Monday, October 20, 2014

The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier (thoughts)

The Butcher is one of the darkest thrillers that I have read this year by far.  This book isn't for the squeamish but it is definitely one of those books that a reader will find hard to put down!  Both creepy and dark are both words that I could use to describe this book that summarize it easily.  Because of this, it took me awhile to really get into this book.  When I did though, I was well and truly hooked.

Told from multiple viewpoints, the storyline revolves around "The Butcher", a well known serial killer that terrorized women in the Seattle area until he was killed by the police.  Edward Shank (also known as The Chief) was the person responsible for bringing this horrific killer to justice.  As The Chief moves into retirement, his grandson Matt is in the spotlight thanks to his restaurant and possible new television deal on the food network.  Matt grew up looking up to the Chief in every way possible but now with his own fame growing, he begins to realize that there are many truths that he has never known.  And when it seems like The Butcher is making a comeback from beyond the grave, it will affect everyone that Matt knows or cares for.

It is almost difficult for me to write my thoughts on this one because how can you say that you enjoyed a book that was this twisted?  I really struggled with it at the beginning because of this, and also because I struggled with Matt's character.  He isn't one of those characters that is easy to like and because of this I wasn't ever sure that I was going to care what happened to him.  I stuck with the book though because I was just so, so curious.  I gave a very brief summary that hopefully doesn't give many details away but it is those details that caused me to finally be hooked.  I had to know what was going to happen.  I finally started to connect to Sam (Matt's sorta girlfriend) as a character and by then I knew that I couldn't set this book down.  I had to see how it was all going to end!  The author does a great job with the atmosphere within this book.  I constantly felt like I was waiting....almost dreading seeing what was going to happen next.  It was such a creepy feeling!  It is really hard to describe my overall feelings because of how dark the storyline was.  While not always an easy read, it was certainly a book that kept me turning the pages.  I liked the ending especially because it all went down like I hoped that it would.  Is that vague enough for all of you?  Ha!  This is one of those books that I will not be forgetting about any time soon!

Overall, I liked this one enough to recommend it but I don't think that this is a book that everyone will enjoy.  Me?  I am definitely willing to read more by this author!  I just will make sure that I am in the mood for a darker read in case all of her books are this creepy (and I'm guessing they are from the titles).  Fans of dark thrillers will definitely want to give this one a try!  So recommended but with a few warnings/hesitations.

Bottom Line:  A disturbing book but one that I just could not put down!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Thoughts are my own!

For those of you that have read this one, what did you think?  I found this book reminded me of Gillian Flynn a bit thanks to how it made me feel while reading.  I wasn't always comfortable reading this book but I also couldn't quite stop reading.  I'm looking forward to hearing what other readers thought!


  1. This dark thriller sounds very disturbing and creepy, Sam. It is hard to put into words what you think about books like this one. Excellent review!

  2. I used to love dark thrillers and now I find I have to be in a certain mood for them. This one does sound good.

  3. Great review! Dark thrillers are great reads, and I'm with Wendy that such books need certain mood to read them. This one sounds like a good read.

  4. Suko- It really was a hard book to share my thoughts on because not everyone will enjoy it...just because it is so dark/disturbing. But it was definitely a book that I won't forget any time soon! And I am glad that I read it!

    Wendy- I have to be in the right mood for a dark thriller as well. Otherwise I just can't enjoy them. Have you ever read anything by this author? She is one that I will be reading more of for sure!

    Melody- Thanks! I actually read this one slowly at first because I just wasn't sure that I was in the mood for a dark read but then I just couldn't set it down! It was definitely a good read!


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