This review is written with thanks to Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin UK, and Netgalley for my copy of Butterfly On The Storm.
When Farah Hafez is visiting the local hospital, she meets a boy who has been the victim of a hit and run. As the boy is not yet conscious, and appears to be alone, there are no witnesses who are able to explain what happened to him. Determined to help, Farah, who is a journalist, returns to the site of the accident to gather clues, but the discoveries she makes will show her that this was not a simple hit and run.
It becomes clear fairly early in The Butterfly On The Storm that this novel is more than a standard police procedural where the conclusion will reveal a perpetrator. It is extremely political, and I enjoyed the insight it gave me into customs from other cultures; for example Bacha Bazi, as this is not something of which I had heard prior to reading. Through the characters of Farah and Marouan, there is also a focus on the lives of those who have entered the country as immigrants, which, although this novel is set in the Netherlands, I found particularly pertinent in the current British political climate. However, as the political element of the plot became apparent, some aspects of the plot became more complicated, and this made it quite difficult to follow at times.
All the characters in Butterfly On The Storm come with intricate back stories. This makes them compelling and piqued my interest as I was reading. However, at times, it felt that the characters were so well developed that there was little scope for them to grow as the novel progressed, and this prevented me from engaging with them as well as I might otherwise have done. The Butterfly On The Storm is the first book in a trilogy, so it will be interesting to see which characters, if any, appear in the second instalment.
The Butterfly On The Storm is a slow burner, and it was part way through that it finally captured my attention. As it reached a crescendo, the shorter chapters and fast paced writing increased the tension and made the novel a thrilling read, However, I didn't feel that this was maintained and this made it difficult for me to give the book my full concentration.
Overall, I feel that the issues that Lucius explores in Butterfly On The Storm are very interesting and often pertinent to modern society. However, I found that the novel was only able to maintain my interest in short bursts and this made it slightly underwhelming for me.
Butterfly On The Storm is published on 30th March and is available from Amazon.