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Butterfly Kills

by Brenda Chapman

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444457,189 (3.83)2
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.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
This is the second book of the series and the characters are better described with more depth. The story line is more expansive. Even though I know that all the characters will tie together at the end, the story did not come clear until the very end. ( )
  Baochuan | Jul 7, 2021 |
1176 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Cold Mourning made me itch to read the second book quick off the mark, which I immediately did. It happens all the time that the sequel doesn’t duplicate the success of the first book and I’m really glad that this is not the case. I liked the second book even more than the first one.
Sergeant Rouleau has moved to Kingston to look after his father and now heads the town’s Criminal Investigations Division. He has two cases to investigate: the university student Leah Sampson who worked at the hot line was murdered in her apartment and a housewife Della Munroe was raped by her husband. Right at this moment Kala Stonechild suddenly appears in the town and agrees to help Rouleau with his investigations. Rouleau wants Kala to accept his offer and join his team, but she can’t promise him anything – Kala herself doesn’t know if she wants to stay in this town for a long time.
I will never stop telling that Brenda Chapman’s characters are so alive, so real. It’s hard to believe that they are “fictional”. You love them as if they’re your friends and you can call them anytime just to talk. Even the minor characters are able to stir up your feelings. For example, all through the story I wanted to strangle two old detectives – Woodhouse and Chalmers – because of their laziness and idiocy.
The end of the book gives me hope that Kala will stay at Kingston and accept Rouleau’s job offer. I want to believe that such a reserved person like Kala can open up and allow herself to be happy. ( )
  Shadow_Sandy | Jan 12, 2019 |
Butterfly Kills is a complex story with multiple plot lines and themes running throughout. While I respect the author's ambition here, I felt a lack of focus that made it difficult for me to stay emotionally connected.

The main character here seems to be Kala Stonechild, who we follow along as she investigates multiple cases. She is aloof and difficult to know. I was lost during some of the references to her past and her life situation. This might be due to the fact that I did not read the first book in this series, or it might be intentional to keep her character mysterious. Either way, this was a challenge because if I can't connect to the main character, I can't really connect to the story.

We have a lot of point of view characters, some with small parts and some who are important characters. Through much of the book, everyone's parts feel insulated, separate from each other, and all these disconnected POV characters made the book feel too scattered for me. For instance, a young girl called Dalal makes an appearance early in the book and continues to pop in and out every so often as we go along. These sections are distinctly separate from everything else going on, to the point that I felt I was reading an entirely different book. In and of themselves, each of these plots and subplots are powerful, but combined they become watered-down and lost within themselves.

No doubt the book is well-written. Brenda Chapman has a knack for capturing people in challenging situations and she does not shy away from the things that make us uncomfortable. This book raises issues of marital rape, family honor and cultural customs, trust, and jealousy. We see how easily appearances can become a cover to fool those who either don't or can't look deeper. I would have liked more focus, so that I could have made that emotional connection. Still, this book offers much to think about.

** I was provided with a review copy by Dundurn Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ** ( )
  Darcia | Oct 13, 2014 |
Showing 4 of 4
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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.

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