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The Butterfly Forest | [Tom Lowe]

The Butterfly Forest

After 40 years in San Quentin, Luke Palmer leaves with a state-issued suit, $100 dollars to buy a bus ticket, and a map that will lead to a promise and into the heart of a dark forest. College graduate student Molly Monroe is about to release rare butterflies not far from where the FBI used 4,000 bullets in a shootout to kill Ma Barker and one of her gangster sons in 1935. Molly snaps a picture that will frame something she never sees coming.
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Publisher's Summary

He hid the old pencil-drawn map for 40 years.

The guards never found it.

After 40 years in San Quentin, Luke Palmer leaves with a state-issued suit, $100 dollars to buy a bus ticket, and a map that will lead to a promise and into the heart of a dark forest.

College graduate student Molly Monroe is about to release rare butterflies not far from where the FBI used 4,000 bullets in a shootout to kill Ma Barker and one of her gangster sons in 1935. Molly snaps a picture that will frame something she never sees coming.

Sean O'Brien does see something -- a predator. Between the sea of cars in a Walmart parking lot. Walking quickly. Stalking two women.

As O'Brien tries to prevent the abduction, he opens the door to a new relationship. And he opens a dark door to a horror that is secluded within the forest. He follows veiled tracks that lead him farther into the woods where an evil from the past intersects with a frightening presence to form a volatile trap with only one way out.

©2011 Tom Lowe (P)2014 TomLowe

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (357 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (322 )
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Story
4.1 (319 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (61)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    shelley Raleigh, NC 11-05-14
    shelley Raleigh, NC 11-05-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    364
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    616
    111
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    2
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    Story
    "Really good story, Super Narator!"
    Which character – as performed by Michael David Axtell – was your favorite?

    I thought Michael David Axtell did a fantastic performance. His many voices and inflections made it very easy to distinguish between the characters. I did look to see if there were any other books that he narrated but unfortunately there is only one other. I hope to hear more from him in the near future.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. I thought the story line was easy to follow and the plot was certainly realistic. The action started almost immediately and continued right through to the end. No lulls but my heart broke for Luke Palmer, but I can't say why. I also didn't expect two of the other murders. But I can't say why! The protagonist (Sean O'Brien) is very likable, he has his own sad story that makes him a "good" guy. Of course he knows experts, carries all the right medical supplies, can recognize poisoning at a glance even when the MDs can't and shoots as good as any sniper but what kind of a hero would he be without his skills? This was very entertaining and I hope the rest of the series is available on Audible soon. I recommend this one. I got it on sale but it would have been worth a credit had it not been.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Spring, TX, USA 11-05-14
    Jay Spring, TX, USA 11-05-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    4
    4
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    Story
    "Better Than Jack Reacher!"
    What other book might you compare The Butterfly Forest to and why?

    Excellent action story. Good diversity of characters. The writing transcends the typical mystery genre with near poetic phrasing. This is better than the latest Jack Reacher stories and nearly as good as C J Box!I'll be looking for other books by Tom Lowe.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was absorbing....couldn't wait till I could get back into the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Please try this hidden gem!

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    badgerfan 11-09-14
    badgerfan 11-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    15
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    "Surprisingly great, couldn't stop listening"
    Would you listen to The Butterfly Forest again? Why?

    Yep. I got it at a discount and thought, "Oh, it'll probably not be so great." But happily, that wasn't true. Although, I rarely listen to suspense/murder stuff so maybe I'm not much of a critic. But I really was hooked. I was happy that there wasn't any abuse of women, overly gory violence (ok, lots of people get killed- but it wasn't too gross), not much swearing (I don't mind the occasional f--- or s--- but not when there is a ton of it, it's off-putting.

    Also, I HATE it when men refer to women as objects and use offensive terms for body parts. To me, that screams, "This is written by an guy who emotionally and intellectually didn't move past 12 and I can't write a great plot so I'll resort to these testosterone-idiot-infused terms and moments as fillers." Happily, there was none of this.Just a compelling story, great characters and great narration.

    Loved his ex-CIA friend, the neighbors at the marina, the whole setting.


    What other book might you compare The Butterfly Forest to and why?

    Hmmm, something that quietly builds and pulls you in. Since I don't read much in this genre, I can't compare. But the characterization was great. The reading was great.


    Which character – as performed by Michael David Axtell – was your favorite?

    Of course, Sean O'Brien, the main protagonist. Talented, smart, resourceful veteran and loves his dog. What's not to love?
    (Also loved his Seminole friend. Would love to see more on him)


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No but I loved the surprises. Twists and turns...


    Any additional comments?

    Unless you like zombies gnawing on babies and violence against women, I think you can't go wrong with this one! Well crafted.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sandra 11-09-14
    sandra 11-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    13
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    "Outstanding, need more from Lowe."
    Where does The Butterfly Forest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best, wish there were more.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not on the edge but firmly planted. Would like to listen to more from Tom Lowe but Audible doesn't have the 2 before nor the 1 after. What gives? The characters were well thought out and enjoyable to see them evolve. I expect Mr. Lowe will have a good long run if any of his other books are like the Butterfly Forest.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I can't chose just one. There are far to many good scenes for that.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Sit back and enjoy. If they make the movie like the book was written.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope to hear more of Sean O'Brien he is a good character.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lael 08-28-14
    Lael 08-28-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    1
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    "Fantastic Narrator!"

