The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg

In the second book by the author of The Tenant, we find Detective Jeppe Korner now divorced and living with his anxiety ridden, overbearing mother. His partner Anette Werner is out on maternity leave after a very surprising pregnancy.

When a paperboy finds the dead body of a naked woman in a fountain with slits all over her body and all the blood drained out of her Korner and replacement partner Falck, a bumbling sort of detective, begin to try and put the pieces of this murder together.

Werner, who is having a difficult time adjusting to motherhood and the whole bonding experience recognizes the name of the murdered victim from the maternity ward where she has just given birth. She decides to investigate the murder on her own, behind her husband’s back and against Korner’s wishes.

Then a second body is discovered with the exact same marks on its body, and once again all the blood drained. As in the first killing, no one saw anything and there is no forensic evidence that could link anyone to either murder. But they do get a significant break in the case. Both victims had previously worked in a private hospital called The Butterfly House. It was a place for children with eating disorders, anxiety and psychological problems. It was a private pay facility and medications were recommended as well as counseling. But The Butterfly House had been shut down a few years ago after after one of its counselors was found drowned and one of the residence, a young woman killed herself. The parents of the dead girl sued the care facility and it shut down soon after.

Could it be possible that someone who use to work or live there had a grudge against the remaining staff and was slowly killing them all? As Korner and Falck begin to interrogate former staff and family from The Butterfly House, unbeknownst to Korner, Werner has come to the somewhat same conclusion and begins her own investigation by trying to find the teens who were at the facility at the time of the suicide. What she uncovers is alarming.

During the same time all this is going on the Coronary Hospital seems to be experiencing a more than usual sudden death count. One of the former Butterfly House nurses just happens to work there. And she is still friends with the psychiatrist from her prior job.

Korner is given an ultimatum by his superior. Find out who is doing all these killings or you will have consequences. Now, not only is he in a race to hopefully prevent more murders, but now his job is in jeopardy. Meanwhile Werner seems to be getting closer to the truth. Flying solo she suddenly becomes the obsession of the killer. With no one knowing where or what she is up to could this possibly be the end of her partnership with Korner forever?

But while suspects are eliminated there seems to be many more questions than answers as to what was really happening at The Butterfly House years ago and why so many people who worked there are dead.

As in The Tenant, Engberg’s explosive twisted ending impeccably ties up all the unanswered questions. Characters from the first story are once again given their own storyline which was a special treat. Overall The Butterfly House is a suspenseful, enjoyable read with characters we all can relate.

Thank you #NetGalley #Gallery/ScoutPress #KatrineEngberg #TheButterflyHouse for the advanced copy.

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