thebutterflygardenTitle: The Butterfly Garden (The Collector #1)
Author: Dot Hutchison
Genres: Horror, Mystery
Release Day: June 1st 2016

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…

5 stars! 

“The only thing that made me truly different was that I was the only one who never cried.”

The Butterfly Garden is a book you need to know as little as possible going in. I hadn’t read the blurb, or any reviews; I was going back and forth between books and I couldn’t get into anything, so I did what I always do, I switched genres and Horror is something I almost never read. And it worked. From the first page, I was hooked.

“Some people stay broken. Some pick up the pieces and put them back together with all the sharp edges showing.”

The book begins with an interrogation scene and two agents who are trying to put together the details of their most recent crime scene, interrogating a girl who claims her name is Maya. Maya is one of the many survivors of the Garden. The Garden is a place where the Gardener, a total psychopath, is keeping girls he’s kidnapped (sometimes with the help of his oldest son), tattoos wings on their back and renames them.

“Not making a choice is a choice. Neutrality is a concept, not a fact.”

Maya is our amazing narrator, she is straight forward and witty despite her being in the Garden – with books that deal with captivity themes, I tend to never question the victim’s behavior. How would you behave if you woke up in a strange place with 20 other girls? Would you run and scream, attempt to run away even though the other girls might not follow? Would you leave them behind? All these questions went through my head and Maya’s behavior compared to other incidents that happened in the Garden, gave me all the answers I needed. I could write an essay on this book, I LOVED EVERY CREEPY PAGE, so much!

“The trouble with sociopaths, really, is that you never know where they draw their boundaries.”

It’s haunting, really. In the way the story is being told, in the way the characters are slowly being revealed and like a movie, in slow motion, you discover what the Garden is really like and what goes on in the Garden near that isolated mansion. Despite not getting a lot of details on who the Gardener is, the story creates a detailed enough profile of this man and his intentions, plus, his two sons who couldn’t be more different from one another and their involvement with the Garden is chilling and shocking. The book presents a lot of characters, this is a serial kidnapper so there are a lot of girls mentioned and as the story progresses, you learn more about them, about their dynamic and about their relationship.

“We were a fucked-up family, but a family nonetheless.”

I was in the story, trying to make sense of what was happening, of who these people were and what does the title mean. It has a very unique story telling, usually I don’t like books that go back and forth to tell a story, it keeps me from really getting into it but this book’s story telling was amazing. I never once felt like putting the book down and it’s a heavy book to read, not page wise but the details are creepy and horrifying to read.

“Beauty loses its meaning when you’re surrounded by too much of it.”

This is my first book from the author and Amazon says it’s the first book of a trilogy, to be fair I don’t want any more details but at the same time I WANT ALL THE DETAILS. Looking forward to anything, really.


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