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....
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By KRISTINA on 30-05-17
A good page turner
It was hard to stop listening, despite the dark twisted nature of the story. The main character is likeable and she draws you in to her life story, I respected her strength and attitude having suffered the way she has. However, throughout listening you feel as though you are constantly waiting for something, a twist or a turn ... that never comes. The ending is really disappointing and silly, it discredited the rest of the book for me. Because of the ending I lost interest and won't be listening to Dot Hutchinson's follow on book.
34 of 35 people found this review helpful
By Simon on 03-06-16
An Hypnotic Danse Macabre
Fascinating, intriguing, gentle and brutal. An hypnotic Danse Macabre that genuinely surprised me. They say never judge a book by its cover and well in this case you should beware the innocent sounding title as well! Hidden behind it is as twisted a story as you’re ever likely to read. There is insanity, brutality and the extinction of hope yet the quality of the writing within and the ultra-smooth delivery of Lauren Ezzo lead you on an almost surreally tranquil journey through the story's stark landscape.
The book is structured around an interview of one of the survivors of the garden. It’s a clever device which actually works better than I expected and gives the book a good rhythm without disrupting the flow. Foster’s gruffness provides a growling counterpoint to the smooth narrative sections from within the garden. There are some lighter, very human moments as the relationship between the FBI agents and the girl develops. There are also some surprisingly gentle interactions within the beautiful yet horrific world created by The Gardener.
For all those gentle touches though this book deals with the disturbing including moments of extreme cruelty. It really is no light holiday fiction for all the delicateness of its title and moments of genuine humanity. What it is, is a darnn good read though. If you have the fortitude to enter these dark places and appreciate the good writing you find when you get in there then you’ll find this a genuine treat from Dot Hutchison.
39 of 43 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Angela Lee on 24-03-17
Don't let the negative reviews fool you...
I read a few reviews before I downloaded this book and some were so against it, I almost didn't get it. But I took a chance and downloaded because there were many good reviews too. This book was very good. I thought the narrators did a great a job, the plot was good, the twists were drawn out and good so you didn't see them coming. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Law and Order SVU, NCIS, CSI, Gone Girl (or anything by Gillian Flynn really). The main character was so easy to side with and you really felt all that she thought of every character. Give the book a try, some parts might make you queasy but you can always skip 30 seconds ahead and it's usually over by then. I loved this book and I could definitely listen to it again.
28 of 30 people found this review helpful
By hadaki_lvr32 on 03-06-16
Would you try another book from Dot Hutchison and/or Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster ?
Has The Butterfly Garden turned you off from other books in this genre?
What aspect of Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster ’s performance would you have changed?
Mel Foster is absolutely ghastly at trying to do female voices. Lauren Ezzo I thought was wonderful, but I will never listen to any book narrated by Mel Foster again. Every time he tried to impersonate a women I cringed. It was whiny and condescending and like nails on a chalkboard. Also, he sounds like a car commercial announcer so when he narrated any part it came across as cheesy and overdramatic.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Honestly... I haven't ever read/listened to a book I was so eager to review, and I sincerely hope that the author reads these comments. The one positive thing I will say about the story is that I had to finish it. Like I can't keep from looking at horrific accidents on the freeway I pass... I had to finish it. That's it.
Otherwise, here is what you will be subjected to if you choose to listen:
-Poor and unrealistic character development. An 18 yo woman with a childhood that would realistically cause her to become a sociopath in her own right, somehow is confident, wise and compassionate. Riiiight. And that's the protagonist. The rest of the important characters are equally as ridiculous.
-The most disgusting, disturbing and silly plot line imaginable. A gentle and loving serial killer abducts countless women over the course of 30 years and because he isn't rough when he rapes them and gives them gifts like running water, not once in 30 years do they ever band together to kill the mo' fo'. Ok then. They're allowed to be brutally honest with him... and are... they're painted as intelligent, but somehow this gentle and loving serial killer just inspires in them only the desire to be subservient. Honestly, this is the kind of drivel that gives misogynists the ammunition to spew fowl opinions on women wanting to be raped and controlled deep down. Also... the "twist" that the roommate was once a butterfly and escaped pregnant, but then didn't tell anyone for years and year because she didn't want to lose her baby to A SERIAL KILLER? Seriously? I don't know whether to puke or laugh. Also, apparently it's plausible in the author's mind to even imagine that the FBI allows agents that yell and threaten VICTIMS of heinous and unimaginable crimes. Perfectly normal to scream at them that you want answers. Nothing weird about that.
-A male narrator who's portrayal of women should be illegal. See my comments above. Whoever this Mel Foster is, he should not be narrating.
I highly suggest you just skip this. It's just really, really not a good story, a good listen or in anyway redeeming. If you don't I'm sure you'll hate it but feel the need to finish it as I did and wonder why you wasted the time. *le sigh*
Any additional comments?
129 of 156 people found this review helpful