Drawing on his past as a journalist seeing the very worst that humanity has to offer, Grant McKenzie’s latest novel, The Butcher’s Son, depicts the horrific events surrounding the work of Child Protection Officer and co-owner of child support agency Children First, Ian Quinn, whose life is dedicated to protecting the young followed a personal tragedy.
Then, with Ian’s father dead, his personal life in tatters and only a few clues to point him in the direction of the truth, Ian sets to work unraveling a thrilling and exciting case.
McKenzie’s novel (read the full interview I did with him recently HERE) is fast paced and exhilarating, and although at times the dialogue lacks punch the strong characterisation and the expert plotting make up for this, setting the scene for a exciting and at times frightening novel.
There is also some great description that gives the book a haughty, literary atmosphere (in particular the sentence “ Rossella had pressed her lips to a dead ember deep inside his chest, and with a simple exhale of air made it glow again” will remain stuck in my head for a long while yet).
Fundamentally a thriller, The Butcher’s Son goes much deeper, exploring the worst and the best of the human experience. Strong characterisation, including the highly relatable protagonist Ian, is what really makes this book stand out, and I would highly recommend you check it out.