A Lars Winkler Novel, The Scream Of The Butterfly is a new installment in Jakob Melander’s Scandinavian crime series. Politics and family are at the heart of this murder mystery. When the mayor of Copenhagen is found murdered in his luxury apartment, Lars Winkler is on the case. But it’s not as simple as it looks. The case is layered with red tape, especially since the mayor’s mom is a prominent political figure. And with elections coming up, she doesn’t want anything to jeopardize her chances of being elected for the top job.
But how far will she go to stop her family’s name from getting tainted?
And, how much more red tape does Lars Winkler have to uncover to get to the bottom of this high profile murder investigation? The victim seems to be an idealistic man, but there are some unexplained gaps in his past. Did he ever work with the Red Cross? The records don’t show that. But if the rumours are true, then why? The pieces of the puzzle just don’t add up.
Even though I hadn’t read the first installment of the Lars Winkler book series, the storytelling was inclusive. Clearly Lars had a troubled past so it made sense that he would be still dealing with those demons. Relationship wise, the back and forth with him and his ex wife and his ex wife’s current interest, who just happens to be his boss, would understandably be a complicated affair. The emotional conflict is somewhat tedious and I felt unnecessary, as I wasn’t invested in Lars Winkler the person yet. But the story does ramp up very quickly and as a reader you are eager to get to the bottom of Serafine’s story. Because the novel is called The Scream Of The Butterfly, personally I would have liked the author to invest a bit more on the development of that character. It would be been more compelling.
The book is dark and in lieu of current events in the world, right on topic. Without giving too much away it attempts to give light to gender rights equality, and highlight the issue of acceptance and change. However, it’s not the kind of dark that I had originally imagined the book to be…Hannibal Lecter kind of scary.
While the original writing of the novel must have no doubt been good, the translation is wonderful. And, it makes for a compelling story that doesn’t feel lost in translation.
The Scream Of The Butterfly is published by House Of Anansi.