FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY with Martta Kaukonen, feature
FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY with Martta Kaukonen, feature
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The Big Thrill Discusses FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY with Martta Kaukonen

Book Cover: FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLYIda is a self-confessed serial killer of predatory men. She feels no remorse for her victims, but has decided she needs psychiatric help… if only to lay the groundwork for an insanity plea if she gets caught. Clarissa is a celebrity psychotherapist, the best in her field, a familiar face on television and in glossy magazines. For her, every patient is special-someone only she can save. When Ida walks into Clarissa’s consulting room one day, the therapist doesn’t know that they share a dark secret, buried in both their pasts. As Ida’s therapy begins, and Clarissa starts to probe the deepest recesses of her mind, a game of cat and mouse begins. Will Clarissa realise the truth before it’s too late? When Ida becomes Clarissa’s patient, a cat-and-mouse game begins in which nobody plays by the rules. The kind of game that never ends well…

Author Photo: Martta Kaukonen

Martta Kaukonen

Martta Kaukonen recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest domestic thriller, FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

I was tired of male serial killers (both in books and films). I wanted to write about a young woman who kills men because she has been sexually abused in her childhood. I soon realized that the whole serial killer narrative will change totally if the killer is female. So maybe I just wanted to wipe some cobwebs from this old narrative.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

This is my debut novel so I didn’t understand at all what was ahead of me! But what has kept me going is my main character Ida. It took me four years to write this novel and in that time she became my best friend. When I started to write the novel I only knew how it begins and how it ends. Ida took my hand and lead me from the beginning to the end. She has done all the hard work for me!

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

So many! My idol is Gillian Flynn so I read all of her books over and over again. I also read again Joyce Maynard’s To Die For (and watched the film version). And I watched countless film noirs, anything with Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in them.

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

My book is about mental health issues and I hope that I’ve managed to describe Generalized Anxiety Disorder in a way that readers will understand that horrible illness better.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I’m already writing the third book in the Follow the Butterfly series.


Martta Kaukonen (1976) lives in Helsinki. Before she started writing fiction full time she was a film critic for Finland’s biggest newspaper and interviewed the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Justin Bieber. Fun fact: she also met her future husband at his second hand bookshop and fell in love. Alongside writing, Martta loves psychological thrillers, film noir, flea markets, abandoned houses and travelling. FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY is her debut thriller – it was a critical and commercial hit in Finland, is being translated into thirteen languages and has already made the Spiegel bestseller list in Germany. German tv production house Tobis TV is making a tv series based on the book. The sequel of FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY will be published by Pushkin Press soon.

To learn more about the author, please visit her on Instagram.



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