vouched for.The story itself had potential and is almost certainly, and depressingly, based on the terrible abuses real people have suffered and it is a shame it has been executed so poorly here in Final Cut. While the MC is struggling with her memory, I still don't think that forgives the confused signals we get from her and her motivations.Finally, I am unsure whether the e-ARC I received had chapters out of order as there were two occasions were the MC references other characters by name who we have not been introduced to yet and in a subsequent chapter we're then introduced to them. As I say, I'm not sure if this was a mistake and edits will be done before publication or whether it was intentional as an attempt to make the reader doubt their own memory, much as our MC does throughout the book. In either event, I found it frustrating and it felt like a mistake so made me wonder about the editing process. There was one other instance that I spotted which seemed to have been missed in editing - whether that's picked up on between now and retail, maybe, so I let it slide.Overall, there was a bit too much that didn't make sense in the book on top of the poor characterisation, weird editing decisions and the endless buffeting of distractions away from an otherwise predictable ending.This and my other reviews are on my site: Aspects of Me.
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  • Melody
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5 stars)"Final Cut" is a psychological thriller that explores themes such as identity and memory. Alex is a young documentary filmmaker on her way to a quiet fishing village in Blackwood Bay to shoot a new film. Her assignment is simple as all she needs is to have the residents to record and tell their own stories; more like an observation of the residents' life and the little things happening around them. Blackwood Bay may look like a quaint village at first glance, but actually there were a (3.5 stars)"Final Cut" is a psychological thriller that explores themes such as identity and memory. Alex is a young documentary filmmaker on her way to a quiet fishing village in Blackwood Bay to shoot a new film. Her assignment is simple as all she needs is to have the residents to record and tell their own stories; more like an observation of the residents' life and the little things happening around them. Blackwood Bay may look like a quaint village at first glance, but actually there were a few unfortunate incidents that happened ten years ago -- a girl who committed suicide and another two girls went missing. Alex knew about them; after all she knew these girls after having lived there since she was young. She intends to find out more about the mystery behind these girls' fate, though her appearance and her work at Blackwood Bay have already put tension and raise suspicions in the town which is already on edge. But, there's also some backstory about Alex's past which the reader will find out as the story progresses, like her dissociative amnesia and how her partial returning memories will impact on her findings and have the reader question about her credibility as well as the people surrounding her. What really happened to those girls ten years ago and why is Alex still drawn to the village despite the things that happened there? "Final Cut" has a great premise and in exploring the character's traumatised mind and the consequences that follow especially since her findings involve assumptions and snippets of her returning memory, which may or may not reliable, thus enabling her an unreliable narrator in the process. While there's much potential and intrigue in the premise and the beginning of the story initially, the storyline fell flat towards the middle and from there it became repetitive as Alex seemed to be doing the same thing and kept asking questions which no one knew (or were willing) to tell her. With not much resolution in sight, it lost its intensity and momentum and while the pace picked up in the last few chapters, my interest had waned and the ending was meh to me. Overall, I loved the first half of the story, but the other half was simply disappointing.
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  • cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    While not my favorite genre, I can certainly enjoy a good thriller from time to time. There are elements of this one I liked, but each seems matched by one that didn't hold my interest. I enjoyed the looming questions about the events involving Daisy and Sadie, but couldn't come to care about the other missing girls (even after "meeting" the parents of one girl...their appearance seems to be intended to invest the reader in her story, but fell flat for me and I was rather bored by the plot line. While not my favorite genre, I can certainly enjoy a good thriller from time to time. There are elements of this one I liked, but each seems matched by one that didn't hold my interest. I enjoyed the looming questions about the events involving Daisy and Sadie, but couldn't come to care about the other missing girls (even after "meeting" the parents of one girl...their appearance seems to be intended to invest the reader in her story, but fell flat for me and I was rather bored by the plot line...). I was curious about what was going on with the two teen girls in the present, but couldn't care less about the main character's possible romance. I thought the author did a good job with the main character's limited memory and the ways it was triggered and how her past was revealed to her and to the reader. but the device of the film she's making about the town fell flat and it almost seemed like the author forgot it at times (more broadly, the setting was important but I never quite felt like I was taken to this small English village). I was ready to move on to another book well before actually finishing this one. I'm glad I stayed in it and saw some of the final twists, but even some elements of that (especially the role of a local woman in the plot) let me down.Two and a half stars...I feel like rounding down is the more honest choice (in large part because it gives more weight to the times I've rounded three and a half down to three). I really don't like assigning less than three and a half, but also believe that the most useful reviews are honest and that being willing to assign a lower rating to one book makes it mean more when I give a higher rating). From certain glimpses of her ability to construct a story and build a character, I do think the author has a better book in her...it's just my take, but I think she needs to focus on her main idea and add fewer tangents. This review is based on a copy of the book supplied free of charge by the publisher in exchange for my (obviously) honest thoughts.
