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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Butterfly Hill by Brendan le Grange is a novel that falls proudly into the adventure, suspense, and thriller genres, in a follow-up to le Grange's debut work of fiction, Drachen. Butterfly Hill reads beautifully as a work of fiction, set in bustling Hong Kong and its largest outlying island, Lantau. Told from multiple points of view, the narrative shifts primarily between an Indiana Jones-esque Hiko Shimuzu, a mentally unstable soldier named Teapot Lee, and two agents hot on Hiko's tracks, Matthys and Elaine. When the hunt for Hiko, “a Europol-wanted art thief and an HKPF-wanted bank robber,” begins to dredge up more than just jade crescents, it becomes clear that a deep-rooted and twisted conspiracy is in play...and the protection of such an ancient and covert secret must be conserved at any price.
Butterfly Hill is an extraordinary, fast-paced story that keeps the heart rate pumping and the fingers flicking through pages at a harrowing speed. Brendan le Grange has crafted his thriller with all of the right ingredients for a perfect brew with just the right bite. Hiko is an anti-hero with many, many layers, humanized by some pretty shameless flaws—imperfections that lend to a perfect character arc, a bit of redemption, and a heck of a lot of energy. What I loved most about this story is that, while I knew who I was rooting for, I wasn't terribly disappointed when Elaine was given some right of way also. She is exactly the type of strong, fierce, intelligent dynamo we need to see, regardless of motive. Overall, this novel delivers everything one hopes for in an action-suspense tale, and I'm excited to see where le Grange takes us next.