Night Journey

Someone is kidnapping and killing women in Campbell County, Virginia. When sheriff’s investigator Cynthia Westbrook gets the call that there may be another victim, she and her partner, Jeff White, begin tracking suspects. But the search to find Alicia Bradford is complicated by Cynthia’s adversarial relationship with the good old boy network in the sheriff’s office, and by the appearance of Alicia’s uncle, a retired Baltimore detective intent on doing his own investigation. Set in Northern Virginia horse country, “Night Journey” takes the reader on a wild ride of twists and turns as competing investigators race to find the missing woman – dead or alive.


on May 16, 2016
I’m left with the feeling I saw this story happening rather than having just read it. The language and the images it creates are remarkable. I must read more of this author’s work.
on February 5, 2016
Good but not the best.
on October 12, 2015
Butler strikes a balance between concise, plot-driven narrative and elegance of style that is rare in mystery-thriller authors. The secret to his command of the language is that he is very selective in spacing his stylistic effects and in combining them with strong emotional moments in the story line. He has the vast vocabulary one would expect from an English professor along with the ability to write “outside himself” that is not usually associated with the halls of academe. The conflicts and curiosities that drive his work are straight from daily life, but they unfold in a way that makes them unbelievably special.
on March 28, 2015
Could not put it down…a page turner. I loved the character development and attention to details.
No loose ends. Can’t wait to read the sequel!
on March 2, 2015
very good storyline, would like follow up with that particular character.
on December 13, 2014
Butler’s English professor’s creds shine through in this literary mystery filled with well developed characters, delicious plot twists and a detective you just can’t get enough of. This is the best first book of its genre since Stephen L. Carter. Buy this book; you won’t regret it.
on October 18, 2014
The writing in this novel is tight and spare. There is no wasted space. The plot holds surprises that make it far more than another serial killer novel. The literary references add a depth of interest to the writing and the plot structure that make this a real pleasure to read and that reminded me of how much I do like poetry, even if, usually, I choose to read a thriller or science fiction or fantasy. Butler’s commentary reminds me that poetry, too, is a guilty pleasure. I look forward to more books from him, whether the characters are part of a series or not.
on September 26, 2014
Outstanding début by a gifted writer, featuring crisp dialog, skillful plotting, and excellent timing. Here we meet for the first time Cynthia Westbrook, a bookish sheriff’s investigator in rural Virginia. A serial killer is on the loose and a local English professor has disappeared. Cyn’s combination of persistence, intuition, and personal courage enables her to solve more than one mystery, but the big one at the story’s center will not yield to the “literary” detective until she first comes to terms with Robert Frost and the experience of solitude and loss she shares with the missing woman. Let’s hope we see more of Investigator Westbrook in the near future.
on September 1, 2014
Very entertaining mystery about the disappearance of a college professor – lots of intrigue, interesting characters, easy to read, and very compelling – interesting twist at the end. Well worth reading.


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Scott Butler grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He graduated from LSU, went on to earn a doctorate in English at Duke University, and taught literature and film at a community college in eastern Virginia for many years.  Since his early retirement he has devoted his time to writing and to participating in a grassroots effort to preserve Fort Monroe, a former Army post of deep historic significance.  He and his wife, Susan, live in Blacksburg, Virginia.


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