Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The First Cut (Nan Vining Mysteries, #1)” as Want to Read:
The First Cut (Nan Vining Mysteries, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The First Cut (Nan Vining Mysteries #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  489 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
For two minutes she was dead.

The assailant was vicious, the attack brutal—and it left her lifeless . . . until her pulse fluttered and she jolted awake. Now, a year later, detective Nan Vining is still questioning her strength, her safety, even her sanity: Can she ever again be the cop—and mother—she was before? And will her attacker someday return to finish the job, befo
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Ballantine Books (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The First Cut, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The First Cut

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 26, 2015 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nan has just returned to work as a detective for the Pasadena Police after recovering from being attacked. Her very first case is the investigation of the murder of a fellow policewoman. What Nan isn't telling her fellow officers is that she is still having panic attacks.
Petrea Burchard
Sep 08, 2012 Petrea Burchard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do not read a Dianne Emley mystery alone at night. This one scared the heck out of me, especially because I know the locations of which she speaks. Yikes!

Petrea Burchard
Camelot & Vine
Nov 05, 2011 Kerry rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.
T.M. Carper
Aug 05, 2011 T.M. Carper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
One of the best debut novels I've read in a while. I picked it because of the blurbs on the cover from several authors I read and whose work I love (such as Lisa Gardner, whose blurb is on the front cover) and I thought I'd give it a shot.

From the beginning scene with Frankie, through meeting Nany Vining, a cop who was officially dead for two minutes after an on-duty attack by a man named "T.B. Mann" (or "The Bad Man") by Nan and her 14 yr old daughter, Emily, and seeing the crimes play out thro
Jackie Baller
Jun 26, 2014 Jackie Baller rated it it was amazing
This is the first book of Dianne Emley's I read. Well, that first book lead to the next one and so on. I love all of her books and have been waiting impatiently for the next Nan Vining book. Lucky for me I found Dianne Emley's Iris Thorn mysteries, and then was able to read her new book The Night Visitor. All of Dianne Emley's books are great and I enjoyed them all. I'm however back to waiting impatiently for her next Nan Vining book to be published. LOL
Sheila Beaumont
An outstanding police-procedural thriller by a writer who should be much better known. Pasadena police homicide detective Nan Vining returns to work one year after having barely survived a stabbing, only to confront a murder case uncomfortably like her own experience. We know who the killer is early on; the suspense is in whether Vining and her colleagues will identify and stop him before he kills more women. Well-portrayed characters, good prose, plenty of twists and turns.
Jul 01, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing
The first Nan Vining book I read was Killing Secrets, since I'm stickler for reading a series in order, I had to read The First Cut. And I was not disappointed! Diane Emely has quickly become a go to author for crime thrillers. If you're a Karin Slaughter fan, you'll love this series!
*** 3.5 stars ***

The First Cut is the first book in the crime fiction thriller series featuring female police officer and single mother Nan Vining of the Pasadena Police Department. The story begins with Vining returning to the precinct for work after a leave of absence she required to recover physically and mentally from a brutal attack while in the line of duty that nearly took her life months earlier. Within minutes of entering the precinct, Vining is recruited to investigate the heinous mur
May 10, 2016 Elusive rated it it was ok
Shelves: review
In ‘The First Cut’, officer Frankie Lynde is found brutally murdered underneath the Colorado Street Bridge. Detective Nan Vining feels connected to Frankie mainly because she had once been a victim of a vicious shooting. As Nan and her colleagues do their best to hunt down the murderer, she is also plagued by unexplainable visions and sounds as well as lightheadedness.

Although the case certainly had the potential to be intriguing and suspenseful, the writing itself completely ruined that possib
J. Else
Apr 18, 2015 J. Else rated it it was ok
I like the concept of a female officer haunted, literally, by the murdered woman of a case she's working. I thought there were some very spooky and electrifying moments for the main character. The main character, Nan Vining, was nearly killed in the line of duty, and since then, has had an otherworldly connection. I found some good moments.

