Kristen Thomas is a career-driven tabloid news reporter who is vying to ďmake it bigĒ with just the right breaking news story. When she hears about the abduction of ten-year-old Petal Loma (who frequented an Internet chat room), Kristen knows she has her story. Petal is from Greenville, Kristenís hometown, and Kristen returns home to cover the story and make her career as a reporter in the process. Having grown up in Greenville, Kristen expects to get the inside scoop on Petalís abduction.
When Kristen arrives in Greenville, she is astonished by her hometownís lack of knowledge about Petalís disappearance. When a suspect is released, Kristenís story goes cold. Kristen turns to another child, Angela Paragon, and gets her opinion of Petalís abduction, which will form the basis of Kristenís news story. Angela captivates America with her news appearances and mesmerizes a serial killer, as well. Angela becomes the new target by virtue of her appearances on news network television, courtesy of Kristen.
Clearly, child abduction is a hot news story, and Kristen is walking the line of ethics by putting Angelaís face out there for the world to see on nightly television. However, Kristen needs an angle for her story since Greenville is not coming up with anything, and Kristen feels that Angela is all she was to work with, so she slants her story through the eyes of a child.
The Butterfly Net has an interesting plot that is current in light of the dangers children face today, including the inherent risks of children using the Internet without adequate supervision. A satisfactory level of suspense is present throughout the novel Ė although it quickly becomes obvious that Angela is going to become a target. Unfortunately, The Butterfly Net is sorely in need of editing to correct grammatical and punctuation errors that are rampant throughout the entire book. While The Butterfly Net has an interesting premise, it needs to be cleaned up in terms of grammar and punctuation in order to make it a truly enjoyable read.