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  • Helen Leecy
    January 1, 1970
    So, I’m really sorry, but this wasn’t great! I was really excited to see a new book from S.J. Watson was coming out. I devoured ‘While You Sleep’ and watched the film straight after. So, I expected great things from the author. I was hoping to be blown away and to be completely gripped by the story. I wasn’t!I really struggled to connect to the protagonist. I know she was having memory problems, but the way it was portrayed made the story seem disjointed. At times I’d feel like I’d missed out on So, I’m really sorry, but this wasn’t great! I was really excited to see a new book from S.J. Watson was coming out. I devoured ‘While You Sleep’ and watched the film straight after. So, I expected great things from the author. I was hoping to be blown away and to be completely gripped by the story. I wasn’t!I really struggled to connect to the protagonist. I know she was having memory problems, but the way it was portrayed made the story seem disjointed. At times I’d feel like I’d missed out on a chunk of the book and I was just sat there bewildered. It was only really at the end that you sort of realise what the author had been trying to do, but I think it missed the mark massively!It was a combination of trying to keep us, the reader, in suspense with what was going on and Alex having revelations but it just wasn’t working. The villagers keeping all their secrets were very annoying, and Alex would be speaking to them and then the next thing she would have given up on the conversation and be somewhere else. Whenever one of the other characters was trying to tell her something she’d just scream over them demanding answers but not letting them speak. This was beyond frustrating.She was also accusing one particular character of everything. However, this seemed to be based on nothing other than he lived in a creepy house on the top of a hill. She got a bee in her bonnet about him and wouldn’t let go, but it was formed from nothing.The ending was very over-complicated, but it was easy enough to keep up. However, the author felt it necessary to spoon-feed us the minor details in the form of a therapy session in the last chapter. I felt this was a little unnecessary as if we couldn’t figure out what had happened. Maybe even he was confused and needed his own clarification?So, I’m afraid this had a good premise but wasn’t executed very well at all. Only a two-star read of me.Thanks for reading! If you want to see more of my reviews visit www.pinkanddizzy.com
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  • Maria Flaherty
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, caveat first: I should know by now, not to start a new SJ Watson in the evening time, as I can guarantee you, that I will spend my night up reading, eager to finish and telling myself, “Just one more chapter”. At any rate, by very late night and sleepy day, were absolutely worth while. ‘Final Cut’ is an original and compelling story with a mysterious, almost ghostly element that adds to the overall twisty psychological impact. In ‘Final Cut’, Alex, a documentary filmmaker, returns to her hom Ok, caveat first: I should know by now, not to start a new SJ Watson in the evening time, as I can guarantee you, that I will spend my night up reading, eager to finish and telling myself, “Just one more chapter”. At any rate, by very late night and sleepy day, were absolutely worth while. ‘Final Cut’ is an original and compelling story with a mysterious, almost ghostly element that adds to the overall twisty psychological impact. In ‘Final Cut’, Alex, a documentary filmmaker, returns to her home village to create her latest project. Fresh from working on cutting edge social documentaries, Alex has been sent to Blackwood Bay ostensibly to create a film about life in a small village with the locals providing much of the footage. In reality, Alex is investigating the disappearance and apparent suicide of a several local girls over the years. Alex herself, has fled from the village and changed her appearance so that she cannot be recognised. It soon becomes clear that she is connected to the original disappearances from nearly 2 decades previously. The story moves at a rapid pace, with regular flashbacks to the past through Alex’s memories, providing the reader with a increasing number of questions and the strange locals, do nothing to help Alex settle in. In fact, at times, it does feel as though there are also too many characters to keep track of as the storyline progresses. Certainly, not anyone that Alex can easily trust. The ominous sense develops swiftly in the latter quarter of the novel as the reader comes to question Alex’s sanity and her reasons for trying to “save” the other young girls. Can they really be in such danger? Can we trust her memories?A short and very enjoyable read. With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the ARC.
