After I read Creep, Jennifer Hillier instantly become one of my favorite new authors. The sequel, Freak, sealed the deal. Now she’s back with a new stand alone novel. The question is, does it stand up to the brilliance of those first two books?
Back in the 80s, Seattle was gripped by terror as the Beacon Hill Butcher terrorized the city. That fear was put to rest when the Butcher was killed by police chief-turned hero Edward Shanks. Thirty years later, Shanks is ready to move into a retirement home. Grandson Matt, an up and coming chef and soon to be reality cooking show star, is the lucky recipient of Edward’s large Victorian home. Renovations to the family estate soon turn up family secrets that have long been buried. A side story concerns Matt’s girlfriend, Samantha. Sam is a true crime author determined to find out what happened to her mother, who she believes was one of the Butcher’s victims even though her death came after his crime spree ended. I have mixed feelings about these characters. Edward is a scary, cantankerous old man. Matt is a self-centered egomaniac with huge anger issues. And Sam is a likeable enough person although I found her to be a bit of a pushover.
I was beyond excited when I received this book. I expected a pulse-pounding, on the edge of your seat page turner, and I wasn’t disappointed. It kept me interested even though you pretty much know who the killer is and where the story is likely going from early on. Although this one doesn’t have the suspense/psychological thriller aspect that the author’s previous two books did, it’s still a great book. My only complaint is that I felt that the ending was a bit of a letdown, wrapping up in a handful of pages after building to a crescendo for the last fourth of the book. Still, this is an excellent third novel from a promising author!
Buy it Now: The Butcher