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.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
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.
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.
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