‘Today I was dangerous. I wanted to confess.
I wanted to tell her stories I had held back all these years.’

The Butterfly Man

In 1974 Lord Lucan disappeared after the murder of the family nanny in London’s Belgravia. He has never (officially) been seen again. Based on that event, The Butterfly Man is a novel about coming to terms with the past when there is no future in sight. Winner of the Davitt Award for best crime fiction novel by an Australian woman in 2006, The Butterfly Man is much more than a novel about a crime. Set on Hobart’s Mt Wellington, here is a year in the life of a man who has discovered unexpected love and a sense wonder, but can never find forgiveness.

  • The Butterfly Man begins in the opposite direction to most, more traditional crime novels, and asks, long after the crime, if redemption is possible and if transformation and regret are enough justice for the dead, and for the living...

    Sisters in Crime
  • ...the central mystery is cleverly uncovered in a series of revelations which are both truthful and deceptive in the best traditions of classic mystery writing.

    Sisters in Crime
  • Tasmanian author Heather Rose won a national award for her novel The Butterfly Man last night… The work was short-listed for the 2006 Nita B Kibble Award and is currently long-listed for the 2007 IMPAC Awards in Ireland…

    The Mercury
  • Although 31 years have lapsed, there is no definitive proof that Lucan is dead or that he committed the murder. Even so, Britain’s High Court ruled in 1999 that Lucan was officially dead. In Heather Rose’s new and astutely worked novel The Butterfly Man, Lord Lucan is very much alive. From the opening page we are taken into an assured first-person narrative. Lucan is credible and fully realised. He prompts us to sympathise and maybe forgive… The Butterfly Man is a fine read by a Tasmanian writer whose star is rising.

    The Sunday Tasmanian
  • Rose’s lyrical melding … is masterful. Intriguing as the real-life events of the Lucan story are, Rose transforms it into something far more substantial.

    The Weekend Australian
  • This is a moving novel about a man’s struggle to say goodbye to those who have come to love him for the lies he has told…

    The Canberra Times
  • On November 7th it will be 31 years since the murder of Sandra Rivett, nanny to the children of Lord Lucan in Britain… Despite the brutal murder that lies at the heart of this impressive novel, the tone of The Butterfly Man is strangely gentle, almost meditative.

    The Courier Mail
  • The success of this exquisitely crafted novel is that it is difficult to remind oneself that it is a work of imagination.

    The Western Australian