However, the main character is constantly working alone. There are few relationships to help reveal different sides of Officer Vining. The different character
Sep 17, 2012 Lyanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
En voor die vijf euro was het een fijne thriller. Diane Emley schrijft fijn en het is een erg spannend boek. Vooral het begin is goed neergezet. De spanning is goed, waardoor je steeds verder wilt lezen. Na een paar hoofdstukken komt de moordenaar aan bod. Niet alleen weet je al wat er is gebeurd, maar ook de naam van de moordenaar wordt al genoemd. Daardoor weet je in de volgende hoofdstukken of de politie al op het goede spoor is of niet en dat vond ik persoonlijk jammer. Zo is de hele spannin ...more
Debbie Oxier
Jun 01, 2015 Debbie Oxier rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Nan Vining was a cop. She'd been on the job responding to a call when she was ambushed and stabbed in the neck. She flat lined for two minutes. Now she's trying to put her life back together, hiding her panic attacks, continuing to assure her daughter she's fine. Her first day back to work, she accompanies her superior to a crime scene. The dead body is a member of vice, Frankie Lynde. She'd gotten involved with the wrong people, crossed too many lines and had paid the price. Now it was up to Na ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Julia rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-crime
I was very excited that the heroine of this book was a police officer and truly involved in the investigation on legitimate terms, but she is a very troubled police officer, and the murders were so gory, that I did not enjoy the book as much as I wanted to. This book reads a bit like an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent; you get to see things from both the murderer's point of view and the police detective's point of view, which is very cool. However, the featured bad guys were two brutal ...more
Black Butterfly
Jun 28, 2015 Black Butterfly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ADULTS
Recommended to Black Butterfly by: AMAZON
Aug 11, 2008 Donald rated it liked it
This is a pretty good murder-thriller book that actually has a cop as the main character figuring out whodunit. When a policewoman turns up dead after being missing for two weeks, it turns into Nat Vining's first case back from a year-long recovery from an attack on her. Battling her "demons" and her panic attacks from the assault, Vining goes about tracking down the murderer. Well-written (until some hit-you-over-the-head sections at the end about overcoming struggles and the like), this is a t ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Marti rated it it was ok
This book was fairly interesting, but there were a number of perverse sections. For that reason, I am not passing it on to friends of ours in our former hometown. Obviously, this series could last a long time, with Detective Nan Vining hoping to find the madman who brutalized her. There are short blurbs by both suspense writers, Lisa Jackson, and Lisa Gardner. Somehow, I don't think that I shall seek out any subsequent books in this series. It was so brutal at first, that I almost didn't continu ...more
Aug 18, 2011 Victoria rated it liked it
I read this series because I met the author at a mystery convention, and I was intrigued that she wrote mysteries based in Pasadena. While I enjoyed her local descriptions and her knowledge of police procedures, I found the book a little disconcerting because so much of the action and motivation for the character happens before the book begins. Not all the protagonist's motives and actions made rang true to me. I did think the climax was pretty compelling (though the villain is extremely creepy) ...more
Aug 16, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
Another serial killer novel. I liked this one. I also liked the main character Detective Nan Vining. (she's had a brush with death and her own serial killer. you get that part of the story mostly in 'flashbacks'...i'm interested in reading all about the search for T.B. Mann if Ms. Emley chooses to write that part of the story) This one got me hooked from the first chapter. Sex, drugs and very evil man. With enough twists and turns to keep my mind going. I would definitely read another book by th ...more
Kristy Trauzzi
Jan 25, 2010 Kristy Trauzzi rated it really liked it
A lot of mystery novels I've read have the cops just acting on a hunch. They just feel "it" and "it" becomes the culprit. Do cops really work like that? This was such a twisted novel. I find it so interesting to read about how one person has all the power, and he / she finds a partner that is so vulnerable that he/she is willing to do ANYTHING to stay with said person. i find it so interesting to try and figure out how they know exactly what to look for, and how to know exactly what to do to get ...more
May 10, 2010 Donna rated it it was amazing
For some reason I decided to buy this book even though I hadn't heard of the author before (I tend to stick to authors I know and love). I'm so pleased I did, I was hooked from the start. I read books for entertainment and relaxation, I like to escape and not think about or worry about anything else. It was a book that I didn't really want to put down, I loved the story line and the twists.

