Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review - Butterfly Kills

Butterfly Kills: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery

By: Brenda Chapman
Publisher: Dundurn Canada
Publishing Date: February 2015
ISBN: 978-1459-72314-6
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: February 25, 2015

Jacques Rouleau is the head of the Kingston, Ontario, Criminal Investigations Division. He and his investigators are called out to investigate the murder of Leah Sampson, a young University Student. The police were shocked by the manner of the attack whereby the girl was tortured and killed. Leah was working, at the time, at the campus crisis hotline and had a secret that she couldn’t tell to anyone, even her long-time friend and former boyfriend, Wolf.

Rouleau’s team consists of Paul Gundersund, who is recovering from a recent marital separation and Kala Stonechild, a young native Canadian. As the three of them work to find the truth, the team is called to interview Della Munroe, a young mother who reported being attacked by her estranged husband. Subsequently, they begin to suspect that the two crimes are somehow related.

In another side story, come two young Indian-Canadian sisters, Dalal and Meeza, who are trapped in a family that are very strict and the girls are stuck in a crisis they can’t get out of. Dalal is trying to protect her sister and Kala tries to help them as she is a former foster child and looked after unwanted children. These three stories are linked and it’s hard to stop reading and look away. Especially, in the story of a Muslim family that is into the old ways of arranged marriages and male dominance.
There is a sub-plot that involves another police officer who works with Kala and he is trying to fend off his estranged wife who cheated on him but now wants him back. She is very jealous of Kala which brings forth more intrigue. Meanwhile, Kala’s life becomes a bit more complicated by her sister showing up. Her sister is in trouble with the law and headed for the lock up leaving her daughter with Kala.

This is the second book in this series, the first being Cold Mourning. In Butterfly Kills we meet Kala Stonechild for the first time. Kala comes with some baggage as she was abused as a child. Each character seems to have personal problems to face. Yet, with all the personal crises the characters are dealing with, they are still, somehow, able to work to solve a murder in Ottawa.

This book brings Kala to Ontario just in time to work on the torture of the student, the rape of a young mother working the campus help line and a self-defense killing of a husband by a wife wielding a hammer. The book goes on from there as the reader tries to figure out if the events are connected.

Quill says: The author has picked an interesting setting for this book as Kingston has a lot to offer a mystery/thriller audience including: several prisons, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, good for so many things such as drowning and smuggling...

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