Trust no one. Not even yourself.
When Natalie Powers returns home for the first time in thirteen years, she must convince everyone she has fully recovered from the mental illness, which has seen her institutionalised for most of her young life.
But instead of being welcomed back, Natalie enters a baffling world of deception. She must fight her way through the lies in order to discover the truth about her mother’s sudden disappearance sixteen years earlier. To do this, Natalie must also try to make sense of the hazy memories from the past that continue to haunt her.
In the village of Little Downey, everybody appears to harbour a mysterious secret, including her father, Frank, the village butcher, who refuses to discuss the circumstances surrounding Natalie’s mother’s disappearance, but who can Natalie trust if not her own father? Especially when it becomes clear her protector and confidante, Dr Moses, is not all he appears. Meanwhile, a spate of unexplained clifftop suicides has seen the seaside resort go into decline. Are the villagers somehow involved or is something more sinister at work?
Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Natalie must make sure her own frailty and self-doubt does not catapult her back to the mental institution before she can uncover the truth…
Hi and welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for The Butcher’s Daughter! Many thanks to Heather Fitt from Bloodhound Books for the kind invitation to partake and for providing me with an e-copy!
The Butcher’s Daughter starts when Natalie, a.k.a. the butcher’s daughter, returns home to Little Downey after having been away for thirteen years in a nearby psychiatric hospital. Right away, I got a sense of dread and a feeling of what the hell is wrong with these people?! Because everyone seems to be acting really strange. Or are they? Maybe it’s just Natalie’s imagination? Natalie’s father, his help Daniel, the townsfolk, the gypsies that live nearby, Natalie’s psychiatrist, they all seem to be hiding something. Or are they? Maybe Natalie is just overly sensitive, or too paranoid. Very soon I trusted absolutely no one. Not Natalie, because I could not for the life of me figure out how reliable or unreliable she was as a narrator, how trustworthy her point of view was. Not her father or Daniel, who seemed so shifty. Not the mysterious gypsies. Trailing Natalie felt like a descent into madness. But, you know, in a good way!
Eventually, we end up with a topic that took me by complete surprise, of all the things I was expecting, that was not it. I won’t name it here, it would be a major spoiler, but, although used in books and films before, it felt rather unique to me, very horror-esque and a welcome departure from the beaten path many psychological novels tend to stick to religiously. With this topic in mind, the tension was even more palpable, I was at tenterhooks throughout! So bear in mind, this is not the typical psychological thriller set in a small town, you will have to suspend disbelief occasionally. I wouldn’t say the premise is impossible, let’s just say it’s very unlikely… I hope!
I for one enjoyed this ride tremendously and I can’t wait to see what Jane comes up with next, and to explore her earlier work!
A mysterious psychological thriller with clear elements of horror, The Butcher’s Daughter is not for the faint-hearted, but if you enjoy both genres, this is the one for you!
Be sure to check out the other stops on the blitz: