Butterfly Kisses by Patrick Logan

A review of the psychological crime thriller Butterfly Kisses by Patrick Logan.

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Butterfly Kisses is a psychological thriller about a serial killer. When a body is found by an addict in a derelict part of town, disgraced detective Damien Drake is assigned the case. Partnered with the young by-the-book detective Chase Adams, the pair investigate the mystery of the ‘man with the expensive shoes’ murder.

Drake, an unlikeable protagonist, is well on his way toward alcoholism following the death of his partner six months earlier. I found I had no sympathy for him. Drake’s wallowing in self-pity is overdone and therefore I found it hard to care at all about what happened to him. Breaking rules and encouraging Chase to do the same does not make his character any more likeable; I am not sure if this was Logan’s intention.

Chase Adams is an okay character. Befriending the disgraced Drake when he is ostracised by the rest of the precinct is believable—after all, she has to work with him. Chase comes across as a stickler for the rules and procedure, yet breaks this within the first few hours of meeting Drake. I don’t think, with the character Logan has given Chase, she would ignore his alcohol abuse or his slightly volatile nature.

The peripheral characters are just that—peripheral—and there is no chance to become attached to any of them.

The story itself started really well, with a very different cause of death. However, as the story progresses it does start to become quite cliché. For example: the murder victim was a stand-up member of the community, doing good deeds and helping people…or was he? The victim’s brother is a stereotypical lawyer: brash, loud and obnoxious. The dodgy manservant—who’s been with the family for years—acts suspicious from the outset. The trophy wife hiding secrets in order to maintain her lifestyle. It would be nice to not have these formulaic characters and instead really surprise and challenge the reader’s comfort zone.

Despite that, on the whole there is not much wrong with this book, but I found I got distracted from it very easily so it took me quite a while to read. I think that’s because I was not invested in any of the characters and therefore couldn’t really care who murdered whom.

Cassidy grew up in Thanet and lives here with her family.

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