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Broken Monsters
     

Broken Monsters

3.9 29
by Lauren Beukes
 

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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

Overview

"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.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Christopher Rice
For the most part, Broken Monsters recalls the best novels of Richard Price, in which compelling, finely etched characters collide while orbiting a series of crimes that have shaken their community to its roots…Beukes moves effortlessly through many of the [Detroit's] worlds, from police precincts to the Internet-driven secret lives of teenage girls and the homeless shelters and mostly dead neighborhoods of a hobbled American city, all while teasing a disturbingly beautiful and possibly supernatural universe existing at its borders. The end result is an enormously satisfying novel that employs the best attributes of multiple genres to dramatize big ideas about art, the Internet and urban decay.
Publishers Weekly
07/28/2014
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
PRAISE FOR THE SHINING GIRLS:

"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
"With Broken Monsters, the wildly talented Lauren Beukes has created a darkly majestic jewel of a novel, surpassing even The Shining Girls (no mean feat). Part harrowing thriller, part urban-Grimm's fairytale, but always filled with a deeply affecting humanity, Broken Monsters is the kind of book you'll find yourself pressing into the hands of everyone you know so they can experience it too."—Megan Abbott, author of The Fever and Dare Me "

Broken Monsters is a show-stopping story of a city trying to rise from its own ashes, its inhabitants struggling with their own demons, and monster working to shape the world to match his most disturbing visions. It's beautiful, horrifying, thrilling, and most impressive of all, possessed of a deep and remarkable compassion. I wish I'd written it."—Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street

PRAISE FOR LAUREN BEUKES:"

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"

Lauren Beukes is so profusely talented—capable of wit, darkness, and emotion on a single page—that a blockbuster seems inevitable."—Charles Finch, USA Today

PRAISE FOR THE SHINING GIRLS:"

Wildly inventive"—Entertainment Weekly"

Expertly chilling"—San Francisco Chronicle"

Astonishing"—Time"

A triumph"—Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio"

One of the scariest and best-written thrillers of the year"—Chicago Sun-Times

Library Journal
03/01/2015
Against the decaying backdrop of present-day Detroit, a series of horrific crimes appear to be the work of a twisted serial killer. But layered onto the story is a cynical look at the future of journalism and a big dollop of the supernatural. Beukes is a hugely inventive author, never afraid to borrow from whatever genre gets the job done. (LJ 7/14)
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-07-24
A genuinely unsettling—in all the best ways—blend of suspense and the supernatural makes this a serial-killer tale like you've never seen. Set in a crumbling contemporary Detroit, Beukes' fourth novel (The Shining Girls, 2013, etc.) seamlessly alternates between the points of view of a single mother homicide detective; her 15-year-old daughter; a wannabe journalist; a homeless man; and an artist with deep-seated psychological issues. At the scene of the crime, Detective Gabriella Versado can't remember the last time she's seen something so brutal: The top half of 11-year-old Daveyton Lafonte is fused with the hind legs of a fawn in a hideous display of human taxidermy. While it's obvious that the five storylines will eventually join together, Beukes never takes the easy route, letting each character develop organically. Versado's daughter, Layla, cautiously navigates high school in the digital age; homeless scavenger Thomas "TK" Keen warily patrols the streets; Detroit transplant Jonno Haim tries to make a name for himself by chronicling first the city's art scene and then the hunt for the killer dubbed the Detroit Monster; and sculptor Clayton Broom's creations begin to take on lives of their own. Versado's dogged pursuit of the killer, under the glare of the media spotlight, is as compelling a police procedural narrative as Broom's descent into madness and the horrors of his dream world are a truly terrifying horror story. Beukes gave us a time traveling serial killer in The Shining Girls, and the monsters in her latest tale, whether they're real or imagined, will keep you up all night.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316216814
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/16/2015
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
77,453
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Broken Monsters


By Lauren Beukes

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2014 Lauren Beukes
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-21682-1



CHAPTER 1

Sunday, November 9


Bambi


The body. The-body-the-body-the-body, she thinks. Words lose their meaning when you repeat them. So do bodies, even in all their variations. Dead is dead. It's only the hows and whys that vary. Tick them off: Exposure. Gunshot. Stabbing. Bludgeoning with a blunt instrument, sharp instrument, no instrument at all when bare knuckles will do. Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. It's Murder Bingo! But even violence has its creative limits.

