Friday, January 29, 2021

The Butterfly House - Katrine Engberg

I read (and quite enjoyed) the first book of Katrine Engberg's Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner series last year. The second book is The Butterfly House - and I have to say I enjoyed it even more than the first.

Both leads are detectives with the Copenhagen Police. Jeppe has a new partner this time round as Annette is on maternity leave. But she can't help but work the case on her own time. 

What is the case you ask? Well, more than one body, has been been found in the same outdoor fountain, marked with strange wounds. When the connection is found between the deaths, it's even more horrific - and far reaching. And what about that hospital nurse with her own definition of 'care'.

Engberg happily takes us down the garden path, with lots of red herrings and suspects along the way. The plot is well written and not easily solved by the listener. I enjoyed having more than one mystery to follow. And I actually didn't guess the final whodunit in the main storyline! 

But what I really like about this series are the characters. Engberg gives them detailed personal lives that make them easy to connect with. Mothers, motherhood, new relationships starting anew and more. Jeppe and Anette play well off each other with very different personalities. I wasn't as keen on Anette in the first book, but quite like her in this latest. The banter between the two is entertaining. And their sleuthing skills are sharp. Esther from the first book is also included and she too has a mystery on her hands.

I chose to listen to The Butterfly House. The reader was Graeme Malcolm, one of my favorites. He has an accent that works for many locales. His voice has a lovely, unique, gravelly tone to it and it's quite pleasant to listen to. He depicts the emotion and tone of both characters and plot lines easily with his voice. He also has a somewhat sardonic tone at times that perfectly suits the verbal sparring and inner thoughts of the lead characters. The speed of the reading matches what's going on in the book. He speaks clearly and is easy to understand. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt of The Butterfly House.

I'm looking forward to the next in this series. Nordic police procedural lovers, this one's for you!


Mystica said...

The audio version sounds quite impressive. Thanks for the review.

Luanne said...

Thanks for reading Mystica! Yes, I think I enjoyed the audio version better than I would have for the print version.

Claudia said...

I decided to start with the first, though you are right on, The Tenant didn't get as good a review. Still I like to begin with the debut.

Ethan said...

I've seen so many great reviews of this one. I'll have to read the first!

Luanne said...

Claudia, I agree if it's a series I want to start at the beginning as well. And you're right, the second was is better.

Ethan yes, having the background of the characters will make the second all that much more enjoyable.