The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
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…
This book sure is something. This is the first adult thriller I’ve read, and I think it was a great place to start.
The premise of the book is super interesting and super disturbing. I’ve always been morbidly fascinated with kidnappings, and this is about multiple kidnappings. It was interesting to see the Gardener’s motivation and the dynamic with his sons.
I also loved the female friendships portrayed in this book. Women are very often pitted against each other, and in this book, it was the complete opposite. The girls in the garden were a family, and Maya and her roommates were also a family. I loved their relationships and how wholesome it was. And even with the girls in the Garden, there were obviously people who were closer and who fought, but it was never petty or catty. It was like real female relationships (wow, imagine). It was probably the best part of this book.
In terms of writing and characterization, they aren’t really the point of this book, y’know. The writing wasn’t bad. It got it’s job done, but it wasn’t amazing either. Same with the characterization. The characters are fine, but not great.
Though this book is a thriller, there isn’t a ton of action. It’s not action-packed or anything, but it isn’t boring. I was completely hooked and sucked in, and read this in the span of a few hours.
I did hate the plot twist at the end though. Like fuck it was bad. I’m sorry, but it was so bad. Without the plot twist, this probably would have been a five-star read. But alas.
If you need an interesting read, I definitely recommend this. Have you read The Butterfly Garden? What were your thoughts? Is it on your TBR? Let me know!
Thanks for reading! xx