Marca's Reviews > Butchers Hill

Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman
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's review
May 31, 2010

it was amazing

This book follows Tess Monaghan at the beginning of her career as a private detective. One of her first clients is Luther Beale, nicknamed the Butcher of Butcher Hill because he killed a child in his neighborhood years ago trying to stop vandalism. Luther, now out of jail, wants Tess to find the other children, now in their late teens, in order to help them financially. Luther indicates that he has paid his dues and he now wants to give back. Tess starts looking for the children, but friends and associates doubt Beale’s motives. When the newly located teens are killed, it seems that Luther had other motives. Or is it that simple? In the mix is the case of Jackie, a mother looking for the daughter she gave up for adoption thirteen years ago. Again, the solution is not at all simple. But, I like Tess and those in her circle. They don’t annoy me as some other characters in novels do. Tess is flawed, but reasonably sensible. She doesn’t take affront at stupid things said to her. Or if she takes affront, she usually has a better response than a retort or “storming out the door.” She also does not have the requisite cliché’: a young son. She has a good-tempered greyhound. I also like that Tess progresses as time passes in the novels. She becomes a better detective. Eventually, she gets better digs. She is not stuck in a time-warp forever. Needless to say, Tess does untangle the mysteries of Luther Beale and Jackie, with help from her friends and family.

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