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After visiting a fortune teller at a May fair, a teenage rebel sets out to fulfil her destiny of fame and fortune together with its associated materialistic lifestyle. The story centers around Petra, and the want to free herself from her perceived dysfunctional family into a world that opens her eyes to the power of her own femininity whilst striving towards her ultimate goal.
Just like this novel is part of a trilogy, the story can also be divided into 3 parts - each one symbolised by a stage in the life-cycle of a Butterfly...
Part 1. Chrysalis: Petra's future is influenced by the people who share her formative years.
Part 2. Metamorphosis: Traumatic events change Petra's life forever.
Part 3. Imago: Petra fulfils her destiny but not as she expects.
As she searches in vain for her prophesised fame she becomes the victim of the evil face of humanity. One of her schemes ends in near tragedy, leaving her dreams in shreds. Following a vicious assault where the police fail in their efforts to apprehend the culprit, she travels abroad where she undergoes intensive surgery.
D.I. Massey, having solved a difficult rape and murder case in Cheshire is invited to assist Greater Manchester Police in leading a team to investigate a spate of sadistic serial killings in hotel bedrooms south of the city. D.S. Turner joins him as part of the arrangement. Discovering parallels with the attack on the young student, Petra, their inquiries lead them to a hostelry in Derbyshire which was the scene of the previously unsolved crime. Petra suddenly becomes their star witness but the case reaches an impasse when they discover that further tragedy has struck her down.
In a bizarre twist of fate, the Tsunami in Thailand becomes the catalyst for the problems which the murder team must face. Petra's obsessive desire to atone for the tragic events in Phuket not only causes a dramatic personality change which transforms her outlook on life, but also impacts on those close to her with devastating consequences.
Stolen identities and cover-ups continue to frustrate Massey and his team until evidence points the finger in a completely unexpected direction. Despite conflicting forensic evidence from various leads, the police make several arrests. Whilst the suspects are in custody and during the subsequent court case, powerful individuals intervene with unexpected consequences.