Butcher’s Road

1932: Fortune and celebrity are years behind Butch Cardinal. Once a world-class wrestler, Cardinal now serves as hired muscle for a second-rate Chicago mobster. While collecting a parcel from a gangland lowlife, Cardinal witnesses the man’s murder. Though wounded, he escapes the killers and flees into the night carrying the package. In it is a necklace with a metal pendant. Bent and scratched, the thing looks like a piece of junk, but the trinket is the reason a man died. It’s the reason a lot of people will die. Finding shelter with another shamed wrestler in New Orleans, Cardinal embarks on search for answers that will reveal a world of metallic charms and weapons, all forged with unimaginable powers. Alone and outgunned, Cardinal must stand against the Chicago mobs, a brilliant and insane hitman, the police, and a mysterious order intent on retrieving their relic.


”Lee Thomas has always made the most delicious novels from the most disparate of ingredients. His latest, Butcher’s Road, tosses a ruined pro wrestler, Irish and Italian mobsters, a psychotic hit man, and a secret society out to retrieve a stolen relic into the Thomas Mixmaster, folds in Chicago and New Orleans color circa 1932, dashes of same-sex longing, and a heavy dose of dread and comes out with a powerful, riveting thriller that will satisfy anyone’s hunger for compulsive reading.” –Jerry Wheeler for Out in Print

”Gripping from beginning to end, Butcher’s Road is one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Lee Thomas’s talents for plot, character, and setting are phenomenal.” –Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory

”Stoker- and Lambda-winner Thomas (The German) creates a heady blend of gangster noir and supernatural horror. Butch Cardinal, washed-up wrestler turned gang enforcer, is caught between the wrath of Chicago’s Italian mob and the Alchemi, a mysterious organization of powerful magicians….Butch’s imaginatively realized world of gangsters, crooked cops, ruthless killers, and magic users is full of violence and cruelty, and is also intensely masculine…” —Publishers Weekly

”Thomas provides a corker of an antihero in Butch Cardinal, a washed-up, foul-mouthed ex-wrestler whose glory days are just a fading memory…. By mixing fancy language with tough talk, even tougher behavior with weirdness drawn from many types of occult horror (all of it interwoven with a subplot of gay romance that’s genuine, not just a bid for dirty laughs), Lee Thomas serves as my final example of a modern literary ventriloquist whose erudition, and wide-ranging curiosity, can drive the novel to bold new flights of fancy.” –Faren Miller, Locus Magazine

About the Author

Lee Thomas’s books have won the Bram Stoker Award and multiple Lambda Literary Awards for Best Fantasy/Science-Fiction/Horror. He resides in Austin, TX.

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