Sunday, January 10, 2021

Review: The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg (audio)

Title: The Butterfly House
Author: Katrine Engberg
Series: Korner & Werner, #2
Narrator: Graeme Malcolm
Published: January 2021, Simon Schuster Audio / Gallery/Scout Press
Length: 10 hours 1 minutes / 352 pages
Source: Audio via Simon Schuster Audio / Print - ARC E-copy via Netgalley

Detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner return in this thriller as they race to solve a series of sordid murders linked to some of the most vulnerable patients in a Danish hospital.

Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing. But in the coronary care unit at one of Copenhagen’s leading medical centers, a nurse fills a syringe with an overdose of heart medication and stealthily enters the room of an older male patient.

Six days earlier, a paperboy on his route in central Copenhagen stumbles upon a macabre find: the naked body of a dead woman, lying in a fountain with arms marked with small incisions. Cause of death? Exsanguination—the draining of all the blood in her body.

Clearly, this is no ordinary murder. Lead Investigator Jeppe Korner, recovering from a painful divorce and in the throes of a new relationship, takes on the investigation. His partner, Anette Werner, now on maternity leave after an unexpected pregnancy, is restless at home with a demanding newborn and an equally demanding husband. While Jeppe pounds the streets looking for answers, Anette decides to do a little freelance sleuthing. But operating on her own exposes her to dangers she can’t even begin to fathom.

As the investigation ventures into dark corners, it uncovers the ambition and greed that festers beneath the surface of caregiving institutions—all the more shocking for their depravity—and what Jeppe and Anette discover will turn their blood as cold as ice….


My thoughts:  This is the second book in Katrine Engberg's Korner and Werner series and one of my most anticipated books of January. I was so excited to see that this second book was being translated here in the US as I really liked the first book, The Tenant last year and have been eagerly awaiting this next installment.

This book is an incredibly atmospheric, fast-paced Scandinavian crime thriller. A serial killer is on the loose and the method of killing is quite unusual. But it seems all the victims have a connection...and the suspects seem plentiful the more the detectives dig into the case. 

I have to say I think this book is even better than the first one. There is continued character development on both our beloved detectives, something that I think was a little lacking in the previous book, which seemed to be primarily focused on Korner. In this book, I feel it's a bit more balanced. We have our detectives working independently on the case...with Korner having to take on a new partner for the time being. I loved that even though Werner is supposed to be on maternity leave, she decides she cannot sit around and do nothing, so she does her own sleuthing, off-the-record, because she just happens to still have her police scanner.

This book takes a hard look at the mental health system and how overworked and understaffed some places are. There are many twists and turns throughout the book and it really keeps you engaged and on the edge of your seat as you try to keep track of all the moving parts and figure out how they all come together. I had my guesses as to who was behind the murders but I was completely wrong!

I loved this latest edition and am quite eager to continue on with the series. I am glad to see this book was translated into English...hopefully that means the rest of the series will be as well!

Audio thoughts: I went the audio route this time around and it was super fun...this book really translated well into audio and the narrator, Graeme Malcolm really did a great job bringing the book to life. He did a good job with the voices and his pacing and intonation were spot on. He was a new-to-me narrator and I would love to see him continue narrating the rest of this series as I would definitely consider listening to the rest of it if he did!


Books in this series:

  1. The Tenant
  2. The Butterfly House 

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