I feel like this sort of high concept story would have read better in a fantasy or sci fi setting. The dialogue and character interaction just didn’t work for me in the modern day U.S. It’s also very possible that someone who hasn’t read a metric ton of true crime and gritty realistic crime fiction might find this book more enjoyable. Personally, while the overall story was engaging and kept me interested until the end. The writing style came off almost as if a teen girl who knew nothing about the emotional impact of things like rape and abuse had on a person.
The Butterfly Garden follows the initial investigation after the apprehension of a serial killer known as The Gardener. The Gardener captures girls around the age of 16, re-names them, tattoos them with butterfly wings on their backs and keeps them in a gilded cage until their twenty first birthday. At that point he kills them and preserves them in glass. The story is told through one of his butterflies known as Maya who seems to be a sort of leader among the surviving girls. Maya tells the story of her early life, her capture and her life in The Garden to two FBI agents who may as well just be named “Good Cop” and “Bad Cop.” Maya is clearly hiding something and the agents need to find out what because Maya is their best witness so far.
This book wasn’t a bad one. The story moves along at a good pace and it kept me interested until the end. The writing was often annoying and SPOILER ALERT: The big secret at the end was sort of a let down made the whole cat and mouse game between Maya and her interrogators seem pointless. But it makes for a nice little distraction; especially when you have Kindle on your work desktop and you’re stuck on an eternal hold.