I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Boatmore Butcher by L. Stephenson
Published by Dark Ink Fiction on 1 September 2023
Genres: Slasher, Horror, Horror Suspense, Horror Thrillers, Serial Killers
Source: Author, Blog Tour Organisser
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Three paramedics are drawn into the mystery of a bizarre spree unfolding on a quiet island town.
Devastated by the loss of his son, Liam Price, must hold it together whilst leading his team against a killer who finds new and twisted ways to prevent them from saving the lives of their victims.
But one serious mistake puts them and everyone they love in grave danger.
As the island starts to slip into hysteria, our villain goes to gruesome lengths to keep their identity a secret.
Able to hide in plain sight, the killer is out for revenge as they close in on their prey.
Can they escape the wrath of the Boatmore Butcher?
The Boatmore Butcher was a home run for L. Stephenson. The cover was ominous, secretive, and forewarned of the threatening shadows that lurked beneath the surface. It’s the kind of story that will become etched into your mind and you can’t put the book down until that last page has been devoured. Stephenson is a master storyteller that envelops you in atmospheric brilliance and complexity that will literally tie you up in knots. His brilliance is his reader’s weakness, and The Boatmore Butcher did not disappoint.
This isn’t just another Horror – it is an experience. Set on the fictional island of Boatmore, we meet a Paramedic Liam and his team, with supporting roles from police officers, coroners, and their assistants. This is an incredibly raw and gritty horror novella. This is Stephenson’s debut and let me tell you, it doesn’t read like one, it is the start of an incredibly compulsive series. I was blown away by the author’s ability to create and develop characters in such a short time frame. The further you get into the story They become meatier, more fleshed out. Reading this book is like meeting a close friend after some time – you fall into relaxed camaraderie but there’s always something ebbing throughout like an undercurrent.
Stephenson has quickly skipped to the top in writers to watch out for, his ability to set the tone of the novel is second to none. There is no beating around the bush, he hits you with that block of wood until you start paying attention.
It follows the Boatmore Butcher, a moniker for the serial killer that is targeting young men and leaving them to be found in strange circumstances. Life on the island is safe, deaths are usually a result of natural causes or an accident. It’s a great place to raise children, to grow old, and most importantly to feel safe. However, bloody handprints are found, strange phone calls are being left and bodies are turning up with no clue as to who committed the deed. The author excels in triggering your imagination – the atmosphere and landscape reel you in, he kick starts your imagination, and you either chase after it or get left behind.
The paramedics and the police need to get this one tied up quickly. Often, I felt like I was lost in a forest with this story – you know that feeling you get when you aren’t too sure whether you heard leaves and twigs being crunched underfoot? Are your eyes playing tricks on you or was that really a shadow up ahead? Stephenson loves to use the misdirection tactic in his playbook, and it was delivered with such perfection.
The Boatmore Butcher highlights in a spectacular debut just why readers are obsessed with true crime stories. Fiction doesn’t get any better than this. It boasts an engrossing storyline, and this is a devour-in-one-sitting must.
Author of The Boatmore Butcher
L. Stephenson has been telling stories of killers and boogeymen to his friends and writing them on his computer since the summer before he began high school. A university degree in Film & TV Screenwriting, a handful of anthologies and a novella later, and not much has changed, it seems!
Stephenson’s first short story was published as part of a Halloween-themed collection by Dark Ink back in 2018. Nearly five years later, terror just came full circle as the author has returned home to Dark Ink to release his debut slasher novel, The Boatmore Butcher.