Review: The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier

Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (July 15, 2014)

From  From the author of the acclaimed suspense novels Creep and Freak and whom Jeffery Deaver has praised as a "top of the line thriller writer," The Butcher is a high-octane novel about lethal secrets that refuse to die—until they kill again.
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


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Given the high praise this author received from Jeffery Deaver (a favorite author of mine), I couldn't wait to dive into this novel. Unfortunately, in my opinon this anti-climatic "thriller" did not live up to my expectations. 

Don't get me wrong, the author had a solid concept, and the story itself flowed smoothly enough even if the majority of the characters seemed a little one dimensional, however there wasn't enough suspense to make this a thoroughly enjoyable novel. 

Whereas most "suspense"  or "thriller" novels do not reveal who the killer is in the first chapter, The Butcher tells you almost immediately who was behind everything, leading to there being very little surprises or twists, unlike the synopsis claimed. In fact, this didn't read very much like it was classified as, which again was quite disappointing.

There were also a couple of inconsistencies that stuck out to me while reading. To begin with, after repeatedly calling the show "unscripted television" and immediately becoming irate when Matt referred to as anything else, one of the people working on the show called it a "reality show" in the paragraph after emphatically telling Matt that is was not a reality show. That showed to me a lack of staying "in character" that could have easily been avoidable. Another thing that stood out was there were a few times where the author had words out of order. For example, one sentence read "And how much screen time I do specifically get?" Instead of asking "And how much screen time to I specifically get?" Hopefully because this was an advanced copy of the novel, these few oversights will be corrected in the finished proof, but because I am writing my review before it is released, I thought it best to bring it to the author's attention prior to release.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has NOT altered or changed my review in any way. All thoughts expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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