A rash of grisly serial murders plagued Seattle until the infamous “Beacon Hill Butcher” was finally hunted down and killed by police chief Edward Shank in 1985. Now, some thirty years later, Shank, retired and widowed, is giving up his large rambling Victorian house to his grandson Matt, whom he helped raise.
Settling back into his childhood home and doing some renovations in the backyard to make the house feel like his own, Matt, a young up-and-coming chef and restaurateur, stumbles upon a locked crate he’s never seen before. Curious, he picks the padlock and makes a discovery so gruesome it will forever haunt him…. Faced with this deep dark family secret, Matt must decide whether to keep what he knows buried in the past, go to the police, or take matters into his own hands.
Meanwhile Matt’s girlfriend, Sam, has always suspected that her mother was murdered by the Beacon Hill Butcher - two years after the supposed Butcher was gunned down. As she pursues leads that will prove her right, Sam heads right into the path of Matt’s terrible secret.
A thriller with taut, fast-paced suspense, and twists around every corner, The Butcher will keep you guessing until the bitter, bloody end.
©2014 Jennifer Hillier (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Gallery Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
First, the good stuff... The mystery revolves around a dark family secret that is revealed in the first few chapters. It's an entirely unique twist on the serial killer angle. The characters are well developed and distinct.
The narrator, Dan John Miller, has a great voice for reading. Several of the characters were exceptionally performed. However, his take on one of the main characters, Matt, is whiny and so irritating I cringed in every scene. Ditto with his female voices. It was an extremely schizophrenic performance.
As for the story, it revolves around three key characters, the Chief, Matt (Chief's grandson), and Matt's girlfriend Samantha. The Chief, retired chief of police, is a remarkable and unforgettable character. He reminds me of Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino. And it must be said that the narrator nailed his voice on a 5 star level.
Matt, however, is a whiny, self serving jackass with virtually no redeeming value. The combination of his horrible character and the whiny voice all but ruined the story.
Samantha is an extremely attractive character despite the bad narration, but there is no good reason she should have been involved with a loser like Matt. Ever!
So here's my plug, listen if you want to hear a truly unique tale of a serial killer. Otherwise, stay away.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
The Butcher is a serial killer story. I'll be kind and say the novel is disappointing.
Yes. I will wait for a few years though.
The narrator did a good job with Edward.
I really enjoyed this story. It was creepy, funny, thought provoking and had some romance that blended well with the whole story.I just bought another book by the author and can not wait to listen!
On another note, I would rather have less acting by the narrators. This narrator did a decent job but the voices that he used for Sam and Matt did not fit with the characters being portrayed and took away from the listening experience (for me).
Interesting story, likable characters, except for the whiny grandson/son/boyfriend. He's totally whiny and the narrator captured it perfectly which, while true to the character, was completely annoying.
descriptive, deceptive, diabolic
When Matt comes to grips with having killed his best friend and then cuts him up with a chainsaw.
Samantha's realization that the person she is communicating with on the internet is her dead mother's best friend. Yes, it is an unbelievable coincidence, but still quite touching.
Probably the single best serial killer book I have come across. Jennifer Hiller is able to capture the psychosis of a killer in very real terms. I appreciated, as well, that she did not muddle her story with erudite vocabulary. So many writers believe that their work must be vocabulary course as well as a story. She writes what needs to be written to create the imagery and tension necessary, nothing more. Very good book.
The ending was expected. There was a slight, very disturbing twist near the end and that made it even more compelling.
We knew right from the first chapter who "The Butcher" would be, but we followed it through and finished it. We are on vacation and really wanted a book to listen to on our drive so this sufficed. It's not a bad story, it's just a shame that you can guess right from the very beginning who the killer is.
I listened to this book and from that aspect the writing was basically okay: workmanlike grammar, vocabulary, and so on. The performance by Dan John Miller was also okay, although he still needs to work on his female voices. The problem was with the plot (repetitious and bizarre) and the characters (wooden and unbelievable). I almost needed to take notes to keep the characters straight: x loves y since they were both young but neither realizes it; z also loves y since they were both young and introduced her to her current boyfriend but regrets it...I can't remember which one she winds up with. The serial killer/psychopath strand is just ridiculous; seems to get more then less gory for no particular reason. The concept that the police chief of Seattle is a serial killer is unlikely to say the least (this isn't a spoiler as it's in the book description). Also that he's raped and impregnated a couple of girls who are his victims, one of whom knows she has a shady background and the other of whom knows nothing about it, nor do the readers except we can see it coming from about a billion miles away. The motivation for various killings, the totally unlikely m.o., and then the laughable ending. I also have this writer's Creep and Freak but am no longer psyched about reading them.
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