Read The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier Online


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 renovationsA 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....

Title : The Butcher
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781476734217
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Butcher Reviews

  • Robert
    2019-04-06 16:42

    On the one hand, I could give this book a scathing review, clap my hands together and walk away; on the other, I could do a bit more analysis, delve a bit deeper than its rusty surface, and throw in a few psychobabble terms for my handful of diligent readers out there. Let’s see, I think we’ll go with Option B, Alex, and let’s make it for $600, just to make things interesting. And…here…we…go.More than a few reviewers have been less than generous, and if I could offer up a deduction, I’d say it stems from the following sentence: “A thriller with taut, fast-paced suspense, and twists around every corner, The Butcher will keep you guessing until the bitter, bloody end.” This, unfortunately, does not do Jennifer Hillier any favors, as THE BUTCHER is not that type of novel. To be perfectly blunt about it, another publisher has fucked an author in the ass. If I were king for a day, I’d probably fire more than one marketing department, and send them back to school for their MBAs. Because we certainly didn’t learn that shit in any marketing class I ever took. But in my experience, most publishers are experts in publishing, not marketing, and yes there is separation of church and state, at least in this case. Sorry, the chopper interrupted my train of thought. Let’s move on, shall we?Instead of taking a cleaver to this tale, I actually was rather happy to bump and bounce along through the streets of Seattle with Pike Place firmly etched in my rearview. Sure, the characters might have been a bit one-dimensional—Matt and Edward were certainly no exception—but that was all part of the experience. Sam, on the other hand, proved a tad more interesting, at least in my estimation. Even though the killer is revealed in the first 30 pages, the real fun is in seeing how it all goes down on the playground, and what will await us at the end of our journey.With a clipped pace and bodies stacking up to the left and right, I found myself rushing forward with both hands in front of my face to swat away errant limbs and branches. And, yes, you have to be of a particular persuasion to enjoy this tale, since it covers sunny topics like rape and incest and murder.So, yes, we can castrate the author or the novel for what it isn’t based on the last paragraph in the description, or you can expunge that last sentence from your brain (as I did) and focus on what this particular novel is. If you can reach a separation of church and state, then you may have found yourself a winner.I received this book for free through NetGalley.Cross-posted at Robert's Reads

  • Tim The Enchanter
    2019-04-12 22:49

    A Thriller Without the Thrills - 2 StarsWhen a book holds itself out to be a thriller, especially one that involves a notable serial killer, I expect there to be some suspense. I can tell you right now who the killer in this book was. It wouldn’t be a spoiler. Read the first chapter and you will know within two minutes. In fairness to the author, I believe she was trying to be bold and take a different approach to the often formulaic telling of crime thriller. Sometimes an author steps out of the box and writes a masterpiece and sometimes they step out and fall off the cliff they couldn’t see from inside the box. Plot summary You would be best to avoid the plot summary listed on Goodreads or elsewhere as it is very misleading. The summary will talk about mystery and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end of the story. The reality is more mundane. The story opens with the reader learning that a character in the story is a serial killer. This is quickly followed by another character realizing that the first character is a murderer. We are then introduced to a third character who does not know the truth and we follow that character around until they quite literally stumble onto the truth. The GoodShe Took a Chance This review should not be construed as knock on author. The writing is above average quality and while most of the characters tend to be a bit one dimensional, the story is written in clean prose with a brisk pace. In reading the story, I had the distinct impression that the author was trying to do something different. Instead of leaving us guessing as to WHO was the murderer we were meant to keep guessing IF he would get away with it. Unfortunately it just did not work... In my opinion, a crime thriller in which the mystery of “whodunit” is removed requires another equally compelling hook. For example, had the story had strong psychological thriller elements and provided a compelling look into the mind of the killer, the fact that murderer was known may not have mattered. As the characters did little to drive the story, I was uninterested in the fact that the story largely focused on the uninformed character and their quest to find the identity of the killer. Final Thoughts Overall, the novel was anticlimactic. There is a reason that most crime thrillers reveal the killer at or near the end. The reader expects it. This may have worked as a character driven novel, a la Tana French, but it did not work here. I read the novel to the end but was left unimpressed.Content AdvisoriesAs this was one of about six books I read over a week long vacation, I am bit fuzzy on the content specifics. Please be aware that these are likely to be less accurate than normal.Scale 1 – Lowest 5 – HighestSex-3.5 The killer was a psychotic criminal who obtained sexual gratification through the act of murder. This theme in and of itself will be disturbing to some readers. That said, it mild to moderately graphic in description and was not pervasive. Language-3.5 To play it safe, I am giving this a three. There low use of mild language and some low use of the f-word. The usage of all adult language was generally low. Violence-3.5 There is some description of some historical murders and multiple murders as the novel progresses. The description of the historical murders were moderately to highly graphic. We are informed that a murdered body was dismembered but it is not described. Several murders take place with moderate violence (single blows to the head)and some murders are not violent (poisoning).

  • Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
    2019-04-15 19:56

    Coincidence upon coincidence upon coincidence. Did I mention that the book is chock full of coincidences?My bullshitometer was off the charts with this one. Full review to come.

