Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Butterfly Kills by Brenda Chapman

A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery
376 pages - Dundurn (Jan. 10 2015)
Paperback - 10.82 $

Well it's been a while since I had read a novel by a Canadian author set in Canada! I must say that I found it very nice, that feeling of familiarity because I live in the same country! And beware: there are two Brenda Chapman: The first lives in Canada, author of thriller, the second in the USA. The first has written for several years thriller, the second stands in animated films.

The blurb

Two separate crimes, two tragic outcomes.

Jacques Rouleau has moved to Kingston to look after his father and take up the position of head of the town’s Criminal Investigations Division. One hot week in late September, university student Leah Sampson is murdered in her apartment. In another corner of the city, Della Munroe is raped by her husband. At first the crimes appear unrelated, but as Sergeant Rouleau and his new team of officers dig into the women’s pasts, they discover unsettling coincidences. When Kala Stonechild, one of Rouleau’s former officers from Ottawa, suddenly appears in Kingston, Rouleau enlists her to help.

Stonechild isn’t sure if she wants to stay in Kingston, but agrees to help Rouleau in the short term. While she struggles with trying to decide if she can make a life in this new town, a ghost from her past starts to haunt her.

As the detectives delve deeper into the cases, it seems more questions pop up than answers. Who murdered Leah Sampson? And why does Della Monroe’s name keep showing up in the murder investigation? Both women were hiding secrets that have unleashed a string of violence. Stonechild and Rouleau race to discover the truth before the violence rips more families apart.

What's good in this book?

It will make you want to move to live in Kingston! It won't be a surprise to some, but I'm not a big fan of description (and even less landscapes!) In Butterfly Kills, descriptions are not ubiquitous, but so effective that they allow you to understand where the characters are located or feel their emotions (because yes, backwash soothe!) and I have to say that it is so well done that I really felt like buying a house by the lake!

The characters are well-written, engaging and each different. I also really liked the fact that Kala is a Native person, because I rarely came across a book where one of the characters is and that I think it's nice to put them ahead. Especially as Kala is very well written, with this mix of calm, wisdom and this little indomitable side that suits her well. Rouleau is just as friendly and we appreciate the relationships he establishes with his new colleagues (including two slackers so realistic that one recognizes in them some people one already run into...)

The plots are well written, even if one can understand the reason behind all that violence. Chapman brings her clues bit by bit and everything is played out in interpersonal relationships between the protagonists.

In a nutshell

A great discovery for me that makes me want to read other books by Brenda Chapman and follow Rouleau's team. This is a 4/5 for me.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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