The 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.