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-

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The Lost Girls

A while back I picked up The Lost Girls and read the synopsis and I don’t know why but I was pulled in. This isn’t the type of book I usually go for but for some reason I couldn’t get it out of my head.

The Lost Girls by Heather Young is part thriller, part mystery and part confessionary tale. Nearing death, Lucy Evans–the last of the three Evans sisters–lays bare the story of her life, her family and the story of Emily. Six-year-old Emily Evans went missing in the summer of 1935. Her’s has been a cautionary tale and one that has followed the Evans family throughout the decades.

Now sixty years later, Lucy has passed away, leaving her lake house to Justine, a grandniece she met once almost 20 years earlier. Desperate to escape her manipulative boyfriend, Justine takes her eight and eleven-year-old girls and they move into the house. But things aren’t like Justine remembers. The house is old and in need of repair and the lake is no longer the bustling retreat it once was. The only other inhabitants of the lake are two elderly brothers; the place is isolated  and the house is soaked in the past.

As Justine and the girls adjust to their new life, the truth about Emily’s disappearance comes to light, revealing a past that is dark, awful and much, much more than meets the eye. What happened to Emily? And what will become of Justine and her family?

This book is so hard to review because it is not a genre I normally read. I literally kept asking myself why I was reading it. That being said, it wasn’t a bad read–it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

One thing I will say about this book is that you know what’s coming and yet it is still a total surprise. Young basically takes you by the hand, she leads you down this path where you know what awful things are coming and still it’s a shock. One of those: “It can’t be.” “Please, no.” moments.

The mystery, whodunit moments in this book were really well done. Lot’s of different breadcrumbs to follow and looking back you find you had the answers all along. This is not something every writer can do.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the narration… well I should say, I wasn’t a huge fan of Justine’s narration. Lucy’s was great but Justine’s story was just not as interesting to me and as a character she fell kind of flat.

Overall, this is a book fans of Gone Girl and Girl on a Train would probably like. It has some similar elements, although it doesn’t quite get there. I give this book 3 stars, mostly because I am not sure how I feel about it. Not a bad read but not one I would pick up again.

That’s all for now!

-M-