I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
Published by Thomas & Mercer on June 1st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Thrillers, Suspense
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Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.
In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.
When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.
As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding...
The Butterfly Garden was my first read for Booktubeathon 2016, and it made for a wonderful start! I started it at around 10pm and finished it a few hours later (around 1 am). So I have officially completed challenge #2, which is to read a book after sunset.
The Butterfly Garden
Trigger warning for rape and abuse.
I found this book to be an eerie and suspenseful read. I’ve always had a bizarre fascination with crime cases, especially those that involve long-term kidnapping and cults. Perhaps that would explain my dedication to Criminal Minds. This is a story about a girl, who identifies as Maya. She is a survivor of the horrors of the garden.
I’d highly recommend not going into this book with too much information or expectations. It’s how I personally prefer to read thrillers, and it has served me well so far. But if you prefer to know a little more about this book, then keep on reading!
“Some people stay broken. Some pick up the pieces and put them back together with all the sharp edges showing.”
The novel is told in two alternating perspectives. First we have the FBI agent (in third person POV), followed with Maya’s perspective told in the first person. I really enjoyed that structure because it kept me guessing about Maya’s motivations and her reliability as a narrator.
I LOVED this novel, as much as you can love a book that has such triggering and horrifying contents. I really connected with all the characters, and the story was moving. The pacing was excellent. I could not put this book down! I made my sister bring me dinner so I wouldn’t have to go downstairs and take time away from reading. Yup, I’m that kind of big sister.
This was on its way to being a stellar 5-star book for me. Unfortunately, the ending was little… underwhelming. I expected more from this story and was left wanting. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this one for anyone looking for an engrossing thriller-esque read. You won’t be disappointed!
This book is currently available for free via Kindle Unlimited.
July 20th, 2016
UPDATE: There will be a companion novel out next year, entitled Roses of May, and while it’s not a direct sequel, we will be following our Butterflies and FBI team for a time. The bulk of the story shifts to a new case, a new story, but some things don’t leave us so easily. Is it surprising if Butterflies have a way of lingering?
I’m so excited for the sequel! I will be grabbing it as soon as it releases.
What are your favorite mystery/suspense/thriller books? Let me know! I’d love to check them out.