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2019-03-23 16:35

    I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.You have got to love a good serial killer book right? Well I do anyway, this one was a bit different to a lot I have read and I really enjoyed every single word, it was a fast read for me as it grabbed me from page one to the last full stop. The Butcher is an aptly named serial killer due to his MO with his killing spree, he most certainly is not a likeable character. This book brings the criminal into the picture very early unlike a lot of crime books that might take time to reveal the villain.There is not a lot of long winded police procedural writing in this novel either, and a focus on intersecting family and external relationships to the killer was a nice change too, it's not all gore and guts, but it's got enough thrills, kills and moments of utter wonder at the depravity of some human beings (even if fictional).I liked the way the author explored the psychological aspect of the family connections, dysfunctional to say the least. Some characters are easy to warm to (Jason, Sanchez come to mind) and others I just did not even like (Matt) but that's because of the clever way they are portrayed. The Butcher killed a lot of women, a LOT and was caught and killed, but then AFTER his death more murders kept occurring, so the question was raised, is there another Butcher? A version 2.0? Or is this the same guy? Don't worry too much about working that one out, as the book will let you in on all the secrets early on. So you can be an excited bystander willing everyone to put the pieces together. This one gets 4.5 stars from me, it's the first time I have read Jennifer Hillier, but I will read some of her other books too, I suspect we will see more of her great writing in the future too. Fantastic read.

  • Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
    2019-03-29 17:47

    Let the eye rolling begin... This was just bad, plain bad. I have read Hillier before and quite enjoyed them. But this was a train wreck. I don't know why I stayed with it so long. I got to about 3/4th's of the way in and NOPE!

  • Patrice Hoffman
    2019-03-23 16:53

    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? Also, the desire to kill doesn't diminish with age. 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

  • Judy Collins
    2019-03-28 15:39

    Jennifer Hillier’s THE BUTCHER, is by far the evilest suspense psychological thriller—hooking you from the front cover, keeping you entranced until the last word. You then look up and say, “Wow, what just happened here?” No, he didn't. This is one twisted and sick guy . . . OMG!• Front Cover: Stunning-drawing you into this intriguing, sick, twisted, psychological mind• Publisher’s summary: Right on—a book I want to read!• The Story: THE BUTCHER was totally epic in every way. What a chilling ride – Fast-paced, heart-pounding, suspenseful, holding your breath to see what would come next. • The author: Jennifer Hillier, what an imagination! She masterfully crafts each of the characters, with a unique cleverly twisted plot-Brilliant!In 1985 Captain Edward Shank of the Seattle PD made his reputation and a name for himself in this town, by apprehending the Beacon Hill Butcher, a serial killer who terrorized the Pacific Northwest. Everyone was grateful to Shank and his team, as most of the victims were young teenage girls. Flash forward thirty years and now Edward Shank is retired, a widower and transitioning his life into a retirement village—giving his home in the center of Sweetbay, one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, and also one of the most desirable—to his only heir, his grandson, Matt.Now eighty years old, bored, with a bad hip, arthritis, he spends his days playing checkers, dreaming of the good ole days, and watching TV—his days of glory are long gone.Matt, his grandson, an award-winning chef, owns the most successful restaurant in Seattle with recipes from his beloved grandmother (Iola), who is deceased. In addition to his famous restaurant, Adobo, he operates gourmet food trucks and now has gained the attention of a Fresh Food Network TV show. Matt inherited his grandfather’s height, build, and personality, but his love for food and cooking was all from his grandmother.With all his fame, and work, Matt is stressed, self-centered, ambitious, narcissist, hot-tempered, and has anger management issues. There are three things Matt loves most in the world: Adobo, the Seahawks, and Samantha (last). Not sure why he is even in a relationship. Samantha (Sam), a writer of ‘true crime’ books with an interest in turning ‘The Butcher of Beacon Hill into her next venture, as she believes her mother was killed by THE BUTCHER, even though it was several years (1987) after he was killed.She is on a mission with the help of a local police chief and an online website chat room-- to find clues about her mother’s killer. What happened to her mom? Sam is ready to get married and settle down with Matt, her boyfriend of three years. She hopes Matt will want her to move into this beautiful large home so they can begin their future. Sam is loved by everyone and especially close to her childhood and pro ex-football player, Jason. (she needs to ditch Matt). Soon after Matt moves into his home, he begins renovations with the installation of a hot tub. The construction crew uncovers a locked crate. When he uncovers the contents of the crate, his life will never be the same.What will he do with this information? His stress heats up as he uncovers hidden dark secrets of the past, as he attempts to withhold this secret, as decides it's best, as he does not want to lose all he has worked so hard to attain; however, his girlfriend Sam might make that impossible.However, this is only the beginning of what lies ahead – a nightmare with twists and turns you do not see coming!At the beginning of the book you find out the identity of the real butcher; however, readers have no clue what is in store next. The murders did not end in 1985. What happens next will blow your mind- one surprise after another. The plot continues, focusing on new murders and how they intertwine with characters of the present and past.What makes this novel so different than the normal run-of-the-mill physiological chilling thrillers—-the human interest side; how Hillier masterfully intertwines realistic everyday characters –a chef, a writer, and an ex-police chief—a story which could happen to any of us. Taking readers inside the mind of one troubled and twisted man. (Gosh, make sure you do not look at him the wrong way or say the wrong thing, you may be dead within five minutes). He is never concerned about getting caught.Do you really know members of your family and loved ones? I hope I am never sent to a retirement home like this one! You better watch your back, your meds, and your tea! Makes you wonder about your family’s hidden dark past and secrets. There were really no real likable characters; however, in a book of this type, not sure you are meant to be warm and fuzzy with these psychos--it is more about entertainment. Gripping… From murder, rape, dismemberment, incest, poisoning, horror, torture, violence, sexual content, strong language, Viagra; cruel and gruesome—holding nothing back; keeping you on the edge of your seat until the end.Would recommend reading Hillier’s previous novels, Creep and Freak. This is an author to follow—she is right up there with the best of them!A special thank you to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. JDCMustReadBooks TOP 30 BOOKS OF 2014

  • Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
    2019-03-23 17:42

    Review to come

  • Erin Clemence
    2019-04-18 23:43

    This review is for the audiobook of “The Butcher” by Jennifer Hillier, read by Dan John Miller, published by RecordedBooks.Audio: 3 starsDan John Miller is the first American narrator I’ve heard since starting on audio books. I hope that this doesn’t speak for the rest of the American narrators I will explore. Although Dan John Miller is expressive and clear, his characterization could use some work (especially for the female roles). Although Chief/Edward was performed very well, it would’ve been preferred if a female role came in to read the role of Samantha. Dan John Miller’s version of Matt was very nasally/weak sounding (yet the character was supposed to be strong and masculine) and his version of Samantha made her sound like an imbecile. The audio version of this book, in this case, is not likely to hold a candle to the physical novel.Story: 4 starsJennifer Hillier is the author of “Creep” and “Freak”. This novel, “The Butcher” was released in 2014, and is the newest, second to her most recent release, “Wonderland”(2015).Edward Shank was a famous police detective, infamously known in his town as the “cop who brought down the Butcher”, a local serial killer who had been raping and killing women, and removing their left hands. Now retired, Edward has left his home to his grandson, Matt, a rising chef, while Edward moves on to an “seniors active living facility”. While doing construction on his new hosue, Matt finds a trunk buried in the backyard and when he opens it he quickly realizes that everything has changed. His life, his family, nothing is what he thought it was. Matt must come to terms with what to do with his discovery and quickly- or his girlfriend may be the Butcher’s next victim . This novel is full-out psycho/thrasher/thriller. The Butcher is a serial killer who rapes, murders and dismembers (the trifecta of psychotic murderers really), who is tracked for years by local police. The psyche of the Butcher was what interested me most in this novel, and I loved hearing about how he stalked his prey, and why he thought the things he did. He was definitely a purely, completely twisted character. My favourite, of course. The love triangle/romantic relationships in this story did not interest me that much. I did not particularly enjoy the character of Sam (although perhaps it was the way she was read) although she did add something to the plot. The romance factor could be a bit cheesy at times, and I didn’t really buy into the romantic feelings between Sam and Matt (for obvious reasons, as we come to find out). There were some unexpected parts of this novel, but most of it was predictable. It did not, however, take away from my overall enjoyment of this story. A pure blood and guts, psycho murderer story combined with family intrigue and buried secrets? Why, yes please.

  • Raven
    2019-04-05 23:48

    The book centres on Edward Shank, a retired Seattle police chief, now at the mercy of his health and struggling with his transition into residence at a seniors home. Widely acclaimed for halting the career of serial killer The Butcher 30 years previously, Shank is a highly respected figure, and a man who still affords a great deal of respect in Seattle society. Having passed the ownership of his home to his grandson Matt- an up and coming chef on the cusp of TV celebrity status- we see Shank adjusting to his change of life in his own inimitable and gruff fashion. Matt’s girlfriend, Sam, a journalist who has her own unfinished business with The Butcher, believing her mother was one of his victims, although at the time of her mother’s death, he had already been despatched to the afterlife by Shank. As her investigations continue, Matt unearths something nasty in his grandfather’s backyard, and so the shadow of The Butcher begins to loom large once again…Edward Shank is an absolute gem of a character, with Hillier slowly revealing the multi-faceted complexity he harbours, tempering his outward appearance of a curmudgeonly old man with little time or patience with his fellow seniors at the retirement home, with the far, far, darker side of his personality. This superb characterisation drives the book completely, as Shank’s less than favourable opinions of everyone he encounters is an endless joy, and the manipulative nature of his personality is front and centre throughout. As we become more enmeshed in the secrets of Shank’s past, and his true nature is revealed, I for one, was not that perturbed by it, as Hillier’s light comic touch almost desensitises us to the horrors that are unveiled, unlike Matt and Sam whose worlds are shaken off their axis by dear old Edward throughout. I don’t know how much it says about my own slightly warped sense of humour, but I absolutely adored the blackly humorous fatalism of this book and found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions, in much the same way as Six Feet Under or Dexter with their darkly humorous take on mortality.There are grim surprises throughout, underscored by some quite visceral violence, but this for me was the central appeal of the book, played out with this wonderful tongue-in-cheek feel to the whole affair. Fuelled by Hillier’s pokes at modern celebrity, sex, death and the sheer inanity of aspects of our everyday lives shuffling on the mortal coil, this book is not only a credible serial killer thriller, but wholly entertaining to boot. Yes, there are some slightly awkward coincidences in the plot but no matter, as generally I found I just glided through the narrative, and this was genuinely a book that I found difficult to put aside (involving reading in the wee small hours). With a couple of reveals that encouraged reactions of ‘ ew…gross’ and a bit of shifting in my seat, I was hooked throughout, and am delighted to say that the appeal of the book crosses generations. Boring my mum- herself a fairly impatient and outspoken senior- about how much fun this book was, she read it too. In two days. Loved it. So if you just fancy a pacey thriller, with a few pull-you-up moments, a nice dollop of violence and a darkly playful edge, you’d be as well to read this. A devilishly dark read, but an absolute hoot.

