Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Butcher

 The Butcher, Jennifer Hillier, reviewed for Netgalley

Amazon Blurb -

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.

Edward Shank is quite the imposing figure even at 80 years old.  Respectfully if not fondly called the Chief by all inclucing his grandson Matt, he is moving into a senior citizen community after recently becoming a widower, and leaving his beautiful large old home to Matt.  The Chief shot to fame, no pun intendended, by shooting a serial killer that had been stalking women in the Seattle area.  

Matt is on his way to success.  He's the owner of a restaurant and food truck that has attracted the attention of reality tv, best friends with a former quaterback for the Seattle Seahawks and a gorgeous girlfriend who is an author of real crime stories.  He's got the world at his feet.  His only beef, his girl Sam wants to move in after being together for three years, and Matt really doens't want any part of it.  Oh, and her mother was killed when she was a baby and Sam thinks the Butcher did it.  There's only one problem, her mother was murdered AFTER his grandfather shot the Butcher.

Sam belongs to a murder buff website and is contacted by someone who claims to know the real Butcher's idenity.  Struggling with her relationship with Matt as well as trying not to offend the Chief with this pursuit of hers, Sam sets up a meeting.  She finds out the woman, Bonnie Tidwell, was a friend of her mother's and actually cared for Sam when she was a baby.  Something spooks Bonnie and she doesn't tell Sam the identity, and then turns up dead, and she isn't alone.  Is there a copycat killer out there, or was the Butcher really never caught?

I liked this book.  It was fast paced, a good page turner.  Decent characters, great interaction with them.  You know what the deal is almost out of the gate, but you don't know the outcome till the end, and that doesn't kill the story at all.  This is my second Hillier read and it was really good.  Give it a go :)

3 1/2 cannolis

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