Monday, February 20, 2017

Bonus FFB on Monday: The Butcher's Wife --Owen Cameron

Owen Cameron seems to be a genuinely forgotten writer, although he had considerable success.  The Butcher's Wife was recommended to me by Bill Pronzini, so I knew it would be a good one.  Sure enough, it was.

Harry Grass is a game warden who's not satisfied in his marriage.  Part of the problem is his baby son, who doesn't please Grass as babies are supposed to please new parents.  One day Grass sees a man who seems familiar leaving a parked car and acting suspicious.  Grass checks out the car and finds bloodstains.  When the trunk of the car is opened, two dismembered bodies are found inside.

It turns out that the man Grass saw is the husband of Grass' old flame, and it also turns out that Grass finds that the old flame still attracts him.  Before long there's a manhunt, and Grass, although he's a game warden, gets involved.  The result is a police procedural with the added interest of what Grass will do about his own situation.  The conclusion isn't what I was expecting.

Cameron writes economical prose and leavens his dark story with humor.  I'll have to check out some of his other books to see if they're as good as this one.


George said...

I'm really enjoying these bonus FFBs! I might have a copy of Owen Cameron's THE BUTCHER'S WIFE as well as some other Cameron books. Bill Pronzini always finds Good Stuff in unlikely places!

Bill Pronzini said...

Do check out Cameron's other novels. All are very good, and IMHO at least one is even better than THE BUTCHER'S WIFE. He was also a prolific contributor of first-rate short stories to the slicks and various mystery and adventure pulps in the 40s and 50s.