  • Desere
    2019-03-21 18:42

    This was by far one of the best thrillers I've ever read. It was so bone-chilling I could actually feel the killer slicing into his victims, and you can bet I looked around more than once thinking I heard something!The book's focus is mainly on the killings but also of the people directly related to the killer, of course they have no idea they are related to him, but this of course just added to the thrill of it all.I will say that I felt slightly disappointed that the author revealed the killers identity to me within the very first chapter, but truly only momentary disappointment, because this little twist, made it so much more on edge. Here I was as reader in full control of the knowledge yet I could not do anything about it.I had to sit back and watch it all unfold, okay so I lie I did not sit and relax at all I was jumping out of my seat every-time the killer zero's in on a victim or gets within slicing distance. You can bet me yelling out loud " Oh heck she's a goner" and " Oh bloody heck get out man, get out now!" made those around me sit up, take notice and then they ran !The author's descriptions of scenes were so intense it totally blew me away, and I am talking about more than once. I could actually vividly picture the blood, the gore, the guns blazing and I felt the victims fear and anger. The characters were all extremely realistic, none of that glossy fake perfect killer and victim types, nope the characters were so real they might as well have been based on true people. They are flawed just like you and I, they get confused, angered and scared out of their wits just like us real folks and this made the read even more astounding!. Word to the wise, if gruesome, graphic and truly deep, dark and very, very disturbing is not you idea of a good read, this book is not for you. If however you also get stuck on those reality killer shows, where you cannot stop yourself from watching to find out the what and who and how, this read is right up your alley. You won't turn into a killer but you will most definitely be transported into the mind of a truly phenomenal psychologically screwed killer that acts and looks just as normal as you and me. The language is crass at most times, but you need to remember that you are inside the mind of a killer and since when has a killer ever worried about watching his language!This was the first time I read anything by this author but you can bet it won't be the last. The author has a brilliant way of writing , it but me front and center for all the action and one helluva pure adrenalin rush of a ride. A truly bone chilling, fascinating ,slice and dice, keep reading you know you want to exceptional read! 5/5 star review " To catch the butcher you need to think like him, or is that be him?"

  • Jimmmunchel
    2019-03-28 16:57

    KICKED MY ASS AROUND THE BLOCK AND BACK!THE BUTCHERBy Jennifer HillierAnyone that knows me has some idea about my obsession with Jennifer Hillier’s past thriller. In my humble opinion both FREAK and CREEP are the sleepers that ‘creep’ into the recesses of your mind and nestle there and fester way after you are finished reading them. Not a pretty description but appropriate.I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to receive an arc of her newest stand alone-sih thriller THE BUTCHER. The ‘ish’ is there due to Ms. Hillier’s ability to weave her past novels into her latest so perfectly. For many years the Seattle area had been terrorized by ‘The Beacon Hill Butcher’ His trademark trophies and his underlying cruelty had brought national attention. A young police chief Edward Shank had discovered who was behind all of the mayhem and shot him dead leaving his own house. Rufus Wedge’s reign of terror ended that day and all of Seattle breathed a momentary sigh of relief. Flash forward thirty years and now Edward Shank is retired, a widower and transitioning his life into a retirement village and giving his home to his only heir, his grandson, Mark,Mark is a well established chef and restaurateur and has caught the attention of a food network, Life is good for Mark. He has a very beautiful girlfriend Samantha who is a writer of ‘true crime’ books with interests of turning ‘The Butcher of Beacon Hill into her next venture entitles it ‘Butcher 2.0.One day while digging up the back yard at his grandfather’s with hope of putting in a hot tub, Mark unearths a legacy he is not prepared for. What he finds even ‘creeped’ me out! And that is saying something! I like to call a great thriller as it unwinds and unravels (I use that phrase a great deal when reviewing) the loose threads that get caught up in the winds of change. As the loose threads continue to unravel, Mark’s world slides toward an abyss that has the potential of taking everyone he loves and everything he has worked so hard to accomplish in with him.Okay, here the ‘skinny’ one why I love Jennifer Hillier’s thrillers. They deal with everyday people. There are no car chases thrown in for effect. There are no huge plot twists that can’t be explained away with common sense. Mostly, I love the way she develops her characters and has no problem ending their life when she sees fit. The reader can tell Ms. Hillier is driving and she is not asleep at the wheel. Jim Munchel No Stranger 2

