The Butterfly Girl (Noami Cottle #2) – Rene Denfeld

four stars black
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 272
Release Date: October 1

After captivating readers in The Child Finder, Naomi—the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children—returns, trading snow-covered woods for dark, gritty streets on the search for her missing sister in a city where young, homeless girls have been going missing and turning up dead.

From the highly praised author of The Child Finder and The Enchanted comes The Butterfly Girl, a riveting novel that ripples with truth, exploring the depths of love and sacrifice in the face of a past that cannot be left dead and buried. A year ago, Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she finds the younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life.

The search takes her to Portland, Oregon, where scores of homeless children wander the streets like ghosts, searching for money, food, and companionship. The sharp-eyed investigator soon discovers that young girls have been going missing for months, many later found in the dirty waters of the river. Though she does not want to get involved, Naomi is unable to resist the pull of children in need—and the fear she sees in the eyes of a twelve-year old girl named Celia. Running from an abusive stepfather and an addict mother, Celia has nothing but hope in the butterflies—her guides and guardians on the dangerous streets. She sees them all around her, tiny iridescent wisps of hope that soften the edges of this hard world and illuminate a cherished memory from her childhood—the Butterfly Museum, a place where everything is safe and nothing can hurt her.

As danger creeps closer, Naomi and Celia find echoes of themselves in one another, forcing them each to consider the question: Can you still be lost even when you’ve been found? But will they find the answer too late?


The Butterfly Girl is the sequel to The Child Finder where Denfeld dives deep into Naomi Cottle’s elusive past. Denfeld builds on the foreshadowing in The Child Finder to deliver a painful yet hopeful story.

The Butterfly Girl is told mostly told from two perspectives, Naomi and Celia, a young girl living on the streets. Naomi finds herself in Portland where she is determined to locate her missing sister, a sister she has barely any memory of except for a strawberry field.

Denfeld’s writing is just as poetic as the previous novel. Denfeld weaves together a dark tale making it bearable only through her expert writing.

What makes The Butterfly Girl stand out from other thrillers/mysteries is Denfeld’s focus on the disadvantaged, name Celia and the life she has living on the streets. Between the two storylines, Celia’s is easily the most interesting. Naomi’s storyline focuses heavily on her inner turmoil and feelings, so for a lot of the novel Naomi is almost blind to what is happening around her until it is painfully obvious.

Although I did not enjoy The Butterfly Girl as much as The Child Finder, I would certainly read another novel in the series as Naomi tackles another case.


Have you read The Child Finder and/or The Butterfly Girl? What did you think?



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