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Cookie Cutter [Paperback]

Sterling Anthony
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 3 2000
If you see him you will not know him. If you greet him, it may be too late. For every image you have of a murderer--he will defy it. And he will make you pay. . .

A woman haunted by a tragedy in her own past, homicide lieutenant "Bloody Mary" Cunningham now tracks an elusive killer who, like an apparition, materializes out of nothing, then escapes into the folds of night. The victims are all black, stabbed repeatedly, their lifeless fingers folded around a single cookie--black on the outside, white on the inside.

Mary knows she is not searching for just another loser with a knife. The man she is looking for is smart, a self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner who doles out brutally swift justice to racial sellouts, plotting murders with cool precision. But she can never guess the twisted history that is driving her suspect, or how his political connections will affect the case, or why she herself could be his next, perfect prey. . . .

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Anthony's ambitious debut thriller has as its psychological hook a legacy of racial violence reenacted by a crazed, confused killer. Isaac Shaw, a respected African-American Alabama mortician, tries but fails to escape his sordid past. In 1967 he impregnated a white teenage girl, "adopted" the son she bore seconds before her death and stuffed her body in someone else's casket. Moving to Detroit with his barren wife and new son, Eugene, Shaw establishes a funeral home empire and climbs the social ladder. Because Eugene looks white, he doesn't fit into the black community. He experiences "the intraracial backlash against fair-skinned blacks," and at the same time, a sense of guilt that he has escaped racial bigotry. In a desperate urge to claim his black heritage, he becomes an artist specializing in African-American images. He also becomes delusional, with a murderous mission. Meanwhile, Lt. "Bloody Mary" Cunningham, along with others of the Detroit Police's Homicide Squad, investigate a string of murders with a distinctive feature. The killer is targeting conservative African-Americans, and his victims hold an Oreo cookie in their hands. Those killed include a top-ranked black executive at a Japanese car company and a renowned Reaganite conservative leader with a special distaste for quotas. As the Motor City prepares for a tough mayoral election in which Isaac Shaw is a leading candidate, the cops don't realize how intimately their investigation is tangled with local politics. Anthony intersperses the convoluted family history of the Shaws with a more interesting profile of Cunningham, a well-rounded character with her own troubled childhood, strained marriage and battles with sexism on the job. He makes some perceptive comments about the complex dilemmas facing black Americans of all economic levels, who must make decisions regarding assimilation, representation and interracial relationships. Credibly depicting police procedures, this modest novel delivers enough keen analysis of race relations, social history and psychology to keep thriller fans reading to its bloody conclusion. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Anthony's first novel is a complex murder mystery ? la Walter Mosley that explores race relations and politics in the deep South in the Sixties and in present-day Detroit. The victims are all blackAstabbed repeatedly and left for dead with their fingers folded around a cookie, black on the outside and white on the inside. (LJ 10/15/99)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Thomas Kincaid heard the click in his headphones, the usual signal that his sound engineer was about to cut in for a station identification break followed by a commercial. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diary of a Mad Keebler Elf. Oct. 9 2003
"Bloody" Mary Cunningham must catch a killer with a very unique theme. Certain african-americans are being executed because of their politics, precisely those that lend themselves to be catagorized as 'sell-outs'. After each murder, an oreo cookie is left in their hands as a sign of their betrayal of their race. The clock is ticking, because the race for mayor is under way, and it especially turns ugly when the killer seems to be connected. Characters seem to be inserted when there was no need for them, but further along, the pieces begin to fit and the story moves even further. Kudos for an original story, a determined dectective, and, with luck, another continuing mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hot as July June 1 2002
By A Customer
I bought several books for my usual summer reading, and as usual, I skimmed the first few pages of each to decide which one I would read first. Cookie Cutter grabbed me from the start. Not only did I read it first, but I did so within a short period. This imaginative twist on the serial killer formula contained driven characters who were always in motion right up to the exciting climax. Hopefully, by next summer, the author will have another offering to kick-start my reading season.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great supporting cast Nov. 8 2001
The main plot was carried by the protagonist and the protagonist, in this case the cop and the killer. That's the way it should be. But this book had a strong supporting cast of characters that played out several subplots and made the book more textured and twisting. Issac(the undertaker) was my favorite but others deserve mention, such as Precious (the addict)and Mocha (the girlfriend of the villian). The main characters of any story can't do it alone. In this story they had a lot of good help.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Want some milk with that cookie? Oct. 28 2001
I was so excited to see a murder mystery written by an African-American other then straight out of the newspaper. I kinda' get tired of one genre and flip to another script after awhile. I love a good murder mystery that holds my interest. The author did this in that the first murder committed was not by the 'killer' but by his father. You knew that the killer had issues but you never knew which way it was going to take him. I was kept in suspense when he finally found love, something that you didn't even think would come into play, being that he almost killed her too. You were set to wonder, ok, when is he going to kill her for some misspoken word or gesture and how is he going to justify it?
The heroine, Bloody Mary, go figure, sets out to find the killer with a partner (seemingly a modern day good-ol-boy) who it seems is set to work against her instead of with her. The author fleshes her out by giving her character a life of her own, which I liked. He builds her character with building blocks, fortifying her, so that we know what's making her tick. She's definitely 3-dimensional. Call me petty, but, the only thing that I didn't like was that the pumps didn't go with that outfit...only the fashion conscious will pick up on it... hahaah. Mary can come back to my reading nook anytime. I'll be waiting to go through another adventure with her. All that I have to say for her is... YOU GO GIRL! Bring on the next adventure. This was a good, intriguing read. If murder and mayhem are your thing, you'll enjoy it too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High Suspense Oct. 14 2001
A killer has taken it upon himself to rid the world of oreos, in other words, blacks who are white on the inside. The twist is that the biracial killer looks Caucasian but is militant, making him white on the outside but black on the inside, a kind of reverse oreo. Pitted against him is Lt.(Bloody)Mary Cunningham.
This is not your garden variety serial killer vs. cop formula. The author does a great job in keeping the chase fast-paced and suspenseful with several subplots that come together neatly. I'm glad that there seems to be an increase in novels by black authors in the suspense/mystery/crime genre. I'll keep a look-out for this author's next offering.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worked for me Aug. 6 2001
This is a suspenseful novel about some unsavory aspects of modern urban life. Well conceived. Well written. I identified with the main character, a female cop who has to deal with the baggage of working in a field dominated by males. I hope she becomes a serial character because I would buy her future adventures. Maybe the author was too hasty in giving the killer a fate that prevents his return because I thought he was unique enough to be a serial character too. But since there will be no rematch between these two, I'll settle for a return of the heroine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Suspense June 6 2001
By A Customer
This was an excellent story with pace and intelligence. Warning: don't second guess the author on those parts where the story seems to go off on a tangent. He brings everything full circle and ties all loose ends very neatly. The story includes some societal themes that caused me to think and reflect. For readers who appreciate a good mix of suspense, violence, and some sex served up intelligently this is one to choose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars From a man's point May 20 2001
By A Customer
i enjoyed cookie cutter because it kept supplying the suspense. i've stopped reading lots of books because they went soft in the middle but not this one. the author did a great job of threading enough side stories to keep the main story line moving. i do have one pet peeve though. the husband of the main character mary was too goody goody. the average guy would have put her in her place. other than that it was five stars.
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