  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    2019-04-13 22:49

    4.0 StarsThe Butcher is a highly entertaining & addicting page-turner. This not a traditional mystery, but rather a psychological thriller, since the identity of the villain of the story is exposed in the first chapter. The story is a touch unbelievable with so many coincidences that will require reader to suspend their disbelief and just go along with the downward spiral of events.The villain was the most interesting and well developed character in this story. Vulgar and sociopathic, this is not a likeable person. In comparison, the other characters were fairly average. The relationship drama felt largely unnecessary. Given the nature of the story, there are some grisly aspects to these serial killer murders, yet the details should be palatable for the average thriller reader. I personally really enjoy Hillier's storytelling abilities. I read this incredibly quickly because I needed to know how the story would end. I would recommend this one to any fans of psychological thrillers who enjoy rooting for the bad guy.

  • Sue
    2019-04-11 23:47

    I wish to thank the author and the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for a free download of "The Butcher" by Jennifer Hillier via NetGalley.In 1985 police chief Edward Shank, tracked down and killed a serial killer nicknamed as the "Beacon Hill Butcher", a psychopath, who operated out of the Seattle area. Now thirty years later, Shank is retired, living in a retirement home, and gave his grandson, Matt, his Victorian house.Matt, a young chef and restaurateur, while making renovations to the house, comes upon a locked crate and picks the lock...and what secrets he finds he will never forget.Matt's girlfriend, Sam, a writer, researcher has plans to write about the Butcher, and has suspected that the butcher murdered her mother, two years after the butcher was killed. Sam was determined to find the truth, and investigates her suspicions that lead right to Matt's secret.I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this novel. I know that it was listed as a psychological thriller, but I consider it more of a psychological drama. In this novel, the author revealed the ID of the killer in the first few chapters, so the book became more of a psychological character study than thriller, although the last bit is fast paced as we approach the resolution. So right at the beginning the reader knows the Who...the How...and the Why. But I kept asking myself why would she do this? I understand that this allows the author to write in the killer's POV, and can reveal his thought processes.Matt in particular struggles under the burden of huge secrets & faces a moral dilemma. Coming clean would ensure a psychopath could never kill again but will ruin his life. It's a test of his integrity as he tries to rationalize his decisions. Can you live with not doing the right thing? The novel is well written, and the characters are engaging. This is the story of the Hero who was really the Monster.The reader is forced to sit back and allow the story and horror to enfold.

  • Mike Patrick
    2019-03-21 15:40

    This would be a straight to Red Box movie starring Ian Ziering as Matt and a Clint Eastwood wannabe as The Butcher. Very "As The World Turns" with its clunky plotting and sleazy character development! I feel like taking a long shower to wash the story away with it's disturbing imagery. Take care y'all!

  • Wendy
    2019-04-16 20:38

    I just love discovering a new mystery/thriller author and Jennifer Hillier is the one! I now must read "Creep" and "Freak" after thoroughly enjoying "The Butcher".The author creates a monster, The Butcher, and although we know the identity of this horrific villain at the beginning of the story, this doesn't take away from the shocking and spine-tingling gruesome events that follow.A wonderful cast of characters and a truly unpredictable plot make "The Butcher" a top-notch psychological thriller that you will have difficulty putting down. A delightfully creepy read!

  • Brandie
    2019-03-22 15:56

    Where's the suspense in know the killer at the very beginning. It started out interesting but then I got bored and lost interest. Especially when I knew what the outcome was going to be. Disappointing because I really liked this authors previous book.

  • Ryan Dejonghe
    2019-04-13 22:39

    Sorry for the crude analogy, but this book climaxed before the foreplay. What book reveals the killer in chapter 2? Seriously! I was happily reading along, then BAM, here’s a video of the killer doing disturbing things to his victims. The remaining contents of the book teased along the characters in all-too-convenient plot points that lead to a predictable and ordinary conclusion. Shouldn’t we have been guided along by clues before the big reveal?Speaking of conveniences—wowzers. Where do we begin? How about with the sudden appearance of a bear? Right when the serial killer is set to make his final cut…growwwwl….roarrrrr…a bear shows up. Might as well include alien rescue. Dues ex machina much? And then, years after this victim escapes the killer’s cleaver, she later happens to find smeone within the killer’s close network, who happens to be involved in a book about the killer. However, for god-knows-why, the victim doesn’t want to reveal the killer’s name. Guess what happens to her? (I won’t spoil it, but you can probably guess.) Shall I go on? How about the killer’s relative that discovers those ghastly videos, which include dismemberment and rape. That relative is in shock and tears. But then…”oops” that relative accidently kills someone and needs the killer’s help covering up the body. Keep in mind, the killer is 80, living in a retirement community, and (as the book’s description implies) is still killing folks. Killer Grandpa.The book wasn’t terrible. It was interesting and a quick read, but it was tied together too conveniently with no guesswork needed. Maybe that was the point. Or not.Thanks to Gallery books for providing me with an electronic copy of this book for review.

