Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. 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 Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But 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?
“The public steals tragedies from victims. … These things happened to us, to our loved ones, but it hits the news and suddenly everyone with a TV or computer feels like they’re entitled to our reactions and recoveries.”
The Roses of May is the second book in the Collector series. The first of which The Butterfly Garden is one of my top reads of 2017 (I was a little late to the party!). However, despite being billed as the second book in the series, it is more of a companion novel than a sequel.
The book follows the ‘Quantico 3’ as they process of the events in The Butterfly Garden as well as their other cases. It then takes a different path altogether by following one of their active cases. FBI Agent Brandon Eddison appears to be the lead character this time, along with Priya Sravasti. Priya and her mum are dealing with their own issues following the murder of Chavi, Priya’s older sister, 5 years ago.
The serial killer responsible for the murder of Chavi seeks out a new victim every May while at the same time involving Priya in his plan. The FBI case agents – and Priya and Deshani – want to make sure he isn’t successful this time around.
On the whole the book was quick and engaging. I did find myself wanting to know what happened to Priya. She had some of the qualities of Inara as well as her own insecurities and coping mechanisms.
However, if I’m totally honest I was a little disappointed this time. The magic within the pages of The Butterfly Garden was missing. While there was some of the darkness in The Roses of May, the contrast found within the Garden was sadly lacking.
And then there was the relationship between Priya and Eddison. Did someone say unbelievable? I’m not sure when FBI agents find the time to send birthday cards to victims year after year, unless of course Priya deserved preferential treatment. Then there was the relationship with Inara, again another thing I’m sure the FBI have been warned against during their intensive training. Finally on the topic of relationships, Priya and Deshani. While areas of their relationship were typical mother/daughter interactions there was one MAJOR plot line that I couldn’t get my head around (I can’t say more without spoilers). It was totally absurd given everything that had happened previously with Chavi.
I also called the killer the minute he was introduced into the story, which I’m sure any thriller reader would. Once that was established it didn’t really leave any mystery.
You will also come across the reference to this book being a bit more YA than adult compared to The Butterfly Garden and in some areas it definitely is. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but not quite what I expected following the first book.
If you’ve read The Butterfly Garden and are thinking about reading The Roses of May, don’t expect the same level of creepiness. However I am glad I read it and will probably read any future books in the series.
Have you read The Roses of May? Share your thoughts in the comments, or drop a link to you review, I’d love to hear what you thought.
Title: The Roses of May (The Collector #2)
Author: Dot Hutchison
Page Count: 302
Publication Date: 23rd May 2017
Thanks to Netgalley, Dot Hutchison and Thomas & Mercer for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.