From the acclaimed author of Creep and Freak whom #1 bestselling author Jeffery Deaver praised as a “top-of-the-line thriller writer,” a high-octane novel about lethal secrets that refuse to die—until they kill again.
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 tense, suspenseful, thoroughly creepy thriller” (Booklist), The Butcher will keep you guessing until the bitter, bloody end. Don’t miss this “thrill ride that will have your attention from start to finish” (Suspense Magazine).
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.