The Butterfly Garden - Dot Hutchison

Genre: Psychological thriller
Synopsis: 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...


Review: I picked this book up entirely because of the amusing reaction a friend on my book forum had to it, which was mostly that she wasn't entirely sure what to make of it. That, combined with a review claiming a gaping plot hole, proved too much for my curiosity to resist. I wasn't expecting too much from this book, and while it was a quick, easy read it about lived up to expectations.

It's an interesting concept with some thought gone into it, but I felt the execution was a little underwhelming. You know from the first chapter or two what is ultimately going to happen, the only mystery really is how it comes about. That was what kept me reading, wanting to find stuff out, but my reaction in the end was pretty much 'meh', because due to the police interrogation nature format of the story, there were no real surprises there. Anything that hadn't been overtly stated, the reader could guess from maybe halfway through. Well there was one 'twist', but it wasn't great or really very relevant to the story. I would also have liked there to be more focus on the Gardener and his background.

I guess what the story lacked, apart from a good structure, was credibility. I should have been horrified by what was happening in the book, but it just felt too fake for it to have any real impact on me, and I do think that's a shame, because I really liked the concept. I'm giving it three stars because I read to the end and got some enjoyment out of it, but really my reaction to it is 'meh'.

Rating: 3/5

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