The Roses of May

The Roses of May by Dot Hutchinson is the second book in The Collector series. It is a sequel (of sorts) to Hutchinson’s first novel The Butterfly Garden. While the agents at the FBI and the Butterflies deal with the aftermath of their captivity, spring is coming, which means another serial killer is preparing to strike.

For years agents Eddison, Hanoverian, and Ramirez have been trying to solve a string of murders where an adolescent girl is laid out in a church with her throat cut and flowers strewn around her. Sixteen girls have died since this killer first started and the FBI has very little to go on. This case has also become personal as the agents have bonded to the sister of one of the slain.

Priya Sravasti’s sister was murdered by this killer five years ago and she has forged a strange relationship to “her” FBI agents. When Priya starts receiving flowers on her doorstep, she knows that the man who killed her sister has chosen his next target.

Can Priya and the FBI stop the killer before it is too late? Will the Butterflies ever be able to heal after their ordeal in the garden? Will evil ever stop and will justice find a way?

I should preface this by saying that I am not generally a fan of thrillers… or, at least, they are not my go to genre but these were great. I don’t know if there will be another book in this series but I am a fan of Hutchinson’s writing. These books are psychological thrillers and are easy to get caught up in.

One of the things I really love about Hutchinson’s work, is her character development. I loved Maya and Vic in the first book and I love all the characters in this one. Priya is not as “saucy” as Maya but both are strong females in their own ways.

Honestly, I felt exactly the same way about this book as I did The Butterfly Garden. It had the same elements, so I am going to steal from my earlier post…

This book is horrible in some ways but “it happens almost abstractly; you know it happens, you know it is happening but you are sort of on the outskirts of the scene. You don’t feel as present for it as you do in some of the things you read or watch.”

“It’s hard to say what exactly it was that caught me about this book. It wasn’t overly suspenseful or graphic, the format wasn’t new, […]. If I had to pick something, I’d have to say the story itself just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.”

As much as this one pulled me in and I enjoyed it, I wasn’t as desperate to finish as I was with The Butterfly Garden. For this reason I am giving it 4 stars.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Wonder

Hi Guys,

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and if you were out shopping on Black Friday… more power to you! After a brief holiday hiatus, I’m back with a few new posts this coming week. First up, a new psychological thriller from Emma Donoghue.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue follows Lib, an English nurse who travels to a small Irish town to take care of a wealthy patron. Or at least, that’s what Lib thinks she is hired to do. Instead, Lib is charged by the town with watching a poor eleven-year-old girl, night and day for fourteen days, to make sure she doesn’t eat.

Anna is said to be a miracle child; her family claims that she has not eaten in over four months and that her body can subsist off of water alone… oh and prayer. People come from all over to see the devout child who lives off “manna from heaven.” But Lib knows this can’t be true and is determined to exposed the O’Donnell family for the frauds they are.

Fraud or not Anna is starving herself and Lib will stop at nothing to save her. Can Lib uncover Anna’s secret? Can she really just watch as a child slowly starves to death? Or will she be able to save Anna in time?

This book isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But there will be those who love it and will go to bat for it, that’s for sure. For me The Wonder falls some place between Room and Frog Music. It is no where near as good as Room by it is way better then Frog Music.

My main problem with the book was that it started out slow and continued along at a trudging pace until oh, 75-50 pages out. It was like carrying your sled up a steep incline; trudging along until you finally get to the top, for all of two minutes of thrills as you rocket back down. Don’t get me wrong, I was invested in the mystery. I had to know how this girl survived for four months, but there’s not much action in reading about a nurse watching a little girl pray and read scripture all day long.

Funny, but once you know how Anna survived for four months, that’s actually when the story gets good. The why behind Anna’s fast and Lib’s determination to save Anna from herself, is Donoghue in prime form.

Ultimately, this book is a Donoghue–it is messed up in all the right ways. It’s just hard to top a masterpiece like Room. If it weren’t for the slow pace of the story, I’d give The Wonder more stars but for now it gets three from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-