A Thousand Cuts

A Thousand Cuts

Book - 2010
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A stunning debut novel that unravels the hidden story behind a school shooting

It should be an open-and-shut case. Samuel Szajkowski, a recently hired history teacher, walked into a school assembly with a gun and murdered three students and a colleague before turning the weapon on himself. It was a tragedy that could not have been predicted. Szajkowski, it seems clear, was a psychopath beyond help. Yet as Detective Inspector Lucia May- the only woman in her high-testosterone office in the Criminal Investigations Department-begins to piece together the testimonies of the various witnesses, an uglier and more complex picture emerges, calling into question the innocence of others. But no one, including Lucia's boss, is interested.

As the pressure to close the case builds and her colleagues' sexism takes a sinister turn, Lucia begins to realize that she has more in common with the killer than she could have imagined, and she becomes deter­mined to expose the truth. Brilliantly interweaving the witnesses' accounts with Lucia's own perspective, A Thousand Cuts is a narrative tour de force from a formidable new voice in fiction.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2010
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780670021505
Branch Call Number: Mystery
Characteristics: 295 p. ; 22 cm


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Dec 28, 2014

A deeply moving, and at times bitingly witty novel about a school murder in UK, the terrible crime that is viewed thru many narrators but also goes deeper and examines pervasive school cruelty.

mikeyppl Mar 13, 2012

A brillant novel.

Nov 15, 2011

I started Simon Lelic’s novel and almost didn’t finish it. It seemed too brutally predictable, in spite of a genius first chapter. “A Thousand Cuts” is the story of a young history teacher who inexplicably walks into an assembly at his school and shoots down 3 students and a teacher before turning the gun on himself. It is also the story of a young detective who is assigned to the case and simple cannot get to the foregone conclusion. As she investigates the shooters’ background and interviews the witnesses, a picture of bullying, intimidation and terrible cruelty is revealed, mirroring her own life as a female detective. It is not so much that any new ground is plowed by this novel as that Mr. Lelic is an absolute master of conversation. For this reason alone the book is worth reading. But the message too stays with you – the way that we do so willfully destroy each other with a thousand little cuts.

Jun 23, 2011

The story comes together brilliantly through witness statements to the police. A very clever way to solve what seems a cut and dried case. It takes on the idea that bullying is indeed a societal problem, not just a schoolyard problem.

debwalker Mar 28, 2011

"This is a very timely novel on the insidiousness of bullying and how it can affect all ages, not just kids on the playground. A Thousand Cuts opens with a school shooting committed by a teacher. An open-and-shut case becomes much more when Detective Inspector Lucia May pieces together the testimony from various witnesses and realizes that assigning the blame is not as easy as expected."--Laura Lucy, White Birch Books, North Conway, N.H.


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