BY TAYLOR WICHTENDAHL, STAFF WRITER
**“The Butterfly Garden” by Dot Hutchison**
“The Butterfly Garden” is the latest thriller on the scene. Reminiscent of “Gone Girl” or “The Girl on the Train,” this novel has also been optioned for a film by the entertainment company Anonymous Content.This little company was responsible for producing two great successes — “The Revenant” and “Spotlight.”
The book begins with an FBI investigation into a recently-discovered serial killer. This serial killer, known for most of the novel as “The Gardener,” kidnaps women and tattoos large, elaborate butterflies on their backs. He dresses them in all black and keeps them on the property near his mansion in the country. The Gardener then creates an extensive greenhouse that contains a smaller greenhouse with bedrooms for each of his victims. He keeps multiple “butterflies” at a time, kidnapping them at around the age of 16 until he murders them when they turn 25.
Once his sons reach a certain age, he allows them to enter the garden and have their way with his captives just as he does. He has a detailed security system that prevents the captives from being discovered by the groundskeeping staff or other unwanted guests, thus confining the captives to this macabre greenhouse.
However, FBI Agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are the lead agents intent on cracking this case. They have one key witness that they spend nearly the entire novel interviewing: Maya. Maya was one of the butterflies, and she narrates the story along with Agent Hanoverian. They take the reader through the investigation and the timeline of Maya’s life before her abduction and during her time in the garden. Maya’s revelations, provided in pieces, perplex the detectives and make them wonder if, perhaps, she’s hiding more than she lets on.
Released in April, this novel has taken audiences by storm, with four and half star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.com. The novel is enticing, with more exciting offerings of suspense, thrills and mystery for all eager readers at each turn of the page.
**” Broken Angels” by Gemma Liviero**
The latest historical fiction novel, “Broken Angels” by Gemma Liviero, was also released in April and shortly afterwards reached four stars on Amazon.com. Set during the World War II, this novel explores the growing relationship between a Nazi doctor and the woman he will stop at nothing to protect. The story centers around three main characters, Elsi, Wilhelm and Matilda. A young Jewish woman, Elsi is living in the Lodz Ghetto when the misfortunes of her family forces her to join the rebellion. Wilhelm is a Nazi Doctor who begins his Nazi career in Auschwitz and later travels to the same ghetto where Elsi is imprisoned. They meet each other just as Wilhelm is beginning to question his allegiance to the Nazi regime.
Finally, Matilda is a young blonde-haired blue-eyed girl who began her life in Romania but was taken by the Nazis to Germany. She is placed in a home where she is to be transformed into the model Aryan child. However, this child is strong willed with a brave spirit and does not break as easily as the Germans would like. When the three meet, their small acts of rebellion collide into a large, bold action against the Nazis, creating an amazing story filled with passionate love, inspiring acts of bravery and twists and turns you won’t see coming. This novel received 4.5 stars on goodreads.com and Amazon. If you read this book and are begging for more, check out Liviero’s other historical fiction bestseller, “Pastel Orphans.”