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  • Agnieszka
    January 1, 1970
    Blackwood Bay, a little village in northern England, haunted by events of the past; two girls are missing and a third jumped off a cliff.Alex, a documentary filmmaker, is sent to the village to shoot her new project.But it's not her first time there. If only she could remember what happened in the past... I have absolutely loved both of the previous SJ Watson novels, so I was beyond excited to be approved for his long-awaited new one.The story follows Alex's first-person narration and is intersp Blackwood Bay, a little village in northern England, haunted by events of the past; two girls are missing and a third jumped off a cliff.Alex, a documentary filmmaker, is sent to the village to shoot her new project.But it's not her first time there. If only she could remember what happened in the past... I have absolutely loved both of the previous SJ Watson novels, so I was beyond excited to be approved for his long-awaited new one.The story follows Alex's first-person narration and is interspersed with her recalling past events.I had such great expectations for this book, however, after finishing it, I'm in two minds about it.The plot was intriguing, but I struggled to get into it as I found it slow to get going. The steadily revealed mystery behind the girls' disappearance was definitely keeping me interested, and the story was pretty suspenseful, but I found some bits confusing and other parts not entirely believable.I'm really torn about the rating. Up until halfway through, I was considering giving it 3 stars, but the story then picked up and had me racing through until the end.I normally reserve 4 stars and above for books that grip me from the very start, and this book failed to do this. However, the ending was so jaw-dropping that I decided that it warrants the higher rating.Do check it out, whether your SJ Watson's fan or not, and if you've never read any of his books, I recommend you give all of them a go.
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  • Kasey’s Reads
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5 StarsTitle: Final CutAuthor: S.J. Watson Very Brief, non spoiler-y summary: A small town, struggling to stay afloat economically, is visited by a documentary film maker intent on uncovering long dead secrets involving missing and dead girls from the town, all while hiding her own. When she arrives, she quickly discovers that whatever was going on in the past is still very much so happening and may be even worse than she imagined. As she digs deeper, threats from her past close in on ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5 StarsTitle: Final CutAuthor: S.J. Watson Very Brief, non spoiler-y summary: A small town, struggling to stay afloat economically, is visited by a documentary film maker intent on uncovering long dead secrets involving missing and dead girls from the town, all while hiding her own. When she arrives, she quickly discovers that whatever was going on in the past is still very much so happening and may be even worse than she imagined. As she digs deeper, threats from her past close in on her leaving her scrambling to find the truth about the girls and herself. Wow. I went into this book with high hopes since I absolutely loved Before I Go To Sleep, and I wasn’t disappointed. At no point did the story feel like it was dragging and the suspense ramps up nice and steadily. It held my attention till the very end to the point were everyday tasks had me immensely annoyed that I had to pause my reading 😂 (and my children destroyed the living room as I rushed to finished it this morning lol).S.J. Watson has firmly moved to my list of “must read everything” authors.I only removed half a star due to feeling like *some* of the choices made wouldn’t have been something I think the character would really do. This review is purely my own opinion. Thanks to Goodread’s and the publisher for the ARC.
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  • Maria Flaherty
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, caveat first: I should know by now, not to start a new SJ Watson in the evening time, as I can guarantee you, that I will spend my night up reading, eager to finish and telling myself, “Just one more chapter”. At any rate, by very late night and sleepy day, were absolutely worth while. ‘Final Cut’ is an original and compelling story with a mysterious, almost ghostly element that adds to the overall twisty psychological impact. In ‘Final Cut’, Alex, a documentary filmmaker, returns to her hom Ok, caveat first: I should know by now, not to start a new SJ Watson in the evening time, as I can guarantee you, that I will spend my night up reading, eager to finish and telling myself, “Just one more chapter”. At any rate, by very late night and sleepy day, were absolutely worth while. ‘Final Cut’ is an original and compelling story with a mysterious, almost ghostly element that adds to the overall twisty psychological impact. In ‘Final Cut’, Alex, a documentary filmmaker, returns to her home village to create her latest project. Fresh from working on cutting edge social documentaries, Alex has been sent to Blackwood Bay ostensibly to create a film about life in a small village with the locals providing much of the footage. In reality, Alex is investigating the disappearance and apparent suicide of a several local girls over the years. Alex herself, has fled from the village and changed her appearance so that she cannot be recognised. It soon becomes clear that she is connected to the original disappearances from nearly 2 decades previously. The story moves at a rapid pace, with regular flashbacks to the past through Alex’s memories, providing the reader with a increasing number of questions and the strange locals, do nothing to help Alex settle in. In fact, at times, it does feel as though there are also too many characters to keep track of as the storyline progresses. Certainly, not anyone that Alex can easily trust. The ominous sense develops swiftly in the latter quarter of the novel as the reader comes to question Alex’s sanity and her reasons for trying to “save” the other young girls. Can they really be in such danger? Can we trust her memories?A short and very enjoyable read. With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the ARC.