Gabriella wishes someone had told that to the sick fuck who did this. Because this one is Yoo-neeq. Which happens to be the name of a sex worker she let off with a warning last weekend. It's most of what the DPD does these days. Hands out empty warnings in The. Most. Violent. City. In. America. Duh-duh-duh. She can just hear her daughter's voice—the dramatic horror movie chords Layla would use to punctuate the words. All the appellations Detroit carries. Dragging its hefty symbolism behind it like tin cans behind a car marked "Just Married'. Does anyone even do that anymore, she wonders, tin cans and shaving cream? Did anyone ever? Or was it something they made up, like diamonds are forever, and Santa Claus in Coca-Cola red, and mothers and daughters bonding over fat-free frozen yoghurts. She's found that the best conversations she has with Layla are the ones in her head.

"Detective?" The uniform says. Because she's just standing there staring down at the kid in the deep shadow of the tunnel, her hands jammed in the pockets of her jacket. She left her damn gloves in the car and her fingers are numb from the chill wind sneaking in off the river. Winter baring its teeth even though it's only gone November. "Are you—"

"Yeah, okay," she cuts him off, reading the name on his badge. "I'm thinking about the adhesive, Officer Jones." Because mere super-glue wouldn't do it. Holding the pieces together while the body was moved. This isn't where the kid died. There's not enough blood on the scene. And there's no sign of his missing half.

Black. No surprise in this city. Ten years old, she'd guess. Maybe older if you factored in malnourishment and development issues. Say somewhere between ten and sixteen. Naked. As much of him as there is to be naked. It's entirely possible the rest of him is wearing pants, with his wallet in the back pocket and a cell phone that won't have any minutes, but which will make calling his momma a hell of a lot easier.

Wherever the rest of him is.

He's lying on his side, his legs pulled up, eyes closed, face serene. The recovery position. Only he's never going to recover and those aren't his legs. Skinny as a beanpole. Beautiful skin, even if it's gone yellow from blood loss. Pre-adolescent, she decides. No sign of acne. No scratches or bruises either, or any indications that he put up a fight or had anything bad happen to him at all. Above the waist.

Below the waist is a different story. Oh boy. That's a whole other section of the book store. There's a dark gash, right above where his hips should be, where he has been somehow ... attached to the lower half of a deer, hooves and all. The white flick of the tail sticks up like a jaunty little flag. The brown fur is bristled with dried blood. The flesh appears melted together at the seam.

Officer Jones is hanging back. The smell is terrible. She's guessing the intestines are severed, on both sets of bodies, leaking shit and blood into the conjoined cavities. Plus there's the gamey reek of the deer's scent glands. She pities the ME having to open up this mess. Better than the paperwork, though. Or dealing with the goddamn media. Or, worse, the mayor's office.

"Here," she offers, fishing a small red tub of lip gloss out of her pocket. Something she bought at the drugstore on a whim to appease Layla. A candy- flavored cosmetic—that's sure to bridge the gap between them. "It's not menthol, but it's something."

"Thanks," he says, grateful, which marks him out as an FNG. Fucking New Guy. He dips his finger in and smears the greasy balm under his nose; cherry-flavored snot. With sparkles in it, Gabi notices for the first time, but does not point out. Small pleasures.

"Don't get any on the scene," she warns him.

"No. No, I won't."

"And don't even think about taking any pictures on your phone to show your buddies." She looks around at the tunnel with the graffiti that grows on bare walls in this city like plaque, the weight of the pre-dawn darkness, the lack of traffic. "We're going to contain this."

They do not remotely contain it.


Last Night a DJ Saved My Life


Jonno is yanked from sleep's deepest tar pits by an elbow to the jaw. He comes up flailing and disoriented, only to find himself fighting bed sheets. The girl from last night—Jen Q—rolls over, her arms flung above her head, revealing the sleeve of tattooed birds that runs up her chest and over her shoulder. She's oblivious to having nearly concussed him. Her eyelids are flickering in REM, caught up in a dream that makes her breath jagged, similar to the panting delight he elicited from her earlier when she was riding him, his hands on her hips. When she came, she flung her head back, flicking her mane of braids. His bad luck that to catch one in the eye, which called an abrupt halt to the proceedings as he teared up, blinking in pain.

"Easy ..." he says, rubbing her back to bring her out of it. He can feel the dark corona of a hangover hovering around his head waiting to slam down. But not quite yet. Perversely, the pain from the elbow jab seems to be keeping it at bay.

"Mmmgghff," she says, not properly awake. But he's broken through the skin of her nightmare. He runs his palm down the curve of her waist, under the sheets. His cock stirs.

That's twice in one night she's hurt him. It's entirely possible she'll break his heart next. It was the way she kept saying afterwards, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry," but couldn't hold back the giggles, collapsing onto his chest, crying with laughter while his eye streamed.

"That's not exactly a gesture of solidarity," he complained at the time, but the soft weight of her felt sweet, her whole body shaking with laughter.

