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.
This summary does a good job of summarizing this book without giving away the meat. Anything else that I would share would be a spoiler. I don’t want to do that because this is a great book with a great mystery. It doesn’t take long for that mystery to come out, but when it does, it kind of leaves with you a sense of anxiety. You know something is going to go down, but if and when it the kicker.
While the story here is very strong, the characters really drive it. Matt, while successful, isn’t very likable. He’s got a temper, and is very self indulged, doesn’t really give people the time of day they need or deserve. Then you have Chief, Matt’s grandpa. He’s as close to a local legend as you can get. People love him. They know him by name. Now that he is aging, it’s not that he’s giving up on life, but what does he have to lose? That’s kind of his outlook in this book. And then there’s Sam. I really liked Sam’s character. She writes true-crime books and it’s something she got involved with because she thinks the Butcher killed her mom. She doesn’t have proof, it doesn’t really work out in the timeline, but she knows it. I love her passion, although the truth in this case may not be one that will leave you with a sense of closure.
If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller that will take you on several twists and turns through Seattle, I highly suggest this book. I love that you are face to face with the killer within 30 pages and then the rest is left up to fate.
I give The Butcher 5 out of 5 bookmarks.