The Butchers



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'I binged it like a Netflix show... It's stunning' Luke Kennard, author of The Transition ______________________________ A photograph is hung on a gallery wall for the very first time since it was taken two decades before. It shows a slaughter house in rural Ireland, a painting of the Virgin Mary on the wall, a meat hook suspended from the ceiling - and, from its sharp point, the lifeless body of a man hanging by his feet. The story of who he is and how he got there casts back into Irish folklore, of widows cursing the land and of the men who slaughter its cattle by hand. But modern Ireland is distrustful of ancient traditions, and as the BSE crisis in England presents get-rich opportunities in Ireland, few care about The Butchers, the eight men who roam the country, slaughtering the cows of those who still have faith in the old ways. Few care, that is, except for Fionn, the husband of a dying woman who still believes; their son Dave



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What the critics say

Flawlessly, intricately plotted, but with such a compelling central mystery that I binged it like a Netflix show... The Butchers is deeply humane and astute on why we might take even the worst options available to us, at times deeply poignant and genuinely moving. It's stunning. Luke Kennard, author of The Transition The Butchers by Ruth Gilligan is a funny, sad, beautiful book that asks how you make a new life when your world changes. So much is packed into these pages about family, about greed, about love, and about desperation. Oh and it has the perfect ending. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You and Starling Days This is a remarkable novel. The story is utterly compelling and the characters so well-drawn I found myself reading faster and faster as the plot progressed. Gilligan paints a disturbing portrait of rural Ireland which is both modern and ancient, firmly grounded in the realistic and hauntingly otherworldly. Jan Carson, author of The Fire Starters Immensely readable and written with great flair Irish Independent, on Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan Rich in plot and full of characters that have been neglected by Irish literature Guardian, on Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan Reminiscent of T�a Obreht, Nicole Krauss and Maggie O'Farrell... Wonderful Colum McCann, on Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan A rich and layered story of the complications, the mistakes and the heartbreaks of which a human life is made... I haven't read anything like it. Belinda McKeon, on Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan Graceful, confident, vivid... I loved this beautifully written novel Joseph O'Connor, on Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan Immersive... Gilligan is a writer I admire Jess Kidd, Daily Mail