Sunday, May 21, 2017

Roses of May - Dot Hutchison

Publishing: May 23rd, 2017, Thomas & Mercer.
Pg Count: 302 (e-book)
Find the Author: Goodreads
"Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Eddison, Hanoverian, and Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers. Priya's sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mom move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. When she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?" -Goodreads Blurb

Last year I reviewed The Butterfly Garden after picking it up on a whim (after having seen it suggested on my Amazon page a gazillion times). It was the start of what is now entitled the 'The Collector Trilogy'. It's being released on the 23rd. And like it's predecessor - I basically read the entire book in one night because I needed to see how it ended. 

If you haven't read The Butterfly Garden yet - don't read this book. It has too many recurring characters and references to the Garden from the first book to make proper sense to read alone. I, myself, kind of wish I had reread Garden before reading this one. However - the new characters and the developing of old ones is original and organic. The tone, and general theme, of this book is different. Whereas Garden was about trauma and how to survive and what you might do to do survive...Roses of May was about what to do after. What happens when you survive, when you're the one left behind? The theme of recovery is layered several times over within the plot. 

Familial bonds - both by blood and by choice - are also a recurring theme. As is the refreshing and clear difference between a healthy relationship and a unhealthy one. Priya, has a tight bond with the 'Quantico 3'. Eddison who has been handling her sister's case since the start in particular. When you have a series centered around the obsession of young girls/women in the most sadistic, creepy-as-fuck way I think it'd be easy to fall into the trap of making all adult male figures a crap-shoot. There is no confusion as to the platonic, paternal nature of the relationship between Eddison and Priya (and her mother). Just because family is blood doesn't mean they are Family. Looking back on the Butterfly Garden I'm beginning to see a re-occurring theme linking the series together. Ultimately the theme shifts from - what to do after surviving...to making the active stance to no longer being a victim. It's a deeply personal choice and it means different things to different people and I felt that Hutchison effectively communicated this.

My biggest pause on this book was the corny tone the narration took. At times it felt like Hutchison was forcing the lightness into the interactions of the characters. Adding humor, little quirks, and insights solely to re-affirm the shifted tone. I say that because you jump from the anonymous POV of the pervy serial killer stalking and talking about his victims to another character (usually Priya or Eddison). Perhaps that's what made it seem corny. Hutchison can rock the darkness. She is most excellent about it. The contrast between light/dark, good/evil is tangible in Roses. In ways that it was most certainly not in Butterfly.

I also thought Priya's Mom was a little crazy for letting her daughter do what she did. However, I won't spoil it. I just want to add that no kid of mine would ever, ever have to be put in a situation like Priya was. Definitely not to my knowledge and not on my watch.

3 out of 5 stars! Just like the Butterfly Garden. I genuinely look forward to the conclusion of this trilogy. I have a strong suspicion who and what case it might entail. ;)

Until next time..happy reading!

Jess


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