At The Hands of a Stranger by Lee Butcher (May 2012)

Publication Date:
May 2012

Reviewed by:
2 Stars
On June 1, 2012
Last modified:June 4, 2012


Serial killer Gary Michael Hilton is an interesting subject, but too many chapters written verbatim from transcripts makes this book a real snooze fest.

Gary Michael Hilton, at 63 years-old, was a seemingly harmless former military man who enjoyed traveling with his canine sidekick and discovering new public parks in the South Eastern states.

In Georgia, everyone who knew her thought Meredith Emerson could take care of herself. She was a strong-willed, Karate black belt in excellent health from her many hiking adventures. Meredith was friendly to everyone she met but of course, she’d never crossed paths with a serial killer before.

At the Hands of a Stranger by Lee ButcherOn New Year’s Day 2008, Meredith and her beloved dog Ella set out for a hike on Georgia’s Blood Mountain when she met Gary Michael Hilton. A well-mannered Meredith probably viewed the older man as a lonely chap just looking for a little conversation while hiking the trail.

Suddenly however, Meredith found herself fighting for her life. Evidence left behind on the hiking trail would show Meredith fought vigorously against her attacker, but it wasn’t enough to save her life. Yet after her water bottle and identification was discovered by a police officer and others, there was enough to spark an investigation. One leading straight to Gary Hilton, uncovering a senior citizen serial killer; a man who had preyed on victims along the highways and hiking trails in multiple states, leaving investigators clueless – until now.

I’ve read several of Lee Butcher’s books and loved them, but I am sad to say his newest on serial killer Gary Michael Hilton At The Hands of a Stranger isn’t one of them.

The book starts out very strong with intense dramatic flair, then suddenly just flatlines with transcript after transcript.

I sincerely hope this isn’t Butchers new writing style, but instead a publishers push for completion which resulted in this almost unreadable book.

If you want to know more about Gary Michael Hilton, read Trails of Death by Fred Rosen.


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