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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Butcher Pen Road by Kris Lackey

When a body is found dressed in expensive fishing gear two sizes too big, fly-fishing gear and trout to hand, in a creek too small for that kind of fishing, Lighthorse policeman Bill Maytubby and county deputy Hannah Bond know something’s hinky. It’s not their jurisdiction, though, because although the dead man was found on Chickasaw land, he’s not from the tribe nor does it appear he was killed there.

To be honest, even by the end of the book, I still didn’t understand what was going on, or why even the victim had been killed. It’s incredibly opaque and confusing, with multiple side plots which only appear to relate tangentially to the actual case. Bill and Hannah are both interesting, but we don’t get much backstory for either of them - I understand this is the third book in a series, but you really do need to give your characters something of an introduction, so new readers to the series aren’t completely lost, as I was.

I really struggled to finish this. I didn’t really care about the victim, and even though the case was eventually solved as to who did the crime, the why was never satisfactorily explained, for me. And this was disappointing, because I wanted to like it; it deviates from the standard mystery thrillers by having two protagonists of colour, one Native in Bill and a Black woman in Hannah. It just fails in several of the primary requirements for a mystery thriller; keeping me engaged and invested throughout and answering most of not all of the questions raised by the end. I can’t give it more than two stars.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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