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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Butcher and the Wren

Narrator: Joe Knezevich,

Sophie Amoss

and Joe Knezevich

ISBN: 9781666621716

6 Hours, 23 Minutes

Publisher: Zando

Publication Date: 09/13/2022

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

From the co-host of chart-topping true crime podcast Morbid, a thrilling debut novel told from the dueling perspectives of a notorious serial killer and the medical examiner following where his trail of victims leads

Something dark is lurking in the Louisiana bayou: a methodical killer with a penchant for medical experimentation is hard at work completing his most harrowing crime yet, taunting the authorities who desperately try to catch up.

But forensic pathologist Dr. Wren Muller is the best there is. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of historical crimes, and years of experience working in the Medical Examiner's office, she's never encountered a case she couldn't solve. Until now. Case after case is piling up on Wren's examination table, and soon she is sucked into an all-consuming cat-and-mouse chase with a brutal murderer getting more brazen by the day.

An addictive read with straight-from-the-morgue details only an autopsy technician could provide, The Butcher and the Wren promises to ensnare all who enter.

My Review

From the popular true-crime podcast MORBID, co-host, and creator Alaina Urquhart comes an edgy killer thriller debut, THE BUTCHER AND THE WREN —bloody good!

Perfect for fans of Dexter, a cat-and-mouse game battle of wits, told from the POVs of a notorious evil serial killer and a determined medical examiner on a mission to bring him down.

A long-awaited delight...a thrill-ride escape!

Set in the alluring and sultry Louisiana, New Orleans, surrounded by the swamps and bayous, historic landmarks, jazz, music, food, heat and humidity, tarot card readings, and of course, ghosts, the dead, the cemetery, and a serial killer, all set the mood.

We are introduced to a mastermind serial killer, a sadist killer—Jeremy (known as The Bayou Butcher); chronically understimulated, he fed his own huger by experimentation. His father's early advice echoed in his mind over the years. "You want to learn about something, son? You have to open it up."

As a kid, he took out books at the library on lobotomies. He became entranced with the medical procedures of Dr. Freeman. We hear about his earlier time in a lab and his lab partners.

He blends in. Based on his profile Wren believes he was able to convince most of his victims to leave with him willingly. He is interested in causing chaos from afar, not becoming entrenched in it himself.

His grand return. Seven years. Seven years of plans and work.

"Wrens are truly magnificent little creatures. They signify rebirth and protection, immortality, and strength. Because of the wren's small stature, most larger birds and predators underestimate its incredible ingenuity and intelligence. But while technically fragile, the wren outwits its underprepared predator to come out on top when threatened."

Dr. Wren Muller is a Forensic pathologist in Louisiana. She is seeing cases she has not seen before. The serial killer leaves clues about this his next body drops. However, seems oddly familiar.

With the help of police detectives and others in her office, Wren tries to stay one step of Jeremy, but can she stop him before she becomes the next victim?

Wren is a fascinating character, and you will root for her to the end. The serial killer is evil, ruthless, and chilling. Move over, Joe there is a new psycho in town. A short book, which I read in one sitting. Morbid podcast fans and crime junkies will devour! A mix of crime, psychic, and medical thrillers.

The author brilliantly crafts a darkly, intelligent, addictive, and twisty unputdownable (hopefully a new series) psychological crime thriller mixed with humor, keeping you on the edge of your seat.

As an autopsy technician by trade, the author offers a unique perspective from deep inside the morgue with expertise. THE BUTCHER AND THE WREN is the perfect addition to the author's portfolio with her Morbid Podcast — an author to watch. I cannot wait to see what comes next, and my fingers are crossed for a series. #CoverCrush

For fans of authors Jennifer Hillier, Caroline Kepnes, and Lisa Gardner.

A special thank you to #Zando and #Negtalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also pre-ordered the audiobook and cannot wait since narrated by Joe Knezevich (a favorite narrator) and Sophie Amoss.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Sept 13, 2022

My Rating: 5 Stars


A Barnes & Noble Most Anticipated Book and Bookseller Favorite

A PopSugar Thriller to Sink Your Teeth Into

A SheReads Best Thriller of Fall 2022

“A read-in-one-sitting kind of book.” —Sarah Gelman, CBS Mornings

“Urquhart paints a tense and dangerous world for us right from the start and delivers it all with a skilled and evocative hand.”

—Aaron Mahnke, creator of the Lore podcast and author of The World of Lore series

“The Butcher and the Wren is perfect for fans of Dexter. Pitting a brutal serial killer against a determined medical examiner, the story is a pulse-pounding race against time. And the details the author weaves in due to her unique background as an autopsy tech heighten the realism and the suspense. Fans of Morbid will love the co-host’s debut novel.”

—Kaira Rouda, USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Favorite Daughter and Somebody’s Home

“Can a medical examiner outsmart a serial killer? The Butcher and the Wren will keep you waiting for an answer until the last bloody page. Prepare to be disturbed. A deliciously dark debut.”

—Rea Frey, bestselling author for Not Her Daughter and Secrets of Our House

“True-crime podcast co-host Alaina Urquhart showcases her propensity for the macabre in chilling cat-and-mouse thriller"

—Sabienna Bowman, Popsugar

“Another true crime podcaster brings their flair for the macabre to the page with The Butcher and the Wren. Co-host of the chart-topping Morbid podcast, Alaina Urquhart treats fans of pulse-pounding novels to a thrill ride pitting a notorious serial killer in a battle of wits against the medical examiner determined to bring him down.”

—Books-A-Million, “Our Favorite Debut Authors”

About the Author

Alaina Urquhart is the science-loving co-host of the chart-topping show Morbid: A True Crime Podcast. As an autopsy technician by trade, she offers a unique perspective from deep inside the morgue. Alaina hails from Boston, where she lives with her wonderful husband, John, their three amazing daughters, and a ghost puggle named Bailey. She is about 75 percent coffee, and truly believes she and Agent Clarice Starling could be friends.

Before writing her first psychological horror novel, she received degrees in criminal justice, psychology, and biology. When she isn't hosting Morbid, she hosts the Parcast original show Crime Countdown, and a horror movie podcast called Scream! Her days are usually spent either recording or eviscerating. The way she sees it, when she hangs up her microphone for the day, it's time to let the dead speak. WEBSITE







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