Skip to content

The Butcher And The Wren By Alaina Urquhart

The Butcher And The WrenThe Butcher And The Wren’ is the debut novel by Alaina Urquhart, co-host of the popular podcast, ‘Morbid’.

In deep Louisiana, a serial killer with a taste for medical experimentation is completing his most ambitious project yet. The media call him ‘The Butcher’ – and, so far, he’s proved impossible to catch. With her encyclopaedic knowledge of humanity’s darkest minds, and years of experience examining their victims, forensic pathologist Dr Wren Muller is the best there is. The longer the Butcher’s killing spree continues, the more determined she is to bring him to justice. And yet, he continues to elude her. As body after body piles up on Wren’s examination table, her obsession grows. Pressure to put an end to the slaughter mounts. And her enemy becomes more brazen.

Who better to write a book about serial killers than Alaina Urquhart, co-host of ‘Morbid’, a podcast about serial killers. With her extensive knowledge, of personality and characters, I figured that ‘The Butcher And The Wren’ would be a fascinating and addictive story and it certainly was!

The story is seen from the narrative of Jeremy and Wren. Jeremy is a sociopath who works a normal office job inputting data but also enjoys kidnapping people, torturing them before leaving their bloodied bodies for Wren to look after. As the bodies mount up in the most gruesome manner, as a forensic pathologist, Wren is one of the last people to see the victims and figure out what became off them. But as Wren tries to get into Jeremy’s mind who the media have named ‘The Butcher’ due to the slain victims. She tries to find out what pushes a person to become a serial killer and Jeremy begins his killing spree a bit closer to home.

I loved this story, I’ve always had an interest in serial killers and criminology and have subscribed to a few murder podcasts and I’ll most certainly be adding ‘Morbid’ to the list.

The story is an in-dept exploration of the human mind and behaviours and it’s fascinating to see the narrative of Jeremy, who appears emotionless and completely stable in his actions. Reading the narrative of both characters, gave a cat and mouse vibe story, which was almost like a countdown to whether Jeremy would ever be stopped and I found myself rapidly devouring the book, as Wren got closer to Jeremy.

Although the story is wonderfully dark and atmospheric, with the swampy, humid Louisiana air and the unfortunate people that Jeremy preyed upon, there is an element of humour in the story that balances the goriness of the victims as well as the procedures that Wren performs.

With intense characters, storyline and short, snappy chapters that were easy to absorb, ‘The Butcher And The Wren’ is a fantastic debut, cleverly written, thoroughly researched and slightly reminiscent of ’Dexter’, a must for all fans of crime!

You can buy ‘The Butcher And The Wren’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Local Gone Missing By Fiona Barton

Local Gone Missing‘Local Gone Missing’ is the latest book by Fiona Barton.

Elise King moves into the sleepy seaside town of Ebbing. Illness has thrown her career as a successful detective into doubt, but no matter how hard she tries to relax and recuperate, she knows that something isn’t right.Tensions are running high beneath the surface of this idyllic community: the weekenders in their fancy clothes, renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes. A town divided, with the threat of violence only a heartbeat away. This peaceful world is shattered when two teenagers end up in hospital and a local man vanishes without trace. Elise starts digging for answers, but the community closes ranks, and the truth begins to slip through her fingers. Because in a small town like this, the locals are good at keeping secrets.

I love Fiona Barton, ever since I read ‘The Widow’ I loved her dark and observational writing.

‘Local Gone Missing’ is an interesting story about a small town called Ebbing everyone knows everyone’s business and when local business Charlie Perry goes missing and then turns up dead. The town is in shock particularly after a music festival nearly kills two teenagers after taking drugs. The town has never seen as much action and when Elsie King, a detective who’s recovering from breast cancer finds herself helping out with the investigation along with budding Agatha Christie, Ronnie.

The story is seen from multiple narratives that adds an insightful slant to the story. There’s Dee, a cleaner for some of the interesting people in the Ebbing community, who’s husband is at the heart of the investigation, her childhood is dark and troubled and she’s determined that her son Cal will not suffer the same fate. I really enjoyed Elsie, she’s trying to take a break from work but it’s hard when it’s literally on her desktop and when the case is led by her ex boyfriend, old feelings and drama occur. There’s also inclusions from Charlie, a charismatic who’s finding it hard to keep all the women in his life satisfied.

The story reads like an introduction to a new series with DI Elsie King leading the charge, which is a different angle from Fiona’s previous books. The story is atmospheric and gripping with a range of complex and fascinating characters with different stories and dramas that all weave together in this thriller. As the story flows and we see the character progression, with a combination of comedy and drama that makes for gripping reading.

Packed with gossip, secrets and deceit, ‘Local Gone Missing’ is a thrilling police procedural
and dramatic story that’s cleverly written and packed with twists.

You can buy ‘Local Gone Missing’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Book News – Jane Fallon Releases New Book Called Just Got Real

Just Got RealQueen of the revenge story, Jane Fallon is back with another deliciously wicked story called ‘Just Got Real’.