  • Erin
    2019-03-30 18:51

    I'm ashamed to admit I had no expectations going into The Butcher. I'd never heard of Jennifer Hillier and while I was vaguely interested in the premise, the deciding factors in my reading the book were that it'd recently been made available to me via Netgalley and it wasn't historic fiction. An in-between read, it wasn't supposed to be a compulsive page turner nor was it supposed to completely overwhelm my imagination for the two days I spent reading it. It wasn't supposed to, but it did. Some reviewers have expressed distaste for the identity of the book's villain being made evident in the early chapters of the narrative and I've got to admit, I find this ridiculously amusing. Why? Probably because The Butcher isn't a whodunit. It's a thriller folks, a suspense. A three hundred and fifty-two page adrenaline rush. The question isn't who did it, it’s who is gonna hit the finish line first, I will note Hillier asks a lot of her readers in that she expects her audience to accept a lot of highly coincidental circumstances and events, but the sheer intensity and consistent high speed momentum of the narrative led me to overlook both the predictable and contrived. In this genre, I think a story's velocity more important than its ambiguity, that success is measured by the reader's inability to put the book aside and by that definition Hillier scored a home run.Another highly appealing aspect of the book can be found in its cast. No one is a saint, most of them are flawed and the one, well, the one is one severely twisted scumbag. None of Hillier's characters feel forced or familiar and even supporting characters like PJ, Lilac, and Karen have an attractive authenticity about them.A violent, crass and at times, gruesome piece, The Butcher isn't one for the sensitive or squeamish. Dramatic, dark, and disturbing, Hillier's third release isn't to be missed.

  • Paul Pessolano
    2019-04-12 18:43

    “The Butcher” by Jennifer Hillier, published by Gallery Books.Category – Mystery/Thriller Publication Date – July 15, 2014If you have read Jennifer Hillier’s first two books, “Creep” and “Freak” you know that you are in for a treat.Matt Shank is a very ambitious man, so ambitious that his three favorite things are his restaurant, the Seahawks, and his girlfriend. Yes, his girlfriend is number three on the list and he treats her as his third love. Matt’s grandfather was the Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department. He became chief largely on his bringing the “Beacon Hill Butcher” to justice. Well, he really wasn’t brought to justice as he was killed during his arrest attempt. Some people believed that he would have never been convicted due to the fact that his arrest was based solely on circumstantial evidence.His demise was a great relief to the people of Seattle as “The Butcher” was a serial killer with a long list of young women to his name. Matt’s grandfather, “The Chief”, is moving into a retirement home and is giving his home to Matt. Matt, while doing some renovations, finds a chest with some gruesome contents. The contents seem to indicate that his grandfather may be “The Butcher”. Matt becomes embroiled in the mystery when he accidently kills one of his workers and asks his grandfather for assistance.“The Butcher” is without a doubt Jennifer Hillier’s best book to date. A story that will keep you turning the pages and wondering what will happen on the next page.The book borders on the gruesome and does contain some sexual content and strong language.

  • SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*
    2019-03-23 15:39

    This book was a mess.The characters are unlikeable,at best."Sam" is a mealy-mouthed dishrag,her reaction to one scene in this book is just criminal.The male characters are so creepy,and not in a good way,that I feel the reader has a hard time getting past it. It was also a little too "romancey",again in a creepy way, for me. Overall, I had a hard time finishing the book and I will be giving this author a skip in the future.

  • March Shoggoth Madness The Haunted Reading Room
    2019-04-08 21:47

    Tremendously disturbing, psychologically profound, unstoppable, implacable, unforgettable. Jennifer Hillier is a first-rate author. I am changed by this book in profound and unexpected ways.

  • Reading With Lucy
    2019-04-07 20:51


  • Maureen DeLuca
    2019-04-19 18:38

    Giving this a 3 star --- maybe 3.5 -- I first discovered Jennifer Hillier when I read Creep and then followed by Freak both of these books were a solid 4 star rating from me- ( If there were a 1/2 star rating - I most likely would have rated the both of them 4.5)This book was listed as a psychological thriller--- to me it was more of a 'drama' This book is a bit different- right off the bat we know who the Butcher is- so we know the who, the how and the why. So while reading this book - you are getting the story mostly from the Butcher's point of view. The story bounces from the past to the present - so we learn how the Butcher got away with all his murders , all these years. I did like the book- it was really a super fast read- and the only reason why I did read it was simply because I loved Creep and Freak. Looking forward to more of Jennifer Hillier books, I do like them - and if you are a fan of psycho-thriller type books- the stalkers, serial killer killer types where they terrorize , torture, cut them up-type books- boy oh boy- Jennifer Hillier sure knows how to tell that kind of story! Can't wait for more!

