Standalone or series?
They call it a psychological thriller - I'm not sure where I would put it - it is definitely not thrilling.
How did I get this book?
The Amazon Vine Program offered it to me.
Why did I choose to read this book: The blurb sounded great! I love a bit of folklore mixed in with my mystery and thrillers, and with it being set in Ireland I hoped for great things.
And Now To The Review!
The books starts close to current day events with a photography exhibition setting up. This leads back to what you think is going to be the history and hopefully solving of the "murder" victim that was photographed. Not a gripping beginning but the setup is reasonable.
Firstly, let me start by saying ANY book like this will always be better if at least a little of it is tinted with some sort of actual history or myth, even connected in the slightest way. I did find the whole idea of the "Butchers" quite intriguing, until I reached out to Irish Author Susan Harris, who could find nothing about this being anything other than fiction. That in itself shouldn't be an issue, but it was for me. I think if the synopsis had made it clear that EVERYTHING in it was fiction, including the folklore, it would have set better expectations.
The jumping between now and 1996 was a little bizarre, just in the construct. The author refers to the modern day interruptions as interludes, which they are quite clearly not, and honestly, expect for the one at the beginning and the end, the middle ones could have been omitted entirely without any effect on the story.
This book just didn't work for me. I did want to know the "who did it" part, and I do like to try and get there before the author announces it. In this case I wish I hadn't bothered.
I just don't know who this book would appeal too, or who the marketing team thinks would actually enjoy this. I literally cannot think of a single person I could recommend it to. From my knowledge of the Irish, they wouldn't like that it is all made up, especially as they have enough legends and myths surrounding rural places as it is. People from England, like myself, would remember the Mad Cow Disease scare, and being reminded of it did nothing to edge the story in my favor. Now living in America, I can't see American's relating to it. There are too many colloquialisms that unless familiar with the ideas, especially from before the 1990s, would make it very unrelatable. Then finally you have the mystery, which was enough to catch my attention in the synopsis but is just not handled well and has a very unsatisfactory ending.
A generous 1 1/2 stars that I will round to a 2 for Amazon rating purposes. Most of that is for the idea of The Butchers themselves, that, even though it is fiction, was a well-developed notion.
Random Musings About The Entertainment World - From Books to TV and Anything Else That Comes To Mind!