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  • Jacqueline sharp
    January 1, 1970
    I was really looking forward to reading this, having read other books by this author. Set in a small village in the north of England, Blackwood Bay, is a struggling tourist destination, haunted by events of the past, two girls missing, a third jumped off the cliff.The story is told by Alex in first person, she is a documentary film maker, looking for a new story. She wants to interview normal people in a normal small community. But she ends up being sent to Blackwood Bay, the community are suspi I was really looking forward to reading this, having read other books by this author. Set in a small village in the north of England, Blackwood Bay, is a struggling tourist destination, haunted by events of the past, two girls missing, a third jumped off the cliff.The story is told by Alex in first person, she is a documentary film maker, looking for a new story. She wants to interview normal people in a normal small community. But she ends up being sent to Blackwood Bay, the community are suspicious of her motives for going there. Alex knows she has been there before, but cannot remember what had happened in the past.As she begins her job, things start to gradually come back as to what happened. This is a well -logged and suspenseful read, I did find the beginning quite slow to get into, but that could be down to focus, I did find myself having to keep reading though to find out what had happened and how it was going to end. The story definitely picks up after the halfway mark.The ending was a total shock that I just didn’t see coming. So I think if you like a slow burn read, an evocative tense atmosphere, gradually building up the tension, having you gripped at the end, then grab yourself a copy of this.I would like to thank #netgalley and #Harper for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
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  • Renny Barcelos
    January 1, 1970
    This was a huge disappointment, although I should have known better after this author's second book, which I did not like at all. I loved Before I go to Sleep, but perhaps it's time to part ways with S. J. Watson, since clearly the other novels were not for my taste.***Be aware of minor spoilers ahead***What we have here is another drama that resembles more a soap opera than a psychological thriller, full of cliches (I swear, I can't anymore with the fugue states and dissociative memories. It's This was a huge disappointment, although I should have known better after this author's second book, which I did not like at all. I loved Before I go to Sleep, but perhaps it's time to part ways with S. J. Watson, since clearly the other novels were not for my taste.***Be aware of minor spoilers ahead***What we have here is another drama that resembles more a soap opera than a psychological thriller, full of cliches (I swear, I can't anymore with the fugue states and dissociative memories. It's been done and redone so, but so many times by now, please authors, just stop!) and weak characters that can't hold the flimsy plot. We can see almost all the supposed twists from the beginning and the first person narration does not help matters at all.. I also did not like the dialogue, and was never really engaged with the story.All in all this was not the novel for me but I can imagine others liking it since the trope of "unreliable narrator girl who has to come back to her small town where she suffered so much she even blocked some memories but now she'll solve everything and finally she'll be happy" seems to be in yet...I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Elena
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Before I go to sleep is one of my favourite mysteries of all time, but Final Cut was just okay for me. It was a solid and entertaining book overall, but I think I've read too many similar stories and this one didn't particularly stand out.We follow the main character, Alex, as she comes back to her hometown to film a documentary, and to find out the truth about some young girls who either died or disappeared. The setting was we I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Before I go to sleep is one of my favourite mysteries of all time, but Final Cut was just okay for me. It was a solid and entertaining book overall, but I think I've read too many similar stories and this one didn't particularly stand out.We follow the main character, Alex, as she comes back to her hometown to film a documentary, and to find out the truth about some young girls who either died or disappeared. The setting was well done, a small town where everyone seems to be hiding something, and it's hard to trust anyone. Alex also doesn't remember what happened in her youth that made her run away, but, as I said before, the unreliable narrator has been done so many times I wasn't particularly interested in her. However, I liked how, as the story went on and more informations were revealed, she became more and more unreliable as she confused memories, and the twist about her past made sense. Again, it wasn't particularly surprising, but I liked how it came about.I was instead disappointed in the solution of the mystery surrounding the girls. It was a little lame to me. I found it hard to believe it had been covered for such a long time.Overall, an average mystery, but nothing outstanding.
