Bill Whitworth. Butterfly Girl. Alexander, NC: Alexander Books, 2010.

White Shoals appears to be a peaceful town in the scenic mountains of North Carolina,  but appearances can be deceiving.  Jason Duke has been the sheriff for less than a year, and when an anonymous caller reports a body near the edge of a mountain stream, he has his first murder case.  The victim is a young woman with a butterfly tattoo on one of her legs; determining who she is and how and why she died takes the sheriff into dangerous territory.  The head of the county commissioners, Kirk Mallory, is a real estate developer who pressures the sheriff to find the killer fast and thus minimize the negative publicity that the town is receiving.  Mallory’s interference is almost to be expected, but the sheriff is surprised when someone at the other end of the town’s social spectrum, the old country shopkeeper Amos Hawkins, warns him not to stir up something he can’t handle.  By degrees, multiple stories unfold–of a college student who went with Mr. Wrong; of a greedy, dishonest developer; of a man who hid his insanity behind a veneer of respectability; of meth makers taking advantage of the cover that the mountains provide; and  of a community in the midst of change.  Intermixed with these disturbing matters are the stories of Jason Duke’s working relationship with his deputy Shaun Standingdeer and the sheriff’s romance with local woman.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Mountains, Mystery, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Whitworth, Bill

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