Hello, Dear Bloggites. Here is another book review from my personal collection on Audible. Amazon offered this book as an early read/listen before its release date, and because of life (you know that crazy thing that screws up all plans), I just got around to listening to it.
I love a good mystery, I love a good detective novel, and this book offered both. The book is called The Butterfly Garden (The Collector #1) by Dot Hutchison. The story is a different twist on a serial kidnapper/rapist. Instead of writing the novel like most detective books where the reader follows the detectives on their journey of solving the crimes being committed, Dot Hutchison writes from the view point AFTER the bad guy is caught and follows the interviews of the kidnapped victims by the detectives. This story line intrigued my sense of all things odd and unusual.
The main character is a kidnapped teen/young woman who was renamed Maya by the Gardener, the name the kidnapper told the girls he took to call him. The Gardener would kidnap young girls around the age of 16 years old, the age he felt all women were in perfect form, and would rape them and tattoo huge butterfly wings on their backs. He called them his “butterflies” and created this enclosed garden for the butterflies to live in until they turned 21 where he would then “capture them into an eternal beauty”. I cannot tell you more on the story line without giving it all away so you will have to grab a book and find out. 😉
The way the author wrote the story, I was a little confused as to what was going on at the beginning because she toggled from one-character point of view to another. Once I realized her cadence with the writing, I was pulled into the story. As Maya fills in the detectives about what happened in The Butterfly Garden, the reader learns of how the Gardener hunts his prey when he picks his ‘Butterflies’; how the girls obtain their ‘wings’; and how the sons of the kidnapper became involved with all the girls being kept as captives.
The ‘Butterflies’ in the garden had to learn to get along with one another and as their knowledge grows of each other and their shared treatment from the Gardener, they form their own family with each other and always looked out for one another and mourned the loss of any ‘butterflies’ that were taken from the garden. Maya was a sort of housemother to the girls in the garden taking on the role of caring for all of them and the newly kidnapped girls. The other girls looked to Maya for answers due to her ability to manipulate the Gardener and one of his sons to obtain things the girls need in the garden.
The only issue I had with this book was that it did toggle back and forth from one point of view to another in the first person which I am not a fan of. This book is the first in a trilogy written by the author. I have not read Dot Hutchison before and I will probably get the other two in the trilogy to round out my collection. She does write well and is able to give the readers a true understanding of the bad things that happened to the women by the kidnapper without providing too much detail or gore.
I give The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison 3 out of 5 Bookmarks. Toodles for now! 🙂