    I would listen to this novel again, just to hear the narrator retell the story. Michael David Axtell does a remarkable job bringing the story and characters in this novel to life. He is a gifted story teller - his pacing and delivery were spot on. He kept me engaged from beginning to end. I frequently found myself listening longer and later into the night than I had planned. I have listened to many audio books and a really good narrator is a real pleasure to find! I will listen to anything that he is a part of in the future.

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 04-23-15
    Karen 04-23-15

    Sassy dialogue, humor, and a great reader are important to me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    386
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    Story
    "Evil Doesn't Recognize Good Deeds"
    What made the experience of listening to The Butterfly Forest the most enjoyable?

    reader made this story come to life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    our hero, just didn't give up and was a breath of freshness to these type of stories.


    What does Michael David Axtell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    this is a new reader who is GREAT!. Audible please request him for Romance/mysteries.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when the tracking dogs did their work RIGHT. It was a wow moment


    Any additional comments?

    more from this author with this reader, please. This was on sale! What a great find and listen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marla Independence, MO, United States 03-02-15
    Marla Independence, MO, United States 03-02-15 Member Since 2014

    I've always loved books. Even before I could read I've loved them. Fact or Fiction, I love books. I'd sooner read a book than see a movie.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    12
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    Story
    "A Man's Modern Day Man's Book"
    What did you love best about The Butterfly Forest?

    The lovely descriptions of the forest, butterflies and ocean. The interesting mystery of why and who, and in this case not to typical.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Only to the point of wishing people were not killed.


    What does Michael David Axtell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I somewhat enjoyed his narration. His performance add to the characters and the hero. However; the volume of his voice was too low or too high. This caused me to adjust my volume control.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Beauty can be deadly.


    Any additional comments?

    The only issue I had with the story was the woman's (Lizzy) reaction after under going her trauma. It wasn't realistic. I seriously doubt she would fall into the hero's lap and have an affair so quickly. Then leave the quick affair so unattached. Defiantly this story caters to men's fantasy of sex and women.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 01-07-15
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 01-07-15 Member Since 2012

    Enjoying one good listen after the next!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    722
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    202
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    "Things Just Didn't Always Ring True"

    Narration is superb, although there are several "flaws" in the recording where short sentences are repeated. The story, while somewhat interesting, just didn't ring true for me. Improbable events and actions left me hanging a bit and feeling a little "used" by the author. There is plenty of mayhem, death, destruction and such in this book and the "detecting" by the actual detectives and a former detective are often in conflict. The former did more detecting than the actual, which just didn't seem plausible.

    Nevertheless, it is an interesting 3-star story. . . average in many ways. But on sale, it's a buy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 01-07-15
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 01-07-15

    People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    214
    ratings
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    139
    138
    FOLLOWERS
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    7
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    Story
    "Not Enough Butterfly Effect"

    Two college kids go deep into the Ocala Forest of central Florida to release rare butterflies at the same time an ex-con goes in to dig for Ma Barker's long-buried loot. When the kids turn up dead, the ex-con is the obvious suspect. But former homicide detective Sean O'Brien doesn't think so and, as is often true of him, his sixth sense leads him to uncover a deeper mystery.

    Although this is the third of six Sean O'Brien books by Tom Rowe, it is the only one available through Audible. I found it to be a good, concise, straight-ahead mystery thriller in the rich tradition of Florida crime fiction, of which I am a fan (particularly Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey, although Rowe does not share their subversive sense of humor -- and in a minor note, one of the major characters in Dorsey's first book is Sean Breen, who if memory serves is a cop).

    This was a solid three and a half star listen from start to finish. Through the first five hours, I was leaning strongly toward giving it four stars, since half-star ratings are not an option. But the final quarter of the book knocked me down to three. One problem is that the ultimate reveal is never analyzed as a moral issue -- why on god's green earth should anyone have to die for this reason in this day and age? (I don't want to give it away.) I wanted Rowe to take a stand on the matter.

    But that's just me. More importantly to the readership at large, the mystery is over and done with two-thirds the way in, yet there is still two hours to go. That section has been done too many times before, with Rowe adding nothing new. This story is catalyzed by a series of coincidences, never uses its butterfly metaphor for much effect, and ends with a talking villain -- three strikes = three stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Seattle, WA, United States 11-20-14
    Heather Seattle, WA, United States 11-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    94
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    219
    59
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    12
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    "Not a Mystery, somewhat a thriller"

    This was a good book but since you know who did it and pretty much why only a couple of hours into the book, I cannot call it a mystery; so on that end I was disappointed. there is some of a thriller aspect in the story: who will live/who will die? How will they get the bad guy? It was more of a police procedural, except the hero is often at odds with the local sheriff.
    Another reader said that this was better than Jack Reacher. I'd be more inclined to say that this book was a lighter, softer version of Jack Reacher.
    It was a good book but nothing that I was expecting from the blurb or the classification.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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