Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place - possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home. But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession.
She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire" - a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual, when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get it out of her mind.
As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues", with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined - a world, as she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.
"A debut worth picking up. Stark and realistic." (RTBook Reviews)
"An engaging mystery starring a teen girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder…. A pleasing mix of realism, tension, intrigue and romance." (Kirkus Reviews)
"In a strong, twisty thriller of a debut, Ellison builds tension effectively, creating credible portraits of both the decaying, violent streets of Neverland and the compulsions that make Lo such a complex and memorable heroine." (Publishers Weekly)
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Review: "The Butterfly Clues" by Kate Ellison