Originally published 2016-08-24: A man collects girls and makes them into butterflies in The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to say about this book.
To say it was amazing doesn’t do it justice. To say it was horrifying is an understatement.
This book is full of dark, twisted subject matter that, in the wrong hands, could have been a very traumatic read. But the way the author, Dot Hutchison, handles the description is almost beautiful. She takes something ghastly and shines a light on the “beauty” which can only be seen by a monster.
Warning: May trigger those sensitive to sexual assault.
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…
Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put this book down until I was finished. It was un-put-down-able. Everything about it – from the beautiful imagery to the heartbreaking savagery – took my breath away and left me gasping, begging for more.
The whole time, I was wondering how it would end. What is the girl hiding? What could she possibly need to keep a secret from the people who are trying to help her? Was she complicit, or is she simply broken beyond repair?
And, of course, what happened to the Gardener and all those Butterflies?
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison gets five of five stars for being a fast, furious read that left me recoiling and begging for more all at once.
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