The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart

Blog tour: 13 September to 31 October 2022


Wren was never afraid of the dark. Until she learned that some monsters are real …

In deep Louisiana, a serial killer with a taste for medical experimentation is completing his most ambitious project yet. The media call him ‘The Butcher’ – and, so far, he’s proved impossible to catch.

With her encyclopaedic knowledge of humanity’s darkest minds, and years of experience examining their victims, forensic pathologist Dr Wren Muller is the best there is. The longer the Butcher’s killing spree continues, the more determined she is to bring him to justice.

And yet, he continues to elude her.

As body after body piles up on Wren’s examination table, her obsession grows. Pressure to put an end to the slaughter mounts. And her enemy becomes more brazen.

How far is Wren willing to go to draw the Butcher into the light …?

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

Set in the bayou (swamplands) of Louisiana, The Butcher and the Wren tells the story of a serial killer nicknamed ‘The Butcher’ and a forensic pathologist called Doctor Wren Muller, who we hear from in alternate chapters. This makes for fascinating reading and really helps to ramp up the tension as the cat and mouse chase hots up!

The story is quite fast paced with graphic and realistic descriptions of torture scenes and violence. Rather gruesome and stomach turning in parts! You can definitely tell the author works as an autopsy technician.

I was gripped by this intense and dramatic read and really liked the character of Wren Muller, who is tenacious, brave and determined. She has a good working relationship with the local police force, especially Detective John Leroux, and it’s fascinating to see them working together to try and hunt down The Butcher.

Things grew more frantic as Wren and the police got closer to discovering the truth and I was willing them to catch the serial killer, who was rather to full of his own intelligence and self-importance at times! It was interesting to see things from his point of view and learn how his mind worked and follow him on his awful journey.

The location was really well described and I could really imagine the damp, muggy and soggy atmosphere and environment, despite never having been anywhere similar.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Butcher and the Wren! The short snappy chapters were gripping and I was frantically turning the pages, desperate to see how it was all going to be resolved. The book was well written and cleverly plotted with some clever twists and turns. It was a chilling read at times and certain scenes had me gasping out loud!

I hope this is the start of a series and we get to hear more from the characters in this book. I’d love to get to know them better and find out more about their lives and pasts.

I hadn’t heard of Alaina Urquhart as I don’t usually listen to crime podcasts but my curiosity has been piqued so I’ll definitely check out Morbid and, hopefully, I can look forward to reading another book from the author soon!

Buy the book

The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in hardback, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks. See also Ethical Book Search.

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 per cent 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.

Instagram: @alainatothemax
Twitter: @AlainaToTheMax
Twitter: @AMorbidPodcast
Wondery: Morbid: A true crime podcast
Spotify: The Butcher and the Wren playlist

Blog tour

Thanks to Sriya Varadharajan at Michael Joseph for my copy of The Butcher and the Wren and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.


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