The Butcher and the Wren is a thriller about murder, as most thrillers are. It takes place in Louisiana and we watch as a medical examiner and her friend, a lieutenant with the police force race against time to stop a brutal murderer who may have done this before. Not only that, but we get to peek into the mind of the man who has always enjoyed hunting, always been infatuated with lobotomies and death.
It had been a while since my last thriller, so I decided to give this one a try. Was it diverse? No. Was it all that new and interesting? Not really. But the methods that the author uses were really cool, in a gruesome sort of way.
The suspense is great and I love how we get the perspective of both the medical examiner and the methodical killer. They are so different that they pair perfectly with each other. The only thing is that I feel there were only three truly thought out characters in this entire novel and that kind of made me a bit sad. I felt like the author had more room to play. However, when the author gives us that twist, it hits us right in the face and then bits and pieces begin to line up that we weren't expecting to be breadcrumbs. It was beautifully constructed in that way and was extremely satisfying.
SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD!!!!
The strangest thing about this novel is that it did everything right except for the end. The ending was so abrupt that I hesitate to even call it a cliffhanger, it was more like we walked right off of the cliff and we never even realized that it was there. I am all for not knowing what happens, I am all for criminals walking off into the sunset too, however this felt like the author just didn't know what else to do and so ended the narrative and was done with it. There are tons of questions that are left unanswered and even before that I wish there were parts of the narrative that we could have delved deeper into, for example, Wren's marriage. And how easily explained away the broken lock was on the door? It felt almost too easy after all the build up that the author had given us up to that point. Yet until the last quarter and the novel, I was utterly enthralled with it, so I won't complain too much.
Are there books you're reading that left you wondering just what the author was thinking when they finished it off?