What the back cover says –

When happily divorced Joni is reluctantly talked into joining a dating app, she is surprised to quickly hit it off with Ant. Phone calls and texts soon evolve into a plan to meet up. Which is a problem, as Joni’s profile picture is of someone else.

Joni daren’t confess her lie. Yet unable to stop thinking about what might have been, she hatches a plan to ‘meet’ Ant in real life without revealing who she really is.

Once she and Ant are an item, however, it’s soon clear that the only thing Ant was honest about was his profile picture. He’s still online dating. And intimately texting other women.

So Joni contacts them: they need to know. And once they’re comparing notes on Ant, upset turns to thoughts of revenge.

But how do you get your own back on a truly heartless man?

You can pre-order ‘Just Got Real’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd June 2022.

Don’t Let Him In By Howard Linskey

Don't Let Him In‘Don’t Let Him In’ is the latest book by Howard Linskey.

Eriston is a small town. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows your name – and your secrets. Rebecca hasn’t been back in years, but she grew up in the shadow of the dark local legend. There have always been deaths in Eriston – more than can easily be explained. People dying in their houses, behind locked doors. Her father Sean had always warned her of the dangers. Don’t let him in. When Rebecca returns, she discovers that her father wasn’t willing to let the legend lie. He was on the verge of uncovering the town’s darkest truth. He thought he was on the trail of a killer. Sean knew too much. Now he’s dead.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Howard and it was a fantastic introduction to a new author.

Written from the perspective of Rebecca Cole, she returns home after the sudden death of her father. What was suspected to be natural causes, Rebecca thinks otherwise when it’s revealed that her father was writing a story about ‘The Chameleon’, a man that has terrorised the small seaside town for years, killing women and their disappearances. A journalist like her father, Rebecca decides to carry on his story and help solve the mystery unaware that she’s being watched and that her life is now on a countdown.

This is a classic psychological thriller, that I immediately sank into. Rebecca is a great character, she’s a strong woman who refuses to become a statistic and won’t stop until she discovers the truth. It’s interesting to see her return to her home town and reignite old friendships and relationships.

The story is quite vividly written and Howard portrays the seaside town with the desolate lighthouse wonderfully and it’s so atmospheric and eerie. The story is packed with characters, some incredibly unlikable like the DC Hall, who’s less honourable in his job and Connor Owen who’s keen to buy Rebecca’s family home for developments. One character who’s particularly fascinating is DI Green, who’s been obsessing with the cases for years and wants to work with Rebecca on the information that he’s found. He’s interesting in the respect that his colleagues don’t like him and find his behaviour strange.

I really enjoyed this book and the pace that it flowed at, the chapters are short and engaging and there’s continuous twists and reveals that really hooked my attention. Howard has also included short narratives from ‘The Chameleon’ and I found myself really studying these parts looking for clues and comparing them against the characters in the book. It also shone a light in police procedures and how corrupt it can be when someone vulnerable can easily become the scapegoat for a crime purely based on convenience and not actual evidence.

A suspenseful and eerie story that will have you double-checking the locks before going to bed, ‘Don’t Let Him In’ is the perfect psychological thriller to get lost in.

You can buy ‘Don’t Let Him In’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lost Property By Helen Paris

Lost Property‘Lost Property’ is the latest book by Helen Paris.

Twelve years ago her life veered off course, and the guilt over what happened still haunts her. Before then she was living in Paris, forging an exciting career; now her time is spent visiting her mother’s care home, fielding interfering calls from her sister and working at the London Transport Lost Property office, diligently cataloguing items as misplaced as herself. But when elderly Mr Appleby arrives in search of his late wife’s purse, his grief stirs something in Dot. Determined to help, she sets off on a mission – one that could start to heal Dot’s own loss and let her find where she belongs once more…

If you’re looking for a book that will tug at your heartstrings, then I wholeheartedly recommend this book. A story of discovery and friendship that made for emotional and reactive reading.

The story is seen through the narrative of Dot, who works in the Lost and Found and her sole goal is to reunite people with their lost goods. But when an elderly man loses his hold-all containing the purse of his beloved wife, Dot is determined to get it back to him, Dot is just as lost in real life, with her mother in a nursing home battling dementia, her father tragically died and he was the person that Dot really connected with. Her elder sister Philippa was a typical girl and was her mother’s favourite, whilst Dot loved her father and their adventures together.

Dot is a wonderful character, she’s kind with a big heart who doesn’t like change and when her sister wants to sell the ofamily home, she’s against the idea and finds herself trying to run away from reality.

The story is beautifully written and really encapsulates the concept of lost and found. Dot is lost in her life since the sudden death of her father, a man that she idolised and having that major role model in her life has left her in limbo. Her job helps reunite people with things that are genuinely important to them and this makes for tender reading in parts. Her mother is also lost, battling dementia and forgets her daughters and instead lives in the past with her husband and happier times.

A storyline that will stay with you, long after the you reached the final page, ‘Lost Property’ is a poignant and witty debut about reconnection and rediscovering your way in life.

You can buy ‘Lost Property’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.