Book Review: Butterfield Institute #1: The Halo Effect by M.J. Rose

Rating: StarStarStar

(Butterfield Institute #1)

As one of New York’s top sex therapists, Dr. Morgan Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved, from couples grappling with sexual boredom to twisted sociopaths with dark, erotic fetishes. And the Butterfield Institute is the sanctuary where she helps soothe and heal these battered souls.

Cleo Thane is one of those special patients Morgan connects to immediately. A high-priced prostitute, Cleo is remarkably sensitive and unscathed, a woman desperate to reconcile her successful professional life with her neglected personal one. And when she asks Morgan to read her unpublished tell-all book about her exclusive clientele, Morgan realizes that what she has in her hands could be explosive.

Then Cleo disappears.

Detective Noah Jordan is trying to stay one step ahead of a serial killer who has been targeting prostitutes, killing them with ritualistic precision. When a missing person’s report is filed on Cleo Thane, Noah wonders if she, too, has fallen prey to the psycho’s wrath. He approaches Dr. Morgan Snow for any insight on her patient, but Morgan refuses to breach patient confidentiality. Instead she begins her own investigation into Cleo’s disappearance.

Certain that the answers lie in the manuscript that Cleo has entrusted her with, Morgan delves into the private confessions of a woman paid to act out the sexual fantasies of some of the city’s most powerful men. But she is shocked by how much the intimate sexual details of another woman’s life affect her own. Too late she realizes she’s ventured into dangerous — even deadly — territory.


The Halo Effect was the sore thumb among the Butterfield Institute series. This is the first book and Rose was just building Morgan’s story, so maybe that’s why i didn’t enjoy it as much as i would’ve? Because i love The Delilah Complex and The Venus Fix; imagine my suprise when this one fell short for me.

The serial killings were elaborate and grisly, but the killer’s motive to do the acts were rather… plain? It was too simple for me to warrant that kind ofdeviant behavior towards prostitutes. Dr. Morgan Snow is effective as a sex therapist but like most women who have successful careers, her family life was kind of in shambles. Noah Jordain sounds like a god to me, knowing he’s a cop but a great cook and musician. Not to mention he has no problems with money. Highly impossible to be true, right? Still, i like his character.

The Halo Effect is an ok read for me. Perhaps you can start this series with little expectation, because when you get to The Venus Fix (my favorite), Rose will surely satisfy your thriller/suspense cravings. It will be worth it. 🙂


#24 Off-the-Shelf Reading Challenge 2011




.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

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