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Knife Music

July 8, 2010

Overlook Press

Hardcover, Digital and Audio formats

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Knife Music

Kristen Kroiter was 16, a high-school sophomore injured in a car accident. Dr. Ted Cogan had saved her life when he treated her in the ER six months ago—but now police detectives were questioning Cogan about her, in intimate detail. What was going on? What had she told them?

That’s just it, the cops said. She hadn’t told them anything. She had died. Looked like a suicide. And Cogan was in a heap of trouble.

Tense and twisting, Knife Music is the story of a doctor struggling to clear his name after being accused of raping and causing the suicide of a young girl. The novel pits Cogan, a 43-year-old surgeon and self- described womanizer, against Hank Madden, a handicapped veteran detective. From the outset it’s not clear who is victim and who is victimizer, as the usually dispassionate Madden grapples with his long-suppressed prejudices and his obsession with bringing Ted Cogan to justice at any cost—to the doctor or himself. It all leads up to the most stunning surprise ending since Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent.

Read an excerpt from Knife Music


“Carnoy's debut is gripping, suspenseful, totally believable--and shockingly good.”

--New York Times Bestseling Author, Harlan Coben

“Impressive is the debut of David Carnoy with the surprisingly complex and sophisticated Knife Music. It's a combination legal/medical novel, so neatly plotted it seems the first-timer might have over-reached. Yet Carnoy resolves everything with enough originality to deliver a satisfying jolt.”

--ForeWord Magazine

“Carnoy injects an uncommon level of medical expertise, from physical trauma through hospital hierarchy, into his fine debut thriller about the fraught world of doctors. The novel certainly works as medical drama, but it is also a gripping detective story and a revealing character study about what makes docs tick. We learn, for example, that many doctors’ lack of empathy can be seen as stemming from the fact that they were trapped in labs and libraries during the crucial social-skills-gaining years. One such doctor may be Ted Cogan, a surgeon, who is questioned by detectives after the death of one of his former patients, a female high-school sophomore. Cogan saved her life after a car accident six months before. Now the girl has taken her own life, and a trail of evidence points to a sexual relationship with Cogan and a motive for him to have killed her. Veteran detective Hank Madden, in charge of the case, is a brilliantly realized secondary character. Utterly baffling until the very last page.”

--Booklist, Connie Fletcher

“Tauntly paced and full of crisp dialogue, Carnoy's prose is pitch-perfect whether delving itno medical and police procedural or sussing out the nuances of campus hookup culture. A gripping thriller debut that is just what the doctor ordered.”

--Kirkus Discoveries

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