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She's planted a slew of clues--in the pages of her journal, on the hard drive of her computer, tucked away in public places, under flowerpots, and behind statues. Heartbroken, confused, and accompanied by an imaginary cat, Ben embarks upon a scavenger hunt leading to charming and unexpected spaces, from the hidden alleys of Paris to the cobblestone streets of New York City.
But Butterfly's posthumous messages are surprisingly well informed for the words of a dead person, and they're full of confessions of a past darkened by insanity, betrayal, and murder. The treasures Ben is unearthing are installments of a gruesome memoir. Now he must draw a clear line between the real and surreal if he is to save himself, Butterfly, and what remains of their crazy and amazing friendship.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Constable’s inaugural novel provides an offbeat tale—dark but playful in tone—about a possible serial killer, her befuddled friend, and a two-hemisphere treasure hunt. Narrator Ben Constable, named after the author, is an aspiring British writer who works in a Paris bank and discovers a letter from his friend Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa, a transplanted New Yorker, in which she claims to have committed suicide. Through a series of rambling posthumous letters, electronic documents, and e-mails, she reveals her dark past, including several murders, and eggs him on to pursue her rather perverse “treasure hunt” of planted clues. Aided by his imaginary feline pet “Cat,” Ben leaves Paris for New York City, where by chance he meets Beatrice, a graduate student who turns out to know Tomomi. Beginning to doubt Tomomi’s suicide claim, Ben returns home to Paris. Tomomi’s next clues lead him down into the Paris catacombs, where he finally gets to the bottom of her subterfuge, concluding this surprisingly casual twisted yarn. Agent: Judith Murray, Greene & Heaton, (U.K.). (June)