Butterfly Hill

Fiction - Action
258 Pages
Reviewed on 11/08/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Brendan le Grange lives in Hong Kong with his beautiful wife and daughters, writing high-paced action thrillers when his day job allows. Luckily, that day job also allows him to travel to the exotic locales in which his books are set.

    Book Review

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.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Following on from Le Grange’s debut novel, Drachen, art thief Hiko Shimizu escapes from Detective Matthys Rossouw and the Hong Kong police and regroups with his father, Katsu Shimizu. Still determined to destroy his mother, Hiko immediately puts the wheels in motion for a revolutionary scheme. Robbing the most secure safe-deposit boxes in First Hong Kong Bank is just stage one, a necessary step leading to a secret kept hidden since Kublai Khan toppled China’s Song dynasty 700 years ago. A small slip-up leads Chief Inspector Gu of the Hong Kong police to discover Hiko’s true identity and Matthys, stuck in Hong Kong on administrative leave, resumes his hunt for the elusive thief.

Le Grange blends riveting action and clever schemes with a dash of Chinese history and mythology in Butterfly Hill and the result is a thrill ride from start to finish. Hiko displays amazing, yet believable skills as the pursuit of his goal leads him through a series of ancient shrines filled with Indiana Jones style traps. The tension ramps up as the secret society guarding these shrines becomes aware of the threat and all parties now face two enemies rather than one as they pursue each other across Lantau Island. Le Grange’s characters are convincing, each being imbued with personality quirks and flaws that cause both conflict and hilarity within Butterfly Hill. Unpredictable twists will have readers' jaws dropping right up to the last page as Butterfly Hill races to a thrilling climax.

K.C. Finn

Butterfly Hill is an action novel written by author Brendan le Grange. The follow up to the action-packed adventure Drachen, we once again meet with policeman Matthys Rossouw as he pursues another case. In this installment, an Indiana Jones-styled hero comes in the form of Hiko Shimuzu, a brilliant man who seeks the means to start a new revolution in China based on evidence from seven hundred years ago. As Hiko comes closer and closer to the artefact that will tip the balance, Rossouw becomes more aware of the terrifying consequences of the pursuit he’s making, and the stakes rise higher and higher in the beautiful hills of Lantau Island.

Adventurers good and bad take the stage in this truly exciting read that reminded me of works such as The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I found it really interesting that the setting was Hong Kong, and Brendan le Grange brings strong cultural history to his work that really enriches the overall authenticity of the plot. The work is more plot-driven and atmospheric than character-driven, but I did enjoy Hiko Shimuzu’s presentation and his really clever ways of outwitting those who opposed him. Similarly, Matthys Rossouw’s moves were action-packed, slick and exciting to follow right to the novel’s startling conclusion. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Butterfly Hill for readers who enjoy complex plot lines, international adventure and espionage, and who are ready to unveil a fascinating, rip-roaring story that will captivate them from cover to cover.

Justine Reyes

Butterfly Hill by Brendan le Grange is a novel that takes readers on an action-packed adventure, but it isn't as simple as that. Readers first learn of the idiosyncratic protagonist, Hiko Shimizu, when he swims his way to shore from Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. He goes to meet his father, Katsu, to talk to him about a bank job he wants to do. We learn quickly that their relationship is a rocky one, but a rocky relationship is better than the relationship Hiko has with his mother. The pair bond over the idea and eventually try to execute their plans, but very soon things go downhill. All the while, Hiko is being hunted down by Chief Inspectors Rossouw and Gu, after all, Hiko is a thief.

I was surprised at how easily I picked up on the story after finding out that Butterfly Hill is a follow-up novel to le Grange's Drachen. "‘It will be easy.’ Hiko and Katsu were both wearing shorts, their shirts off, eating cup noodles in the gloom. The door was open, but even the fresh air seemed wary of entering." Le Grange's writing is so fluid and seamless, and with just the right combination of words he brings the setting and the characters to life. His characters are so vivid and relatable in terms of familiarity that despite Hiko being a criminal, we root for him and empathize. The story itself was exciting, enthralling, and in some ways deep and rich in the dramatics. Fans of great fictional adventurers like Nathan Drake, Lara Croft, and Indiana Jones will definitely enjoy this! I suggest those looking for fast-paced action and adventure to take a look at le Grange's Butterfly Hill.

Rabia Tanveer

Before I begin my review of Butterfly Hill by Brendan le Grange, let me praise the cover art, with a strong emphasis on 'art,' that just blew me away. I have to admit, it was the cover art that drew me in and held my attention. Even before I read the blurb, I knew that I would be picking it up. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. This is excellent writing. The narrative was exceptionally strong, the characters were very well written and they were developed beautifully. To say that I enjoyed it immensely would be an understatement.

Our story begins when Hiko Shimuzu gets hold of an artifact that could change China and start a revolution. Hiko may be a madman, but he is an intelligent madman, one who can do a lot of damage if he is given the opportunity. Matthys Rossouw knows that he needs to do something and he needs to do it quickly before it is too late. However, he soon realizes that not only is his job at stake, but the lives of millions could be lost if he cannot find Hiko and stop him from doing something completely outrageous.

The story is powerful and dynamic, taking turns and twists that had me reading on and on until the very end. This is an extremely entertaining, action-packed novel, one that took me on a rollercoaster ride that I did not want to get off. Insane as he was, I really liked Hiko and his evil genius mind. I enjoyed how fast paced the story was yet it was never too much. I was in the moment at all times and I loved it even more after every page.