The Gardner loves butterflies and collects them to keep in his private garden. The garden is his secret place where he lives out his twisted reality. But his butterflies are young, teenage girls he abducts and holds prisoner, raping them whenever he wants. He gives them all new names and tattoos them with butterfly wings. In his sick mind he thinks he is caring for them and loving them in his own way. The girls who live in the garden don’t have much in the way of hope to escape but the bonds they share give them strength to live another day.
I really struggled to get through this book. It had been on my TBR list for a while and I remember all of the hype when it was first published. Having read it now, I can say that I am glad it was only 280 pages but it sure felt like a lot more.
Let me be clear, it wasn’t the dark, disturbing content that bothered me as I do enjoy dark and twisty thrillers. I will also say Hutchison has a unique ability to weave a very intricate, detailed story. However, I just felt it took for ever to tell the story and it didn’t change much through the pages. I was waiting for the twists and turns that some reviewers raved about but were absent in my view. I found the interaction between one of the girls in the FBI agents very tedious and sluggish. The one twist that came at the end left me more baffled than anything and not exactly worth the wait.
Probably the only reason I finished the book is because it was only 280 pages. Any longer and I would have had to question if I should continue. That being said, I doubt very much if I read the second book in the series. Again, I give the author credit for such a intricate, detailed story but the pace and the outcome just wasn’t enough for me.
Published 2016, Thomas & Mercer