Book Review: Butterfly Kills by Brenda Chapman

Butterfly Kills

Brenda Chapman

371 pages

butterfly kills

When a college student is brutally murdered, her co-workers in the office of the campus confidential helpline are scrutinized as possible suspects. Each of them has issues, but all claim they are not guilty. One of them is a troublemaker, one is possibly her married lover and one is an ex-boyfriend. There is always the possibility that one of the callers may have a secret worth killing for to keep it from seeing the light of day.

Simultaneously, police investigator Jacques Rouleau learns of another crime scene. A young mother has been raped by her estranged husband. It is a coincidence or extremely bad luck that two major crimes are committed in Kingston, especially because they are unrelated. Or are they?

Soon the investigations heat up as another body turns up and an assault puts everyone on edge. Enter Kala Stonechild – Rouleau’s former partner. Rouleau convinces a reluctant Stonechild to stay in town long enough to help him investigate the attacks because his plate is overflowing with investigating these crimes and worry about his ailing father.

There is chemistry between Rouleau and Stonechild that could easily ignite if they fan the spark. They are reluctant to risk the work relationship on what could be, but both seem interested. Enter Rouleau’s ex-wife. The woman that turned his world upside down by having an affair, is now jealously and possessively trying to step back into the role she gave up so easily for another man.

This plot is intricate and involved. Chapman does a great job of blending story lines, adding twists and turns without losing sight of the characters and their roles. As a reader, I like having a bevy of bad guys and not so bad guys to pin the murder on. Chapman provides a wide variety to choose from.

This is a solid mystery with interesting characters that I liked, loved or downright hated. The inspectors, Rouleau and Stonechild, have depth and back stories that are sufficiently told in this second novel featuring them that allowed me to feel like I knew them.

Butterfly Kills was not a fast read for me. But I am not sure it is meant to be. I had to slow down and pay attention to the clues and characters to really enjoy the rhythm of the story.  I’m glad I did.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Filed under Book Review, books, Mystery

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