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday at Random House UK- Transworld Publishers for the Arc of Final Cut By SJ Watson❤️Also thank you to SJ Watson for writing this mind-blowing book!❤️Follows a girl named Alex who is a documentary film maker who is comissioned to work for Channel 4 to make a documentary about a small Yorkshire town named Blackwood Bay. This village has a huge past as over the last decade many girls have gone missing!😱 One girl is reported to of committed suicide but Alex actually Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday at Random House UK- Transworld Publishers for the Arc of Final Cut By SJ Watson❤️Also thank you to SJ Watson for writing this mind-blowing book!❤️Follows a girl named Alex who is a documentary film maker who is comissioned to work for Channel 4 to make a documentary about a small Yorkshire town named Blackwood Bay. This village has a huge past as over the last decade many girls have gone missing!😱 One girl is reported to of committed suicide but Alex actually knows of this place how and why she knows this is the question? She ends up having memories from her past which ends up haunting her so she asks questions to make sense of this and feels something bad this is backed up by video clips of villagers Alex is determined to find out the truth and what happened to the girls this features case reports and news from many many years ago It had so many twists and turns and mystery to it it kept me wanting more and was so page turning and I wasn't expecting the shock ending to this!😱Well done SJ Watson for this 😱I definitely recommend to anyone! 5 stars definitely ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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  • Amanda Clinton
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly, I just want to say that books where the main character has amnesia should come with a trigger warning. I find it a really lazy, over-used plot device and I probably would have given it a miss if I had known. Having said that, there were parts of the book I enjoyed so I suppose I'm quite glad I read it anyway.I did like the claustrophobic feeling of the small town where all the action took place, it was described very well and I could really picture it. I also liked that I didn't guess t Firstly, I just want to say that books where the main character has amnesia should come with a trigger warning. I find it a really lazy, over-used plot device and I probably would have given it a miss if I had known. Having said that, there were parts of the book I enjoyed so I suppose I'm quite glad I read it anyway.I did like the claustrophobic feeling of the small town where all the action took place, it was described very well and I could really picture it. I also liked that I didn't guess the ending, I felt like I was with the main character in not knowing who to trust. I found that it was a book of two halves. The first half I did find a little boring, it was very slow to get started but it picked up in the second half. I thought that some parts were a bit confusing, it was often hard to tell what was really happening and what was in the character's head or a flashback.Overall I'm not really sure if I enjoyed this or not. I definitely didn't dislike it but I didn't love it either.
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  • Morag Murray
    January 1, 1970
    I have lots of respect for SJ Watson, having thoroughly enjoyed ‘Before I go to Sleep’ but I must confess I found ‘Final Cut’ a far more challenging read. The story is of Alex, a film maker who has been commissioned to film in her old home town. This is a place where she is not keen to revisit, having run away some 10 years earlier. Her memory of her childhood there is patchy at best, though she knows bad things happened there. Her history unfolds during this story as she discovers young girls e I have lots of respect for SJ Watson, having thoroughly enjoyed ‘Before I go to Sleep’ but I must confess I found ‘Final Cut’ a far more challenging read. The story is of Alex, a film maker who has been commissioned to film in her old home town. This is a place where she is not keen to revisit, having run away some 10 years earlier. Her memory of her childhood there is patchy at best, though she knows bad things happened there. Her history unfolds during this story as she discovers young girls experiencing similar disturbing happenings. While plot and writing are both good, I struggled to engage with this novel, on reflection I feel the character development may have been the reason. The characters all seemed aloof and detached, I didn’t feel I had enough detail to visualise them, and as such I didn’t feel any empathy towards them. This could be amazing as a TV drama. It certainly had twists galore!My thanks to Netgalley, publisher and author for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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