Title: The Roses of May (The Collector #2)
Author: Dot Hutchison
Horror, Mystery
Release Day: May 23rd 2017
ARC was kindly provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.

Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?

3 stars.

“Guilt doesn’t have to make sense; it just is.”

When I saw that The Butterfly Garden had a sequel I nearly screamed. Unfortunately The Roses of May is another story that features the same defectives and a few cameos from some of the girls from the Garden.

Although this one had a powerful crime backdrop, the story didn’t hold me like the previous one did. It had multiple POVs which I normally like but the story changed from one POV to the other without any indication of who was talking and it was a bit odd trying to figure out whose mind I was in. The only POV that was easy to tell was the killer’s.

Priya’s sister is one of the victims of a serial killer that has been killing girls for years and leaving them covered in flowers. I liked how Priya was linked to the story but without giving too much away her and her mom’s involvement was just stupid and utterly abnormal. Priya and her mom had a unique relationship, almost like a Lorelai/Rory type of relationship which didn’t quit fit into the book.

What I most liked about this:

  • Kudos to the author for writing a book with diverse characters and a strong female character who was pretty much the boss.
  • Priya’s narration of past events, she didn’t info dump just casually mentioning big events in her life throughout the book.
  • An eating disorder that was not glorified.

I missed that haunting feeling of a mystery, not being able to put the book down and wanting to get to the end, it took me days to finish it and that’s not a good sign. The tiny glimpses of the killer’s mind and the cameos of the Butterflies were not enough to make this intriguing; also the Gardener and his sons… I didn’t expect the story to go there, it sort of felt like it just happened as a quick closure, I wanted something more.

As a huge fan of The Butterfly Garden, I went in with the highest of expectations and looking for that thrill​ and the haunting feeling the previous one so successfully provided. It was a decent crime book but it didn’t stay with me and it felt more like Priya’s book about her dead sister and her family with occasional hints of crime and mystery.

other books in the series

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison


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