"Do you want to fuck again?" he whispers into her ear now.

"T'morrow," she mumbles, but parts her legs to accommodate his hand anyway. "S'nice. Keep doing that."

She sighs and rolls over, so that he can move in behind her. He pushes his hard-on up against her ass, his fingers sliding over her clit until he realizes that her breathing has deepened because she's gone back to sleep. Great.

He flops onto his back and looks around the room, but there's not much in the way of clues. 1x wooden ceiling fan. 1x Scandi modern cupboard. Reedy blinds over the window. Their clothes all over the floor. No books, which is troubling if he intends to fall in love with her. Did he tell her that he's a writer?

He wonders what the Q stands for. An actual last name or a DJ add-on? Jen X would have been too cutesy, he supposes. Not her style, based on what he has to go on. Which is, to summarize this in one of the easily digestible lists he churns out in lieu of making a respectable living:

1) The set she played last night at the so-called secret party, for which a hundred people showed in a studio in Eastern Market under a T-shirt shop. He can't remember the music she was playing, but it was that time of the night when everything blurs into doof-doof bass.

2) The way she danced, her braids twisted up on her head, to prevent exactly the kind of injury she had inflicted on him. The first thing he noticed. She moved like she was happy. And she smiled when he caught her eye. He liked that. Not too cool to smile.

3) The way she plucked the cigarette impatiently from his mouth when they were outside, still strangers, bound only by the camaraderie of being smokers, having to stand out in the cold with the fuzzy promise of emphysema in the distant future. They'd been talking about Motown and techno. That Rodriguez documentary. The bankruptcy. All the easy conversational set pieces. He thought she was going to take a drag, and instead she kissed him.

4) Making out in her car. There are snapshots in his memory, Instagrams really, because they're blurry round the edges: following her down a hedged-in alley round the side of a house to a detached cottage, kissing her neck while she messed around with the keys, the smell of her skin making him crazy, swearing, laughing, her sharp "shhhh" as the door fell open and they tumbled inside.

5) The shapes of furniture in the darkness as she led him straight through to the bedroom. Both of them drunk. Or him, definitely. He could tell by the way the room went all tilt-a-whirl for a moment. Kissing, tugging off clothes. The way she felt inside.


Shit. Did they use a condom? The thought makes his stomach flop, but not for the reasons it would have a year ago.

She gives one little rabbit snore, and he ducks as she flings out her arm again. No good. He can tell by the clarity of his thoughts that he's not going back to sleep. He has become an expert on his own insomnia. Usually it's fear that jerks him awake in the middle of the night, heart racing. He leans over the side of the bed, fishing for his phone in his jacket pocket. Four forty eight. That's later than his average, which is usually around two in the morning. He should get laid more often. No shit, Sherlock.

Jonno does not check his inbox, even though the number above the little envelope insists that he has new messages. New voicemail too, according to the digit attached to the cartoon speech bubble. It used to be that the only icons that could inspire such terrible dread were plague signs. A black X over the door.

He opens up the browser instead and looks Jen-Q up. Only a couple of pages of search results, usually limited to a listing at a festival or a gig guide. A tiny profile on some music review site. But she's social media-ed to the eyeballs. All the usual suspects and even a MySpace page, which means she's probably a little older than he thought. He clicks through her selfies, inspirational quotes, self-promos. "Xcited 2b playing Coal Club 2nite. $5 cover!" It's all surface shit, posing for the world. He knows the feeling.

His hangover is settling in. He's going to need something to keep it at bay.

He throws back the covers and swings his legs over the edge of the bed, waiting for the swirl of nausea to pass. Jen doesn't stir. She has raccoon eyes from her mascara. Cate would never have gone to bed without taking off her make-up.

It's freezing out here. He tucks the cover up over the birds on her shoulder, pulls his jacket on over his nakedness, and staggers in what he hopes is the direction of the bathroom to find something for the vice around his head.

He should write something. Anything. Take three steps in Detroit and you're falling over a story. But they've all been done by the native sons. Fuck you and your Pulitzer, Charlie LeDuff, he thinks, patting down the wall to find the light switch.

He flinches against the halogen and the reflection in the medicine cabinet—it's not even merciless, it's plain mean. He examines his face. The puffiness will go away once he catches up on his sleep. George Clooney rules: crow's feet on a man are sexy, and the patches of white in his six-day scruff of beard are a badge of experience. Jesus. Thirty-seven years old and sleeping with DJs.

Not bad going, he grins at himself. Ignoring his inner troll, which snipes, Yeah, but she's no Cate is she? You don't know that, he thinks. She could be. She could be really smart and deep and funny. I could follow her round the world, a new gig in a new city every night, write in hotel rooms.

