The Butcher

Jennifer Hillier. S&S/Gallery, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3421-7
Hillier (Freak) squanders an intriguing premise with poor plotting and lackluster characterization in this disappointing psychological thriller. In 1985, Capt. Edward Shank of the Seattle PD made his reputation by apprehending the Beacon Hill Butcher, a serial killer who terrorized the Pacific Northwest. In the present, soon after Shank’s grandson, Matthew, discovers highly unsettling evidence regarding the case among the retired police chief’s papers, the murders resume. Hillier trots out a series of disturbing crimes—rape, dismemberment, incest, sodomy—but her writing fails to get any horror across. The killer, meanwhile, remains a concept rather than a well-rounded character. Sluggish pacing undermines the suspense, while much of the novel focuses on an entirely predictable love triangle and a subplot about Matthew’s reality TV ambitions. Although the high body count and the gore may attract some readers, the story fails to deliver on its initial promise. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/26/2014
Release date: 07/15/2014
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4767-3422-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4915-1058-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-1057-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-1-4767-3423-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-1061-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-1059-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4915-1056-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4915-1060-5
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-62899-391-2
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