That's what I love about novels, escaping and getting right in there with the story.
I'm only on page 13 and it decided to can this book. That's a real record for me. I usually continue on, sometimes even when the book isn't so good.
I can tell this isn't my cup of tea with it's ugly sex and evidently there's going to be some nasty violence coming.
I'm hardly a prude having enjoyed the the 70s and 80s as a single woman. That was when you could enjoy relationships without worrying about dying from AIDS.
But I was never interested in pure raunch.
I found this book rather disjointed. I felt like there should have been a prequel or something; as if the writer assumed we had prior knowledge of the characters. I felt caught up on the backstory by the end of the book, but I kept getting confused and checking to see if I'd grabbed book 2 on accident. I still found myself thinking about the characters when I wasn't actively reading, which was a good sign.
Jan 14, 2016 Rick added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I couldn't finish this one and moved on. It's a shame because the premise showed so much promise, but I got bogged down in too many characters and too much police procedure that distracted me from the most important thing: caring about at least one character. It's also a shame because this is my first exposure to this author and this steers me away from seeking out any of her other stuff.
Het begin is zeer veelbelovend. De spanning zorgt ervoor dat je snel verder wilt lezen. Helaas zakt het verhaal snel in en vervolgens duurt het meer dan 300 pagina's voordat er weer iets gebeurt. Inmiddels was ik mijn interesse al verloren. Het boek bestaat uit losse en vreemde gebeurtenissen die verder niet worden uitgewerkt.
Apr 12, 2012 Kristin rated it liked it
I loved the main character and the people around her. The killer was another extreme psychopath. Unfortunately, I'm growing exhausted with the topic and can't give this novel a fair chance. I am intrigued with the hints of supernatural assistance and it makes me curious about further books in the series.
Sep 29, 2012 JC rated it liked it
Pretty good first book in this series. I found the main character, Vining, to be quite brave in spite of all she faced but really she shouldn't have been on this case in the first place. She must track down the killer of a slain police woman shortly after being brutally attacked herself. The book was enjoyable but nothing unbelievable - a solid mystery novel.
-Appena sufficiente-

Un libro che si può tranquillamente evitare di leggere. L'assassino viene rivelato praticamente subito, si seguono quindi le indagini per acciuffarlo e capire le motivazioni. Non l'ho trovato interessanteda leggere. C'è pure un accenno al paranormale ad aggravare ancor più la situazione di un libro che già non sta in piedi di suo. Autrice bocciata.
Mar 19, 2016 Jennie rated it it was amazing
This is the second book that I have read by this author. Nan Vining has just returned to work after being attacked while on duty by a serial killer. Even though I read the last book in the series first, this book was still wonderful. The characters are mostly the same and Nan is trying to solve another murder which involved another policewoman.
Vining a cop and a victim returns to work at the PPD (Pasadena)a year after an assault that left her for dead to solve the murder of a LAPD vice cop. She is also trying to solve her own "murder". Refreshing in that the characters are well developed and show "warts and all"
Aug 12, 2012 Hildegart rated it liked it
I just finished the book I enjoyed it but felt there was too much in the storyline about T.B.Mann. Also, there were some grammatical errors that caught my eye. I felt like this was a book between a three or four star rating. because of the grammatical errors, I am giving it three stars.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Jasmine Trade
  • Bloody Waters (Lupe Solano, #1)
  • Death by Sudoku
  • If She Should Die
  • Evil Without a Face (Sweet Justice, #1)
  • Three Complete Novels: A is for Alibi / B is for Burglar / C is for Corpse
  • Goodnight, Irene (Irene Kelly #1)
  • Web of Deceit
  • Murder Uncorked (A Wine Lover's Mystery, #1)
  • Cold Truth (Truth #1; John Mancini #7)
  • I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #1)
  • Waking Evil (Mindhunters, #2)
  • Falls the Shadow (Victor Carl, #5)
  • Dying in Style (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper, #1)
  • No Way Home
  • Blue Blood (Debutante Dropout, #1)
  • Feint Of Art (An Art Lover's Mystery, #1)
  • Face of a Killer (Sydney Fitzpatrick #1)
Los Angeles Times bestselling author Dianne Emley is a Los Angeles native, growing up far from the city's glitz and glamour in a hardscrabble neighborhood in the multicultural Northeast side, where she attended public schools. She earned a B.A. in Philosophy and an MBA, both from UCLA, and has held a variety of day jobs, mostly in business middle management. For years during the early morning befo ...more
More about Dianne Emley...

Other Books in the Series

Nan Vining Mysteries (6 books)
  • Cut to the Quick (Nan Vining Mysteries, #2)
  • The Deepest Cut (Nan Vining Mysteries, #3)
  • Love Kills (Nan Vining Mysteries, #4)
  • Killing Secrets (Nan Vining Mysteries #5)
  • Lying Blind: A Nan Vining Mystery #6

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »