Tina Baker: Nasty Little Cuts

This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review Nasty Little Cuts.



A nightmare jolts Debs awake. She leaves the kids tucked up in their beds and goes downstairs. There’s a man in her kitchen, holding a knife. But it’s not an intruder. This is her husband Marc, the father of her children. A man she no longer recognises.

Once their differences were what drew them together, what turned them on. Him, the ex-army officer from a good family. Her, the fitness instructor who grew up over a pub. But now these differences grate to the point of drawing blood. Marc screams in his sleep. And Debs hardly knows the person she’s become, or why she lets him hurt her.

Neither of them is completely innocent. Neither is totally guilty. Marc is taller, stronger, and more vicious, haunted by a war he can’t forget. But he has no idea what Debs is capable of when her children’s lives are at stake…

A completely addictive story of a relationship built on passion, poisoned by secrets and violence. Perfect for readers of Blood Orange and Big Little Lies.


I absolutely loved Call Me Mummy so I was thrilled to be able to read Nasty Little Cuts which, if it’s possible, is even more hard hitting and shocking. Baker’s writing really packs a punch and there is so much tension that it was so difficult to tear myself away at the end of each stave.

Nasty Little Cuts is mainly set over the course of a few hours in the early hours of the morning on Christmas Eve, but there are also flashback scenes to various times in Debs and Marc’s lives, both as a couple and as young children. As the story covers such a short space of time and the chapters are really snappy, the pace is relentless and this helps Baker to build tension.

The author is amazing at creating characters that the reader is able to connect with emotionally. The children are brilliantly constructed and I felt huge sympathy for them being in the middle of Debs and Marc’s marriage. I didn’t find either Debs or Marc particularly likeable, but as we are given insights into their pasts, we can see how they have come to behave the way they do, even if we do not agree with it and this makes the writing incredibly powerful.

The main theme of Nasty Little Cuts is domestic abuse. Baker’s portrayal of this situation feels incredibly real and so the novel is not easy to read, especially for someone who has had similar experiences, but I do commend Baker for writing such a powerful book. The ending means that this family will stay in my mind for a long time to come

Nasty Little Cuts is available from Amazon.

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