FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison discover a beautiful garden full of kidnapped girls called “Butterflies”, called this because of the beautiful wings their captor tattoos on their backs. The agents decide to bring in one of the survivors, Maya, for questioning, when it becomes obvious that the other survivors look to her for leadership.
Why this book?: I had heard about this one a few times, and was looking for something non-sci-fi. I had also gotten a Kindle Unlimited trial, and decided to try out audiobooks for the first time.
The Butterfly Garden has an odd affect. Right away, a few points are made obvious, enough so that you’re disgusted, but too little to satisfy curiosity. I found myself reading this book more and more often, wanting to know more. Hutchison knows what to hold back to keep someone interested, but also realizes that you need to give some as well to keep people from being too confused. While this book often left things to your imagination, it also gave enough so that you’re mind knew in which direction to go.
The writing also helped with pulling you into the story. The narration goes back and forth to the past and the present, often skipping around in Maya’s past. In the way it skipped back, starting with Maya being asked a question by Hanoverian or Eddison, you can either be immersed in the story or realize that Maya is saying these exact words to them, making you the FBI agents.
Giving each agent their own personal connection to the story was also a good decision. It made their questions make sense, their character towards Maya made sense.
Too perfect ending?
All throughout the book, I was deeply interested, and was constantly dying to read this book. But something was always missing. Maybe it was because there were so many Butterflies and their lives were so short that you never really got to know any of them. Or maybe it was because the Gardener had a sickly twisted idea of love and that Avery was just evil. Those things were present-but the why was never explained.
While I also loved the ending, it just didn’t seem right. It didn’t leave you with questions, nor did it have a solid resolution. Instead, it left you half satisfied with an incomplete ending.
The resolutions with a few of the characters weren’t satisfying either. Maya’s ending with the rest of the Butterflies felt glossed over, as well as the ending with Desmond and the Gardener. I was also a little disappointed with Avery’s ending, although overall I was satisfied.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
The Butterfly Garden was a deeply entrancing novel that made me question a lot. It made me wary of butterflies, and their beauty, while at the same time as appreciating them. I enjoyed the novel, but with the huge build-up through the entire book ending up with a too perfect, too short ending left me like I was missing something.
Would I Recommend?
There are a few triggers that need to be warned about. Obviously, kidnapping, rape/sexual assault, emotional manipulation, among a few I may have missed. A few times it also gets a little gruesome, but nothing is described in-depth or detailed enough that I would see it being a problem. Otherwise, I believe that lovers of thrillers and dark mysteries would find this book enthralling.
Published: June 1st, 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Page Count: 288
Synopsis: via Goodreads
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…