The Butterfly Garden – 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…

What a story this was, hypnotic writing style drawing the reader in as we slowly learn about the garden through the voice of a captive.

I found myself looking at girls on a daily basis wondering if they would be chosen as the next new butterfly to adorn his garden.

I lived within the garden with the broken butterflies for the duration of reading the book. With shifting opinions on the characters and scenarios I could not begin to process I dutifully read word after word, page after page with the burning desire to unravel more of the story and hear the softly spoken voice of Maya recall another yet what should be horrific but was fuelled by love all too recent memory.

The strength that Maya shows amongst and towards her ‘butterfly family’ is incredible, considering she is an emotionally detached young woman with a broken past. I love Maya, she is my favourite character showing she observes and understanding the minute detail in her carefully chosen words and phrases. She only speaks when she has to and not one for an over flourish of words.

The writing was so realistic I forgot it was only make believe. There was never a garden to begin with.

This was a strong plotline and an original story. A novel of a mans sick twisted fantasy world he indulges himself and his ‘butterflies’ in regardless of their consent, yet he adores, loves and cherishes his ‘butterflies’ which is all rather disturbing within itself.

An excellent read which I can’t praise enough. Really captivating and absorbing inclusive of very well-developed and deep characters. I recommend this is anyone who cares to listen.

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