Official Review: House of Cuts by June Gillam

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any crime, thriller, mystery or horror books or series.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 581
Joined: 27 Dec 2019, 13:30
Favorite Author: Jude Austin
Favorite Book: Project Tau
Currently Reading: Intwine
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Contagion Domination by William Nisol
fav_author_id: 165843

Official Review: House of Cuts by June Gillam

Post by Twylla »

[Following is an official review of "House of Cuts" by June Gillam.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

House of Cuts by June Gillam is the first book in the Hillary Broome series. When the PriceCuts superstore came to town, it drove Stoney's Market, a small neighborhood grocery store, out of business. After 50 years of proudly serving the community as a family-owned business, the neighborhood market faced the devastating reality of having to close its doors. Then the staff had to settle for jobs as “trainees,” working for the people who had just turned their lives upside down. But what would drive someone to commit gruesome murders, leaving dismembered corpses on display in the superstore?

Hillary Broome is the best thing about the book. She is a plump, Irish, red-head who likes chocolate biscotti, good wine, and Jack Daniels. I strongly identified with Hillary. She is a newspaper reporter, and she teaches journalism at the community college. She should have been in New York working for a major news outlet, but she let her "secret" send her into hiding.

Hillary's troubling secret was that, under the pressure of a deadline, she plagiarized one line from an obscure article in a small-town newspaper and claimed it as her own thought. Charles, her editor and ex-boyfriend, discovered the plagiarism, but he didn't report Hillary; he just threatened to. Hillary punished herself relentlessly for that lapse in judgment, knowing that, at any moment, Charles could expose her as a "fraud" and ruin her career. She allowed her “P” mistake to control everything in her life. I think she should have confessed, paid a fine, or whatever the penalty was, and moved on. She should never have allowed Charles to control her with that threat.

Her budding love affair with Ed Kiffin, the lead detective, was a delightful addition to the story. They were both immediately drawn to each other, and they had common experiences of loss, failure, and powerlessness.

I loved the character development of the killer. Seven chapters were written from the killer's perspective. I felt like I was in his head, watching the murders unfold. I liked the way the author kept the story on a psychological level without getting into too much gruesome detail.

It is not fair that a superstore could come to town and crush the small businesses that could not compete with it, but it happens every day. I can almost understand how it would push someone over the edge, especially someone who is already unstable. If they had put me out of business, I would have started another business, shopping for customers and delivering groceries. Or I would have started a food truck business that catered to the crowds at the superstore. But killing people definitely makes a better story.

This book was well written and professionally edited. I found a couple of minor typos, but only because I was looking for them. I can't think of anything critical to say about the book. I would recommend House of Cuts to anyone who enjoys the Norman Bates “Psycho” films. If you are sensitive to psychopaths and dismembered bodies, maybe you should pass on this one. But I absolutely adored this book. I am giving it an enthusiastic rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I have read one other book in the Hillary Broome series. I intend to read them all and follow Hillary Broome and this author in the future.

House of Cuts
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Unique Ego
Posts: 439
Joined: 23 Jun 2020, 03:22
Favorite Book: The Tales of Little Lady M
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 73
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: A Dream For Peace by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah

Post by Unique Ego »

As much as I'm all for business advancement, I hate it when big business comes into a place at the expense of family-owned businesses that have been there for generations. The people of the town are sure to be angry and riled up, but the gruesome murders at the superstore puts an unexpected spin of things—one that I'd sure like to see how it turns out.
User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 5621
Joined: 24 Jul 2019, 06:37
Currently Reading: The Kaiju Preservation Society
Bookshelf Size: 347
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Terms of Service by Craig W. Stanfill
2023 Reading Goal: 60
2023 Goal Completion: 30%

Post by NetMassimo »

I read the Hilary Boom novel that was book of the month a few months ago, but I had mixed feelings about it. Maybe if I started with the first novel I might have a more complete impression about here. Thank you for your great review!
Ciao :)
User avatar
Posts: 309
Joined: 02 Jun 2014, 08:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 148
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Pastoring is Not What You Think by Elijah Oladimeji

Post by derialist »

This book seems like a nice introduction to the Hillary Broome series, as I'm yet to read any of them. Thanks for the exhaustive review, I'd love to read this.
User avatar
Laura Ungureanu
Posts: 1837
Joined: 25 Mar 2018, 11:32
Favorite Book: The Book Thief
Currently Reading: The Glass Castle
Bookshelf Size: 1264
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Love and Marriage by Arthur Hartz

Post by Laura Ungureanu »

This book seems to be focused on character-development, which is an attractive quality. Reading from the killer's POV is a very unique experience.
Michelle Menezes
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 869
Joined: 24 Apr 2021, 13:17
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 75
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Michelle Menezes »

