Butcher & Blackbird (Review)

Butcher & Blackbird (Review)


So this was a weird one. I was talking books with a surgery-follow-up doctor and I asked for a recommendation (as a reader, it is the most precious gift I can grant another reader). This female doc was listening to this book on audible and really liked it. You be the judge.

So Butcher & Blackbird is chick-lit at its most extreme. The two characters (kinda from the title, but properly named Sloane and Rowan) are both serial killers. To make them sympathetic, their victims are the lowest of society – other serial killers if they can, drug dealers and pedophiles in a pinch. Also, both have abused-backstories. So that makes them “okay”, I guess.

But then again, this is edgy chick-lit, so it’s very graphic. Sloane takes the eyes out of her victims and weaves maps in the background with fish line, taunting the FBI. And Rowan? I think he just goes into rages and beats the shit out of his victims.

So warning labels here – very graphic violence. Cannibalism. Torture. Surgery. I don’t think I can think of anything author Brynne Weaver leaves out. In fact, there is a handy-dandy list of what your are getting yourself into at the start (and I playlist of music for each chapter – another frontier in literature). But remember, Readers: their screaming, shrieking victims deserve it. It’s an eye for an eye (literally, in Sloane’s case).

While I was okay with the whole “Serial killers playing an annual hunting game” theme in the first half of the book, the romance in the second half was not something I really enjoyed. Possibly because I’m not female , or I’m old, or whatever, those rapturous-love passages stretched for long spans of pages. I don’t even think a man can produce that much semen (or that many erections). And the fact that the first time they “do it” (an entire chapter in itself), Sloane has a recently-set dislocated shoulder (and a massively boot-bruised face). Having bashed my own clavicle in a recent bike accident (requiring a half-year’s PT), I cannot imagine rambunctious, athletic sex with a pain-racked shoulder.

Hey, I’ve sold erotica too, and I’m of the less-is-more school on this. I don’t need every crazy thing described from every angle.

There were other little things that nagged at me – they seemed a bit sloppy at their own crime scenes (even letting their target’s victims escape (what, they won’t talk to the FBI?)). Or naming restaurants after their code names? Or having a circle of friends who know about their crazy hobby.

So that’s Butcher & Blackbird for you. If you really want to look into edgy vor/sex stuff, well, you’ve been briefed. I can’t do much more than that.

But I do have a question for my prostate doctor, next time I see her, about semen quantity and erection duration. I mean, holy shit.