  • Yzabel Ginsberg
    2019-04-12 16:47

    (I got an ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Quotes liable to change upon publishing.)From now on, I'm going to maintain that this book was classified in the wrong genre.Let's be upfront: as a thriller, I'm giving it 2 stars, and that's being kind. It didn't keep me on the seat of my edge. It didn't give me, well, the thrills. The mystery wasn't so well-done, and rested upon a lot of coincidences, such as people stumbling upon others in the middle of a conversation. I see what the author did here: revealing who the killer is in the beginning (seriously, you know who it is in chapter 1), and stressing the "why", "how" and "will they take the fallout" aspects, rather than the "whodunnit" one; I'm not sure it worked properly, though. It may have worked better for me if the characters had been deeper, psychologically-speaking; their psyches were touched upon, sure, but not enough to offset the fact that without a whodunnit, it wasn't exactly the same. Readers looking for that may not find this book to their liking.But as a work of dark, dark humour? As a dark, twisted comedy? 4 stars.This novel took whatever disgusting things were in me and brought them to the light. At least, I think it did, since I found myself snickering and even laughing more than once. It's like watching a trainwreck: you're feeling horrible for doing so, but you can't help keep staring. It was the same thing here.Graphic, violent, sexualised killings. The male protagonist is a sociopath. The world revolves around himsel, and it's the most natural thing, and don't you dare act otherwise. He feels bad about someone dying, but not because the person died: because it might impact his success as a restaurateur and chef. The male deuteragonist is a psychopath with a steely, condescending opinion on people on general and women in particular. The girl tries to make sense of it all, the cops try to make sense of it all, to no avail. Other women get killed. And yet. Yet, it's funny. If it was made into a movie, I'd place it along "Burn After Reading" on my shelf. Think "what the hell just happened here, and why are all those guys dead?" funny. Or: "Oh, so they found the corpses of the Bay Harbour Butcher's victims... Wait, I'm the Butcher!" funny. If you snickered at Dexter trying to help the police catch the aforementioned Bay Harbour Butcher, fully knowing he's trying to catch himself, and has to sabotage the whole thing so that he can escape—cue in mistakes he barely manages to cover—then, yes, this novel may be for you.It was the same here. In fact, "The Clusterfuck" would make a perfect alternate title for this novel.What happens when you accidentally kill a guy, ask help from the one person whom you know is worse than you, and that person tells you to take the body out of the dumpster?“Okay, I’ll try.” He took a deep breath and tried not to think about his aching back. “But my back really hurts—”“Fuck your back,” Edward barked. “If you’re standing, it’s not broken. This is your ass on the line and right now tipping the goddamned dumpster is the only option we got. You want to get the body out or not?”“Yes, Chief.”“Then do what the fuck I say.”Indeed, son. The garbage men will be here in four hours, so stuff cut the I-hurt-my-back whining. This is Bumbling Serial Killer 101 for you.He knew they wouldn’t be able to save him. One hundred milligrams of Viagra combined with all the medications for his heart and blood pressure that he was already taking... the old guy didn’t stand a chance.Retirement communities for active seniors? Oh, gee, everybody knows those are places where residents keep humping each other, and the nurses really aren't surprised to find old guys overdosing on Viagra. Poisoned? The third death in two weeks? A killer? Here? Nah. It's all Viagra's fault.I'll let you imagine what happens when the girl, convinced that her boyfriend's cheating on her, tries to catch him in the act.So I laughed. And it was horrible, because people were dying in this novel, and the killer remained on the loose, unsuspected. Worse, everybody and their dog came to him for advice. Cosmic irony to the power of ten. Since the characters were not developed deep enough, it paradoxically put them in the roles of unwilling puppets, thrown into a series of coincidences, fuck-ups, and situations that make you facepalm because you just know how it's going to end, and it's going to suck for them, but you're going to chuckle anyway. Horrible, horrible readers that we are.As a real, serious thriller, I think this novel fails flat.As dark, partly slapstick half-comedy, it works. I liked it. I did.And I still think it should be marketed as so.

  • Suspense Magazine
    2019-04-11 22:49

    Sam and Matt have been together for three years, but Matt is still reluctant to move past the status quo. He is really busy with his new food truck, he’s about to star in a cooking show, and he has his grandfather’s house to renovate. Sam is a true crime writer that is obsessed with the “Beacon Hill Butcher” because she thinks he is the man that killed her mother. The problem with this theory is that “The Butcher” was already dead when her mother was murdered.Matt’s grandfather, the former chief of police, was the one that brought “The Butcher” down. To suggest he failed to bring the real killer to justice would be a major insult to “The Chief.” So, Sam doesn’t talk about her research much to Matt or his grandfather. Instead, she surfs the internet and finally she gets a break. But is it safe to meet this person that claims to know who the real “Butcher” is?I must inform the readers that the killer’s identity is revealed not long into the story. For some knowing this from the start might ruin the suspense element. HOWEVER...the story is written in such a clever way. What makes it so suspenseful is that you know who the killer is, but the characters do not. I have always found this to be very effective. My heart was galloping as I sat by helplessly watching a victim walk into a dangerous situation or perhaps as someone was saved at the last minute from becoming a victim. Once I got started I couldn’t stop reading, and I confess to having sweaty palms a few times. A thrill ride that will have your attention from start to finish! This one is 4.5 stars.Reviewed by Julie Whiteley

  • Jennifer Boyce
    2019-03-26 18:39

    An engaging psychological thriller and a fascinating glimpse of the human nature. The plot of this book is really quite unique. The mystery is revealed relatively right away but this book still manages to keep the reader guessing as to what is going to happen next, right up until the very end. It's a really unique way to set up a thriller, reminiscent of Gone Girl. Although the mystery of who "The Butcher" was is revealed at the beginning, the plot continues on focusing on some new murders and the lives of the characters (and how they relate to "The Butcher"). I was kept glued to the pages and definitely had no trouble finishing this book because of lack of plot.The characters in this book were phenomenal- lifelike and charismatic. All of the characters acted in a manner that i would expect real people to act in. They lost their temper like normal people (or maybe a little more so than normal, in some cases) and they had relationship difficulties just like everyone else, and they dealt with the fact that a serial killer was lurking in their midst extremely well. The writing style of this book was pleasant to read. The author writes in a crisp, refreshing tone with a good amount of description and realism. I wasn't left confused as to whom was speaking during any point of the story and found the storyline itself easy to follow. This author definitely understands how to write a good thriller and I will definitely be reading more by her.I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

  • Carla *Jen7waters*
    2019-03-26 16:57

    I read The Butcher last year but failed to post a review then, I remember I even knew what I wanted to write but shame on me, I didn't execute. For me, this was a disturbingly fantastic read, I was intrigued and utterly horrified from beginning to end with the butcher character, the whole cold case, and especially worried about Sam’s fate. Sam is the heroine of this story and it’s so scary how close she is to the butcher and to another murderous, psychotic, dangerous, so dangerous character all the time. My anxiety levels went through the roof!The author did a fabulous job with the narration, while I was reading it I felt like I was really inside the sickening, delusional minds of these terrifying and unstable characters, and I also felt the heart stopping horror of the victims.This book is perfect for fans of crime shows like Criminal Minds (like myself). (I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

  • Brenda Ayala
    2019-04-16 18:50

    This was a darkly fun book to read! It's not really twisty or turny like the blurb may have you think, and people are being ruthless about this book. I'm guessing that may have to do with just how many things tie in together--it's so extremely unlikely you know it's a load of codswallop. Doesn't stop it from being fun though, I can tell you that. You know pretty much exactly what's going to happen the whole way through and because you're omnipresent with everything here, whenever a character finds out something dastardly you're just like, "Duh." But again, this is what makes this so fun.I was ridiculously happy watching Matt's downward spiral. That poor guy had no idea what was coming, and instead of handling it like a man he ran and cowtowed to his grandfather (view spoiler)[or should I say father? (hide spoiler)] and made his life so much worse. It was deliciously morbid.Of course, the star of the novel is The Butcher himself. I loved his character arc and I loved how each tiny portion of his past murders were brought forth. I was gleeful whenever it was his turn to be the main honcho. Plus, I love the emphasis on Filipino food. My boyfriend is Filipino and I've been force-fed by his family so many times I've lost count. You know in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, when the aunt asks if the boyfriend is hungry? He says no I ate, and I'm a vegetarian, and she goes, "Okay, I make you lamb." That's my boyfriend's family. Not that I'm a vegetarian, but it didn't matter if I just ate a five course meal--they'd give me another plate as soon as I came over. So I loved that the food was mentioned multiple times, and I will gladly read more from this author just for that alone.

  • Book Him Danno
    2019-03-25 17:53

    Lots of murder, rape, and suffering in this book. I think it was not a bad effort by the author, who is still new to writing I imagine. Predictable from the start and yet not a bad story line running through the book. I would have liked less predictability as a reader and a bit more mystery – there were too many clues from the author to the reader along the way. I am sure the author was worried the reader might feel robbed, but she gave plenty away without all the extra clues. This author needs to give her readers more credit for thinking on their own and not leading them along like a pack horse.If you like murder mysteries you might enjoy this fast paced book – short and quick to read – I started last night and finished up today. I think her next book will be better as her writing improves and hopefully she lets the reader come to their own conclusion without throwing so many clues at them – I like a bit more mystery in my mystery.Also, I think that Sam was a bit dumber then she should have been when it came to the mystery behind her mother’s death. Clues were screaming at me and yet she walked around like she was asleep the whole book. I do realize I know more than the characters, but please – if you give her brains she needs to keep those throughout the book and not lose them around the killers. And what happened to the girlfriend whats her name? Too many holes to mention. Anyone can write thrillers if you use enough f-bombs and rape - burn and torture your victims - me I like a bit more mystery in my books.