A Novel of Blood in the Sea

Fiction - Thriller - General
482 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2021
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Author Biography

Howard Butcher has worked as a shark researcher in the Caribbean Sea, apprentice commercial diver in the Gulf of Mexico, and as the manager of a horse farm in the San Juan Mountains. His other works include the sea thriller Jonah: A Novel of Men and the Sea. He has also written a children’s book that has become an animated show, The Dancing Pumpkin and The Ogre’s Plot. Today he teaches high school English and is a former school-board president. He lives in Colorado with his wife Sue and their children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Razormouth by Howard Butcher is 'A Novel of Blood in the Sea.' It’s 1984 and Seabrook and Aja are living in the Bimini Islands, renting a house overlooking a beautiful lagoon as they carry out their marine biology work. Suspecting they are onto a new species of predator, they double down their efforts but, just as they are almost done, they are interrupted by a scarred, earless man with gunshot wounds. Soon, a Colombian cartel has them in their sights, searching for the man and $50 million in missing dollars. When Aja is abducted, it’s up to Seabrook to try to save her. They have their undying love and their vast knowledge of the ocean on their side but can Aja escape the clutches of one of the most bloodthirsty cartels in history? Across land and sea, Aja and Seabrook are embroiled in the fight of their lives.

Razormouth by Howard Butcher is a fascinating, terrifying tale of predators – human and animal. It starts off slowly, setting the scene and building the tension, readying the reader for the suspense and terror that follows. A unique tale, it would do well as a movie but I suspect much of the story would be lost. The author has a way with words, with descriptive prose drawing you right into the story and making you feel you are there. Heart-pounding, nail-biting scenes follow in fast succession, with a great mix of different characters, some of them pretty scary. The new sea creature they discover, dubbed the Razormouth, puts me in mind of several horror films and the descriptions of that and the other sea creatures are detailed, making them as much characters of the story as the human characters. The ending is surprising, one you won't see coming in this thrilling tale that will keep you reading all the way through.

Vincent Dublado

Howard Butcher’s Razormouth: A Novel of Blood in the Sea opens with an idyllic scenario as marine biologists Cael Seabrook and his fiancée Aja fly above a scenic vista of the Caribbean. Working in the deep Gulf Stream waters by the Bimini islands, they find a huge leatherback sea turtle washed ashore on an empty beach. It has been cut in half by something at the midpoint of its shell. The couple suspects that they are on the brink of discovering a new species of ocean predator that they jokingly call Razormouth. But something goes wrong, as they soon find a dead man on their dock. The death of this mysterious stranger is linked to the Colombian drug cartel. Cael and Aja will soon get to know Concha Dores, the ruthless queen of cocaine, as well as Pelon, one of the emptiest and most cold-blooded killers in the underworld.

Razormouth: A Novel of Blood in the Sea offers the urgency that a great thriller demands. There is an air of calmness at the beginning of the story symptomatic of something that is bound to go wrong. There is so much to like here. Howard Butcher fills his plot with such intensity that it sizzles as soon as Cael discovers the dead man’s body, and it starts to take a toll on the serenity of his and Aja’s life. Part of the excitement is that Butcher has developed two intellectual protagonists going up against formidable madmen that will not hesitate to kill. This makes for a thriller with an emotional punch, and Pelon is a villain that you will long remember once you read about his crime blueprint. When life and death are at stake, Razormouth rises to the level, and you will not be disappointed because it maintains such a level to the finish.

Rabia Tanveer

Razormouth: A Novel of Blood in the Sea by Howard Butcher is an awesome, action-packed thriller that will take you on a journey with the protagonists. Aja and Seabrook are marine biologists. Recently engaged and researching on the Bimini Islands, the couple finds a half-eaten sea turtle and believes that it is the work of a new, dangerous species. Seabrook and Aja have no idea they are about to be embroiled in a deadly mystery that might end with their lives. Working tirelessly to figure out the new species, the couple gets a second shock when they find the body of a man and danger very close to their home. Before they know what has happened, Aja and Seabrook are embroiled in a case that includes missing millions of dollars, drugs, and even murder. While research and investigating marine life is all they know, Seabrook and Aja are no crime investigators. They need to survive this or else pay with their lives.

What a fantastic story. From the get-go, Howard Butcher lets readers know they are in for a bumpy and thrilling ride. Howard Butcher creates a compelling story of adventure, drama, action, and thriller, a combination that should never work, but somehow it does. Seabrook and Aja are adorable in the beginning but as Razormouth progresses, they become a little desperate and realize the situation is getting out of their hands. Their relationship, however, is very intense and soothing. They work together fabulously and protect each other. The mystery behind the dead man, the drug cartel, and the stolen money all tie in together at the end. I loved this and highly recommend it.