ARC Book Review - Flawed (The Butcher #1) by Francette Phal

17 Nov 2014



"You are this beautiful thing I want to destroy." 

 That's the only memory he carries from a childhood he does not remember. And now it is all he knows. Blood is his life. 

 Knox Bishop has done a lot of horrible things, all at the command of the man who holds his leash. It's a matter of loyalty for him. Allegiance to the man who saved his life when he was a child. So he goes where he is needed and does what he is told. He tortures. He kills. He kills. He tortures. It is an unrelenting cycle that he constantly craves and can never quite satisfy. 

 Until her. 

 Eighteen year old Lacey Barnes distributes her assets to fund her dreams. Medical school is the end game and she is determined to get there by any means necessary. But a family member's careless mistake derails her plans and now she must pay a price in order to save him. 

 She goes to Knox willingly offering him the only valuable thing she has. Herself. In doing so he allows her into his world, a world she quickly realizes is void of any light and hope for escape is utterly elusive. But escape is something she finds that she no longer wants. 

 "He lays a path of pleasure laced agony for me to follow and I do. Stupidly I follow him down the blinding darkness of his euphoric hell." 



"You have this one fundamental flaw, Lacey. And that is your foolish need to control everything around you, when really, you are the one meant to be controlled, all you need is the proper hand to steer you." 

 I think one of the best things about these reads is that I can never expect how dark it can be, which makes it highly exciting for me before I dive in. It's easy to say that it's a dark read but there's just so many angles that this sub-genre could cover, whether it'd be pain-inflicting, torture-inducing or some form of psychological abuse. 

 I've never read this author's work before but oh boy, this one definitely covered ALL of the above. *gulps* It literally made my heart pitter-patter as the author displays depravity in its truest and coldest form that had me hugging my kitty plushie as I read this.


  Flawed begins with 18-year old Lacey, an ambitious girl who has her eyes set on medical school but coming from a troubled family with an addict of a mum and an elder brother who gambles his money away, Lacey has only ever known one thing. Survival. 

 It's really hard not to sympathize with Lacey's character and there is not an ounce of selfish bone in that girl as she puts everyone's needs above hers. The author's writing was fantastic in a way that lets you connect with Lacey and lets you feel the fear and trepidation in a young girl who has to sell herself just to make ends meet.
"I know I am the one constant in this never ending cycle of fuckery. I don't know who I killed in my past life, but it seems I'm paying for it in this one."

 And then there's Knox, the anti-hero that you'd hate to love. I must say that I was enamoured from his character from the get-go. The author allowed us to tap into his disturbing, twisted mind and even with that, you'd be left conflicted on how you should feel about him. I definitely do not condone his actions at all; it made me squirm, it made me wanna hack him into pieces but at the same time, I was still drawn to him like a moth to a flame. To put it mildly, I love AND hate Knox at the same time; he was definitely an enigma that you'd want to learn more about.
"And my past assumptions that she is just like me, flawed, empty inside, reaching blindly in the darkness for something, anything to grab and annihilate just to feel alive."

 There were several scenes that even myself as an avid dark reader found it almost difficult to read, my heart and mind were tortured as I gripped the edges on my Kindle tightly while reading them. These are very complex characters you'll meet and there is simply no sugar-coating on whatever happens in this book. Like I said earlier, depravity at its finest.
"Have you ever looked at something so beautiful, so utterly alluring that you just wanted to destroy it? That’s what you are to me. You are this beautiful thing I want to destroy."

 Overall, Flawed certainly brings out the dark in a dark read. It's alluring, it's twisted and it's certainly not for the faint-hearted. It deals with some aspects that few readers might not be comfortable with human trafficking, non-consensual, graphic violence and only showing a tiny glimmer of romance. Although it ends with a nail-biting cliffhanger, I'm very excited and eager to see where the author will bring the story and its flawed characters in the next instalment. 

  Flawed is the first part in a 2-part series and the sequel is due in 2015. 

  ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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