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Turn off Netflix tonight and see if you can figure out...Who Took Nicole Cutty?
The Making of a Medical Examiner By Dr. Livia Cutty
The summer after my sister graduated high school, just as she was preparing to head off to college, she disappeared. She and another girl, actually. They both vanished from a beach party in our small North Carolina town. Their abduction sent Emerson Bay into a panic
My sister? She was never seen again.
That was last August. Back then I was finishing the fourth year of my anatomical pathology residency. I’d completed my undergraduate degree, endured four years of medical school, and had settled into residency prepared to spend my four-year stint learning how diseases affect the human body. Back in that old life, a cushy hospital pathology job waited in my future. Maybe a teaching gig at the university.
Then my sister disappeared and my priorities changed. After my residency, I applied for a fellowship in forensic pathology—a one-year program that would turn me into a medical examiner. My thinking was this: Someday, my sister’s body would show up in someone’s morgue. It would be up to a forensic pathologist to use their skills to uncover the clues my sister’s body left behind and to hand those clues over to the authorities who might track down her killer. I wanted to learn those skills, simple as that.
The following July, nearly a year after my sister went missing, I started my year of fellowship at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina. I also started reading the bestselling memoir that was sweeping the nation. It was the true story account written by Megan McDonald, the girl who disappeared with my sister. Megan had miraculously escaped her captor, and her riveting story of survival was a blockbuster topping every bestseller list in the country. The memoir bothered me, the whoring of such personal tragedy for monetary gain infuriated me, and the fact that the book never once mentioned my still-missing sister unnerved me.
It was about that time, on a hot Monday morning, that the body of a young man rolled into my morgue. That body changed my life forever. It changed Megan’s life as well, because after I completed the autopsy I began to question every page of her bestselling book. My biggest question: Was that hunk of three hundred pages a memoir, or pure fiction?
To find out how things transpired the summer I started my forensic fellowship, pick up #TheGirlWhoWasTaken.
It’s a hell of a story. And the way things end will have you gasping like a brand new path fellow the first time the zipper rips open a body bag and their maiden corpse is dumped in front of them.
Read more about The Girl Who Was Taken.
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About The Girl Who Was Taken
Her Truth Was Only Half The Story. . .
Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls—one who returns, one who doesn’t—and the forensics expert searching for answers. Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.rth he read.”
—Booklist A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It’s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole’s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected. But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.
“A fast-moving page-turner. . . . Donlea skillfully maximizes suspense
by juggling narrators and time all the way to the shocking final twists.”
“Donlea’s sophomore effort is solid. He keeps the reader guessing
and second-guessing until the end, thanks to an
expertly crafted abundance of potential suspects.”
“Well worth the read.” —Booklist
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