Image by Max Böhme



“...Enthralling, thought provoking, and deeply empathetic.”
“...Emotional, powerful, and, oddly enough, beautiful”
“...Gripping and poignant”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

“At the heart of this story, beyond Butcher’s search to understand the incomprehensible, lies our societal failure to recognize serious depression as the potentially fatal illness that it is. Her research offers a tragic portrait of the turn of events that left one young woman dead and another forever changed.”

The New York Times Sunday Review of Books


"A haunting meditation on human fragility."

–Rachel Martin, NPR

“Riveting and visceral...Butcher is unflinching in her self-examination and masterful at it.”

–The Star Tribune


“Enthralling, thought provoking, and deeply empathetic, Visiting Hours explores how loss and trauma affects everyone in its periphery.”



“This gripping memoir is every bit as chilling as the darkest Gillian Flynn novel—except this nonfiction account is based entirely on real events… It’s emotional, powerful, and, oddly enough, beautiful.”


“Her friend’s actions had presented her with a mirror image of her own heart. With equal parts horror and anguish, she understood that 'the chain of events that led to Emily’s death [were] events that could happen to any of us.' A gripping and poignant memoir.”

–Kirkus Reviews

“There are horrors in this book—some of them emotional, some incomprehensibly not. But what rises above it all in this exhilaratingly honest and brutal debut is what might be the book's most disturbingly beautiful element: its tribute to memory, its testament of love, and its wide-eyed inquiry into just how long those two things really last.”

–John D’Agata, author of About a Mountain


“Amy Butcher asks the two hardest questions: what do we mean to ourselves and what do we mean to each other?  She asks in innocence and responds with hard earned experience and wisdom to share. You will need to give this book away and buy another for yourself so you have someone to talk to about it.  You will keep an eye out for this writer and what she will do next. It is not right that she is so smart, so talented and so young all at the same time.  Yes, hers is a debut to envy and here we are at the very beginning.”

–Robert Olmstead, author of Coal Black Horse


“Visiting Hours is an incredible portrait of trauma. In crisp, beautiful pose, Butcher revisits an extraordinary and terrible night that will come to haunt and trouble her forever. What is the nature of traumatic memory? Whose sadness do we have claim to? What can be done when people we love do terrible things? Butcher's generous and honest meditation on how traumatic memory can shape ordinary lives will make you a better and more empathetic person.”

 –Jennifer Percy, author of Demon Camp


“Visiting Hours is the culmination of Amy Butcher’s many talents: beautifully dense yet accessible prose rendered with complete honesty. She will make you question everyone you’ve ever thought you’ve known.”

–Mary Miller, author of The Last Days of California


“Visiting Hours is a mystery of the highest order, not merely a whodunit, as we know from the outset who killed whom, but a mystery of the human heart, exploring the ambiguous motivations of an otherwise gentle man who became a murderer and a young woman who couldn’t stop being his friend. A page turner for its pathos and gorgeous attention to language, a coming of age story like no other, Amy Butcher has written a story of no easy answers and unparalleled sensitivity.”

–Robin Hemley, author of Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art and Madness

“I couldn’t put down this April release, Visiting Hours: A Memoir of Friendship and Murder, by Amy Butcher...How such a dastardly act affects their friendship—or how it might affect any friendship of our own—kept me riveted.”

–Dannye Romine Powell, The Charlotte Observer