A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes's new genre-bending novel of suspense.
Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?
If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe - and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.
If Lauren Beukes's internationally best-selling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, her Broken Monsters is a genre-redefining thriller about broken cities, broken dreams, and broken people trying to put themselves back together again.
"Lauren Beukes has got an intriguing style of dealing with slightly surreal things in very real ways. I'm all over it." (Gillian Flynn, O: The Oprah Magazine)
"One of the scariest and best-written thrillers of the year" (Chicago Sun-Times
"Wildly inventive" (Entertainment Weekly)
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Fascinating Final Twist
I have not heard these narrators before, but they were perfectly cast. They brought personality to each character and gave the story great texture.
Another fantastic book by Beukes. Wonderful mix of detective thriller, commentary on modern life and social media, keen observation of the impact of the economic downturn on a once-great city, exploration of the artistic process and mental health, with a final touch of the supernatural. The book is grounded by multiple narrative voices: a detective who struggles to balance work and single motherhood; her daughter who is navigating teenage life where social media has the power to consume and obliterate; an artist struggling with his work and sanity; a homeless man finding a way to survive in Detroit despite a fraught past; and a hipster-blogger-wannabe who is awash in pretension and an unattractive desire of recognition. Beukes manages some impressive character depth and sharp, believable dialog. She also depicts a struggling Detroit, weaving in realistic details and actual headlines to underscore plot points examining social media and how it drives daily life, for better or worse. In many ways, the book feels akin to a Stephen King in the best way -- no throwaway characters, no sloppy lines, no shortcuts in depicting the setting, and supernatural elements that accent rather than overwhelm the story. Highly recommended.
- S. Yates