The Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly GardenThe Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
Published by Thomas & Mercer on June 1st 2016
Pages: 288
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four-half-stars

Holy Hell! If the books “Kiss the girls” and “The Silence of the lambs” had a baby – it would be this book!!!

Dark, Disturbing, Demented,Damaged and Deranged. This book is not for everyone..but it was for me. I loved this creepy sick book. So good!!!

This book begins as FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are interviewing a survivor – a “butterfly” set free from captivity. The young woman they are interviewing is known as Maya. She is one of the survivors from a serial kidnapper/rapists/serial killer. As Maya begins to tell her story, the FBI agents learn more about the man known as “The Gardener” who kidnaps young women and tattoos butterfly wings on their backs before raping them and keeping them captive in his Garden. These women must follow the rules if they are to survive for a time in the Garden. They are kept until the age of 21 and then…..the reader must read the book to find out what happens to them.

The Gardener has been kidnapping teenagers for decades and keeping his precious “butterflies” in his garden. He strips them of their identity by renaming them. Talking about who they were before is frowned upon. The Gardener is obsessed with keeping them and preserving them to keep with him forever. The “butterflies are there to look pretty and fulfill his sexual needs. He also allows his sadistic son to “visit” the butterflies and terrorize them.

As Maya slowly tells her tale, the FBI (and the reader) learns about the horrific life of the women. Taken, marked and stripped of their identities, how will the surviving victims live a normal life after what they have survived. What dark secrets can they tell? This book goes back and forth from the present day investigation to the time when Maya was taken. These changes in time are flawless and flow so easily. There are no confusing time change/POV parts.

True, this book is not for everyone – but it is insanely captivating. I devoured this book. This book grabbed my attention instantly and never let go of it. Part of what was so good was Maya herself. She was an enigma. She is mysterious, sarcastic, wise, brave, strong, and smart. She is not their typical victim. She has a sad past which has made her cynical, strong and brave. She was the perfect narrator. As she begins to open up, the FBI agents wonder… “What isn’t she telling us?” and “is there more to this than meets the eye?”

If I haven’t said it..I thought this book was fantastic! Again, it is not a book for everyone. Horrible things happen to the women. I worked for years with serial killers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters as a forensic therapist and I thought the Gardener was perfectly painted. I loved the different personalities of the women and particularly liked how they formed friendships and supported each other. This is a tale of pure evil, but it is also a tale of resilience, strength, friendship and strength. I liked how even though he took them from their lives, robbed them of their names, marked their bodies and kept them against their will, and yet, they kept their personalities intact.

I feel like I could go on and on and on. This book was the perfect blend of beauty and ugliness. I highly recommend it. It was an engrossing page turner for me!

four-half-stars

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