Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier

WOW!!! The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier is quite a story. I feel like it's been such a long time since reading about a sociopathic serial killer as heinous as the Butcher.

During the 80s, a killer named The Butcher wreaked havoc on Seattle. Many women were afraid to be outside after dark, choosing not to risk the chances of being raped, killed, and missing a left hand. "The Butcher" was eventually caught and killed by the police. Life goes on and eventually the murders stop... or have they?

Before I go into what I didn't like about this novel, because there was surprisingly a lot, I must say I was absolutely glued to this novel. It's moves at an alarming pace and I love that. Needing to know what next bat-shit, gruesome move for the killer was next kept each page absorbing. I've read a-many thriller suspense novels, and this one has got to be one of the top for providing one ruthless, crazy nutjob after another. So why the 3-star rating?

Simply put, there are no likeable characters in this book. Not one. And they're all thin as sheer clothing. There's a police chief whose career was made because he caught "the butcher" yet, he's one of the worse. Read and see why. Enter his grandson, Matthew Shank who is also deplorable. He's an up and coming celebrity chef who is a true narcissist. He probably inherited it from his Grandad, Chief Shank, who he has tried not to be for all his life. Then there's Samantha. 

Samantha is supposed to probably be the heroine of the story. She was raised in a foster home due to the fact that her mother was killed when she was only two. She believes that her mother was killed by "the butcher" but because her murder occurred after the Butcher was caught and killed, her disputes fall on deaf ears. As a true crime author, she is investigating (but not really) the true identity of the killer all the while pining over Matthew who is completely too self-absorbed to notice her.

So that ends gripe number one with this novel and sadly, liking characters or not is not a huge deal-breaker for me, but this host of characters are dense, selfish, sociopathic, and just worthless really. Gripe(s) number two is that the novel is too coincidental. Coincidences lead the readers by the hand and make true thriller readers, like myself, leave with the feeling that the plot is too predictable. I guessed everything way before it happened. So why did I keep reading? Like I said before, I was glued to the pages. I had to see how it would all turn out.

What I've taken from The Butcher is that it appears we can't quite escape becoming who we're meant to be. Could it be in our DNA to become raging lunatics or the constant victim? Although I may have had a few gripes with this novel, I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to suspense lovers. The kills are sadistic and nonsensical to keep readers captivated, trying to successfully figure out how a person like this could exist. I do look forward to Jennifer Hillier's next novel. It will be my brain candy.   ***

Copy provided by Simon & Schuster via Netgalley

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