I think this book has everything I want in a good mystery novel, from murder, blackmail, secrets and a little bit of romance. From the way you described Hillary, she seems like a protagonist I can relate to. Thank you for the review. I'm definitely adding it to my TBR.
User avatar
Anna Bookowski
Posts: 271
Joined: 15 Feb 2020, 13:35
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Just Die by E Alan Fleischauer

Post by Anna Bookowski »

Thanks to the review I think the book is an interesting one. But the cover is just so ugly and poorly executed! It gives the impression it's some medical essay on removing tumors from different body parts. If not for the good review above, I would never think to read it, but now I think it might be a thrilling story.
User avatar
Posts: 1520
Joined: 02 Jul 2016, 10:46
Currently Reading: Massacre Rocks
Bookshelf Size: 812
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Vanished by Pejay Bradley

Post by Mmg8464 »

I have read another mystery book by June Gillam, it was not so much of a psychological thriller. I hope it's the same in this case. Thanks for your review.
User avatar
Shreeya Tambe
Posts: 47
Joined: 22 May 2021, 11:19
Currently Reading: The MISOGI Method
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Exploring Wine Regions – Bordeaux France by Michael C. Higgins, PhD

Post by Shreeya Tambe »

This seems like such a good mystery novel! The fact that some of the chapters were written from the killer's perspective is interesting. Thank you for the review.
User avatar
Sou Hi
Book of the Month Participant
Posts: 2271
Joined: 07 Sep 2019, 09:06
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 149
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Uncertain Past of Malachi Trendle by Kevin Vodden

Post by Sou Hi »

Thanks for your review. I've seen the other tomes of this series but never knew how Hillary Broome got her start until this book.
Martha Robson
Posts: 11
Joined: 14 Apr 2021, 13:20
Currently Reading: The Secret Talker
Bookshelf Size: 10
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Confessions of a Llama by Patrick Ntsime
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Martha Robson »

I enjoyed another book in this series, and this one seems more interesting and more fun. It's also good to see how the earlier books tie into the later ones.

Super-stores are a mixed bag. It's not possible for the older, smaller stores to compete with the giants, but that doesn't mean they don't have a place in the community. Very small towns rely on the regional stores to provide variety that the small ones can't offer because they are focused on basic necessities. Reinventing themselves as a boutique or an auxiliary service offers many new opportunities for both the stores and the residents. It takes creativity -- and capital -- but the community can end up better off. But, as the reviewer said, a food truck makes more sense but a serial killer makes a better story.

I like it that Hillary Broome includes contemporary issues in her books, and I appreciate it that she shows the human side of social change. I'll definitely be adding this one to my "Wish List."
User avatar
Brenda Creech
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3345
Joined: 09 Mar 2019, 13:34
Favorite Author: Mary Pat Ferron Caines
Favorite Book: The Reel Sisters
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 352
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Was She Crying for Me? by Jerry Hyde
fav_author_id: 253250
2023 Reading Goal: 30
2023 Goal Completion: 16%

Post by Brenda Creech »

This sounds like an interesting book. Your review made me curious to check the book out. I don't do well with graphically violent scenes, but I can get through if the book is good enough! Thanks for the great review!
B. Creech
"Like beauty in the eyes, the divinity of the rose may be in the nose that smells it, and the lover that beholds it." Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
User avatar
Phelicia Gloria
Posts: 802
Joined: 10 May 2020, 09:19
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
Bookshelf Size: 105
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Soul Seeker by Kaylin McFarren

Post by Phelicia Gloria »

Already Hillary is my favorite character in the book, she must be very smart to teach in the village college,i would like to know more about the troubling secret, and what was next after plagiarism, this must be a very good book though the title seems familiar to me, I guess I watched a movie with the same title. Otherwise congrats on BOTD.
Absence of evidence is never an evidence of absence
Harshita Mehra
Posts: 25
Joined: 01 Jun 2021, 08:59
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 2
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Kalayla by Jeannie Nicholas

Post by Harshita Mehra »

The act of taking over businesses is quite common nowadays. It would be really interesting to read how the story unfolds further.
Thanks for the review.
User avatar
Joseph Dunn
Posts: 77
Joined: 14 May 2021, 05:54
Currently Reading: Superself
Bookshelf Size: 59
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Date Farm by Jack Winnick

Post by Joseph Dunn »

This sounds like a fresh and relevant story, especially given the current economic climate. It’s an interesting take on the impacts of changing market dynamics on the individual worker.
Post Reply

Return to “Crime, Thrillers, Mystery and Horror Books”