Broken Monsters

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"Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn't put it down...I'd grab it if I were you." —Stephen King

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 ...

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Broken Monsters

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"Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn't put it down...I'd grab it if I were you." —Stephen King

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 bestselling 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in present-day Detroit, Beukes’s novel of suspense successfully combines horror, detection, and a depressing examination of urban decay. In a bizarre murder, an 11-year-old boy has been cut in two, his upper body grafted onto the lower half of a deer. The scar of a wound in the child’s armpit allows Det. Gabriella Versado to identify him as Daveyton Lafonte, who survived a “stray bullet from a gang war” at age six. Versado is the prototypical good cop working in an impossible situation—a city so overwhelmed by crime that most of her job consists of handing out “empty warnings.” As the killer continues to slaughter and mutilate in terrifying ways, the investigation draws in an immature and narcissistic reporter, Jonno Haim, who seeks exposure above all else. As she did in 2013’s The Shining Girls, Beukes puts a fresh, imaginative spin on the trope of the serial killer. Five-city author tour. Agent: Oli Munson, A.M. Heath (U.K.). (Sept.)
Tana French

"The Shining Girls is utterly original, beautifully written, and I must say, it creeped the holy bejasus out of me. This is something special."

Cory Docotorow
"A tremendous work of suspense fiction... a mind-melting, heart-pounding mashup that delivers on its promise."
William Gibson
"Very smart."
From the Publisher
"Captivating . . . A thoroughly modern, supernatural thriller."—Karolina Waclawiak, Los Angeles Times

"Simple, elegant prose . . . The anticipation and dread Beukes crafts is remarkable. Also remarkable is Beukes's ability to blend genres, seamlessly incorporating horror, fantasy and traditional crime in ways that highlight the best parts of each. It feels new—unprecedented, in a way."—Madison Vain, Entertainment Weekly

"Fuses fantastical elements with gritty suspense."—Michele Filgate, Salon

"Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn't put it down. . . . I'd grab it, if I were you."—Stephen King

"Dig it: what a brilliant crime-phantasmagoria novel this is!!!!! This splendid novel is THE new primer on urban decay to the nth degree. I unhesitatingly urge you to buy it and read it now!"—James Ellroy, author of American Tabloid

Library Journal
★ 09/15/2014
Beukes (The Shining Girls) has fashioned Detroit into her own unique, dark dreamscape in this supernaturally charged thriller. In it, the torso of a young boy has been found fused to the hindquarters of a tiny deer, and Det. Gabriella Versado is under intense pressure to find the culprit. Gabi has no way of knowing that she's dealing with something more than human, and the case consumes her, even as it alienates her from her conflicted teenage daughter, Layla. Meanwhile, Jonno Haim is looking for the next big story, and the Detroit Monster may be his ticket to the spotlight. But the cost of Internet fame could be more than he's willing to pay, and Thomas Keene (aka TK), a homeless man, tries to protect his friends against a threat that seeks to transform the city to fit its own unearthly vision. VERDICT Detroit could easily be called the city of broken dreams, but in this highly atmospheric novel, Beukes sketches a metropolis full of hope and vigor, in spite of a monster roaming its streets. A powerful look at our fascination with social media and the transformative power of art and imagination round out this genre-defying chiller's captivating and terrifying narrative. [See Prepub Alert, 3/24/14; also highlighted in "Books for the Masses," Editors' BEA Picks, LJ 7/14, p. 31.]—Kristin Centorcelli, Denton, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316216821
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 9/16/2014
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 17,388
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Beukes writes novels, comics and screeplays. She's the author of the critically-acclaimed international best-seller, The Shining Girls, about a time traveling serial killer, Zoo City, a phantasmagorical Joburg noir which won the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award, the neo political thriller, Moxyland. She worked as a journalist and as show runner on one of the South Africa's biggest animated TV shows, directed an award-winning documentary and wrote the New York Times best-selling graphic novel, Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Did not work for me I received an advance reader edition of this

    Did not work for me
    I received an advance reader edition of this book from Mulholland Books via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

    2.5 Stars

    I really think that this is one of those books that will either click in the readers mind....or not. I wanted to love this book. I saw so many good reviews for this book, many that said that this book was scary, before I sat down to read this novel. I wanted to love this book just as much as all of those readers. I wanted scary.....a lot. This book is not scary....not even a little bit scary.

    This story is told from multiple points of view. Unfortunately, I did not connect with any of the points of view. I honestly believe that the number of voices in this book took away from the story. This book also had quite a few sub plots which I felt were distracting and unnecessary. I kept waiting for everything to pull together which it did for the most part towards the end of the book. The book took a strange paranormal turn at the end which was never explained and simply fell flat.

    This book does have some positive points. I was completely drawn into the murder of the boy at the beginning of the book. I mean a dead boy fused with part of a dead unique is that. I was ready for more but that was really the peak of the mystery for me. This was not a hard book for me to read in any way but I just never felt drawn to the story.

    I would not recommend this book to others. There are plenty of people already doing that and I am going to go against the crowd on this one. This is the first book that I have read by Lauren Beukes and I would be open to trying one of her other novels some time in the future. Maybe one of her other books will click for me.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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