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.
My Review - 3
I think Butterfly Garden would be a good horror on screen. It is labeled an adult thriller but I can't say I was thrilled or sitting on the edge of my seat for this one. I thought this was going to be a quick read at less then 300 pages but it took me forever because it didn't say pick me up.
I enjoyed the beginning, we meet Maya telling the detectives about her time in the garden. Immediately you know somehow she escaped or the police found them so no suspense there. We are told the story through Maya reliving the life of being captured with 20 plus young women. We get to know some of the women and had a sense of life in the garden. A mix between a prison, science lab and gorgeous gardens. All very weird and I can't really say believable.
Who can create these kind of places without anyone anonymously letting the police know. Beautiful garden, greenhouse, high tech walls that come down and shut everything out, waterfalls, weird concept to believe.
....when I fell asleep, the nightmare would still be there. When I woke up, the nightmare would still e there. Every day for three and a half years, the nightmare would always, always be there, and there was no comfort against that.
We have a father and two sons. The father is known as the Gardner, he captures the ladies, tattoos their backs with wings to create a butterfly, sometimes tattooing their faces. He is the ultimate sociopath and serial killer which sees nothing wrong with what he does. Just like butterflies they have a short life and the women know that at 21 there time comes to an end. He abducts the women and takes care of them but he also murders them.
We then first meet the eldest son, Avery, he had anger issues and abused the women, this was the only parts that felt like abuse and that something was wrong. As you are reading there are times you forget these women are captured and freedom is not an option. The sexual acts do not feel like rape until Avery comes along reminded the women they are in a dangerous zone.
Most of the girls did better pretending the sky wasn't so close, pretending that our world was bigger than it was and that nothing waited Outside. If it helped them, I wasn't going to argue with them. But I love it up there. Some days I'd even climb the trees and stretch out and press my hand against the glass. I liked reminding myself that there was a world beyond my cage, even if I'd never see it again.
Then we meet Desmond, he finds his way into the Garden to see what he father is hiding. He is so naive he doesn't understand or believe the concept that his father can be taken young women against their will. During his visits to the garden he falls in love with Maya, the butterfly that takes care of all the butterflies. How does this relationship end?
We get good cop versus bad cop during the interviews but I really couldn't wait for them to be over. You read looking forward to the end, how were they found, the suspense has you engaged and then they are captured and when you hear the end of the story from Maya......... well it just ends. I don't think I can let my mind go that far left to believe. I think the ending will be a love it or hate it choice. Overall a very weird book, some parts where magical, if you can call it that.
This was the 1st book in a trilogy or series, I have no interest in reading on. Even though there were some hard topics in this book they were written with ease and class.