I received this book for free from Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Thomas & Mercer on June 1st 2016
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...
I started this one thinking that it was a blogger shame review. I swear I’ve had it for so long or at least I’ve had it on my TBR for a good long time. While I was trying to figure this out, my hubby opened up Audible and saw that I purchased it in Jan. So, while I started reading it as a shame book, looks like I actually read a book that I purchased within about a month! Miracles do happen!
This is intense.
This starts with a police interview and they believe that the young lady they are speaking with has something to do with the case. As the police learn more about her story, so does the reader. I loved this. They do not get any more than the reader and vice versa. There are two narrators, one for the male cops, and another for the female, Maya.
Maya is great. I loved her from her first word. What I didn’t love was the fact that because she wasn’t a shrinking violet, the cops think that she is a criminal. The entire time I sided with Maya. Sadly, as the story progresses, and they keep on and on about how she must be hiding something, I start to lose a little of that confidence that they are wrong.
Maya’s story is a long one, but it is needed to understand everything that happened to her. She’s a victim but, as I said above, nobody believes she is FULLY a victim. I think this insistent pushing ruined a bit of the story for me. There is a bit of a twist at the end, and yes she was hiding something, but the something that she was hiding wasn’t that big of a deal. At least not to me. It didn’t have the oomph that it desperately needed to explain why a reader would wait for this twist the entire story.
Also, there are a lot of characters. The characters that are mentioned over and over again are easy to understand and feel more tangible than the rest. Many girls are named but more just glossed over and it seemed like it was just to show that there are supposed to be hundreds of girls in the garden. I only ever got the feeling that there were like 20 or so. Even with all the name dropping.
Still, while the twist was a bit lackluster, the rest of the story is horrific. The detail and imagination that had to go into this is amazing. The narration was very well done and pulled me into the story. The unfolding was the fun part. The more I heard about what was going on in the garden, the more I wanted to hear. You have to suspend belief to be able to get through some of this. The gardener has unlimited resources, but even so, something like this would take more than just unlimited resources. So many people would have to know about the garden, plus this is near, although not too close, to his house. As a wife, I know I would want to go to the garden to sit and read, or whatever else. Like I said, some of this just doesn’t add up, but for the most part it’s good enough to ignore those bits.
This is definitely a great read. I just wouldn’t put all my hopes into that ending. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but maybe it’ll work for everyone else.
|Overall:||3.5 / 5|