Don’t let the title fool you, “Girl in Disguise” is no where near the same genre of things like “Gone Girl” or “Girl on the Train” or “All the Missing Girls” –this is not a thriller. I don’t know when thrillers decided to go that route with titles, but this book is actually a historical fiction about the first female Pinkerton Detective, Kate Warne. Not much is actually known about Kate other than she was, indeed, the first female detective and she was hired by Pinkerton himself. There is speculation that she was a widow—something tragic and world altering must have occurred for a woman of her time to seek this kind of employment—and there were rumors she was having a long-term affair with Pinkerton, but none of this has been proven. There are also no verified pictures of her, which, as a spy, I’m sure the real-life Kate was happy for. This lack of substantiated information into Kate’s life allowed Macallister to have a great deal of freedom when writing Kate’s story, and she uses it to take the reader on a fun, historically accurate ride!
I’ve been on a kind of thriller/suspense kick lately. It’s an odd mix, I like to go back and forth between fantasy and this for reasons I can’t explain. So after reading books by Robert Bugoni, I picked up “A Dark Mind” on the Kindle Unlimited. I thought I’d be kicking myself by starting the Lizzy Gardner series with this book (it’s the 3rd) but it was fine. Like any crime drama, each in the series is a nice contained experience. So if you haven’t read any of the other in the series, not a big deal in my opinion and honestly, starting with the first in the exploits of Lizzy Gardner was probably not going to help the story or the writing all that much regardless.
I’ve been on a mystery / thriller kick lately and “My Sister’s Grave” really hit the spot. It was like reading an episode of “Bones” meets “Law and Order: SVU”. I shouldn’t really compare books to TV shows but forgive me this, I don’t read a ton in this genre all the time so TV shows are the easiest comparisons I can make. It didn’t have any of the TV show “Bones” absurd science where you magnify the pixels from a reflection in a doorknob to positively I.D your killer (which is a good thing) and it didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time describing the heinous crimes like in SVU, it gave you enough so you got the idea and then moved on (also, a good thing). Instead, Dugoni gives us a no-nonsense female homicide detective who started her career not as a cop, but as a high school chemistry teacher who also competed in shooting competitions. She’s smart. Tough as nails. She’s a believable badass and I love it.
Do you like watching outrageous amounts of Law & Order? Specifically Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit? Then read this book now. Seriously, this book is like reading an episode of SVU mixed a little with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Hopefully that gives you a pretty good idea of where this book goes, even without reading the synopsis. If you are sensitive to rape, kidnapping, or people with just really messed up lives, you probably won't enjoy this at all so save yourself the trouble. However, if that stuff doesn't bother you and you're looking for a quick read that is a thrilling page turner, then ta-da! I found the book for you! The Butterfly Garden is the story of one sick, and twisted individual's psychotic attempts of making a massive butterfly garden where his butterflies are the most beautiful girls he can find. He then kidnaps them, tattoos elaborate and beautiful butterfly wings on their back, and keeps them in his garden. Until they turn 21. Then things get even more messed up.
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