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…
WOW! Amazing book! I was hooked by this thriller right from the start. The book begins in present day, during an interview with a survivor of The Garden and FBI agents. The Garden was the place where The Gardener kept young girls (butterflies), who he abducted to feed his obsession and sexual needs. The Gardener was obsessed with his butterflies to the point that he tattooed each girl with butterfly wings. In the beginning it is unclear what role the survivor played in the garden. Her story and those of all the butterflies come to light as this particular butterfly tells her story in a slow, storytelling kind of way.
This book stirred up so much emotion in me. The premise makes it impossible to not feel badly about these abducted girls and have disgust for The Gardener who abducts the girls for his obsession and sexual needs. But, there were times in the survivor’s story telling that I felt sorry for The Gardener and actually empathized with him. I had to remind myself that he was the bad guy. I know, I know, it’s sick but that’s what makes this book so incredibly good.
My only critique of The Butterfly Garden is the ending is a little unclear. I realize that is probably the author’s intention but after such an intense story, I wanted some closure. Don’t get me wrong, the ending does not take away from the book. It was just my personal wish to have a more concrete ending.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It is a book that haunts you after you finish. My biggest hope is that it becomes a movie. It was so different than any other book I’ve read and I would love to see it on the big screen.