Yeah, 'cos that's working out so well for you right now.

"Lost?" Jen says, leaning on the door, wearing a hideous blue flannel dressing gown. Looking a little puffy herself—which is charming in its own way. She is idly rubbing at her collar bone, exposing a glimpse of smooth skin.

"Oh hey. I was looking for Advil. Or something."

"You try the medicine cabinet?" Amused, she leans past him to pop it open on a clutter of cosmetics and medicine bottles, a packet of tampons that makes him avert his eyes like he's twelve all over again, and, alarmingly, several needles still sealed in plastic. She reaches for a bottle and drops two aspirin into his hand. "You can use the glass by the sink. It's clean. You coming back to bed?"

"Yeah." He slugs the pills down, following her back into the bedroom.

She shrugs the horrible robe from her shoulders like a wrestler and climbs back into bed. "I saw your look. Don't worry about it. I've got what my grandma used to call 'the sugars.'"

"Uh?"

"The needles. I'm diabetic. They're back-up in case I run out of pens. What, you thought you'd hooked up with some junkie?"

"It crossed my mind for a millisecond."

"Aren't you glad we used protection?"

"Did we?" He shoves away the pop of disappointment. "I'm a little fuzzy. Not that it matters. Seeing as you're not, you know, um." He is aware of how idiotic he must look, with his jacket zipped up and his cock hanging out. Smooth operator.

"You don't remember?" But she's smiling, the covers tucked up under her chin. "You're hurting my feelings."

"You might have to remind me."

"Get in here," she says, lifting the blanket, tilting her head at the pack of Durex on the bedside table. He's the kind of guy who can take a hint.

"What were you dreaming about?" he whispers into the perfect curved shell of her ear as he enters her.

"Does it matter?" she arches her back up against him, and right now it really doesn't.


"C'mon, wake up. You gotta go."

"Mmmmf?" Jonno manages as she shoves him out of bed. He is confused for a moment, then he remembers where the hell he is. Hot DJ girl. You had your cock inside her. Nice work if you can get it, boychick.

"But it's still dark," he protests through the sleep glaze, even as he's pulling on his socks. He stands on one of their used condoms. Squelchy even through his sock.

"Hustle. I mean it."

"Did they start the zombie apocalypse already?" He tugs on his shirt and realizes its backwards. He yanks it off and starts again. She is sitting cross- legged on the bed, naked, watching him and smiling.

"You're a funny guy, Tommy."

"Jonno." It stings much more than it should.

Her hands fly to her mouth. "Oh jeez. Sorry." She starts giggling again. "Oh, that's terrible. I'm so embarrassed." She tips forward, burying her head on her knees. She can't stop laughing. "Sorry."

"The least you can do is buy me breakfast," he says in his best indignant voice. He pulls on his jeans and buttons his fly. At least he can't screw that up.

"All right. But only if you get out of here, right now."

He lowers his voice. "Is it zombies? Because if that's the case, I think we should be improvising weapons."

"Worse than that, doofus. It's my dad."

"Wait." His brain is scrabbling like a dog with a small bladder at the door. He looks around again. Definitely not a teen pad. And that's a woman's body, right there. The fullness and softness and the smile lines. She sees the panic on his face and laughs harder, leaning on him, her hand on his stomach. He automatically sucks it in. She's already seen you naked, genius.

"You thought ..."

"Zombies I can deal with."

"I'm twenty-nine, you idiot."

"Well thank God for that." And that's not true, he thinks. The profile he read last night said she was thirty-three.

"I'm living at home. For now."

"And your dad thinks you don't have sex?"

"Not under his roof. Well, on his property."

"Ah."

"Yeah."

"I should probably get going then."

"You probably should." She is grinning madly. She nods her head at the door. "Same way you came in."

"But you're still buying me breakfast."

"Not today. I've got family stuff."

"Tomorrow, then."

She relents. "There's a coffee place in Corktown. I'll see you there at ten."

"That's not very specific."

"You'll find it."

"I'll get a cab home, then. And see you tomorrow." He is trying not to sound desperate.

"Okay." She's beaming.

"All right." He stands there a moment longer.

"You should go."

"It seems like a very bad idea to leave you."

"But you should anyway."

"Okay. You know it's cute that you don't swear."

"Go! For Pete's sake!"

He leans down and pulls her into a deep kiss. "Okay." He stalks down the corridor with great stealth and purpose, not looking back, reeking of eau d'pussy. It's no use.

"Um," he says, poking his head round her bedroom door. She is lying with one arm cast above her head, her eyes closed, head tilted back, and her hand between her legs. "I'm really sorry to interrupt—?"

She sits up, not the slightest bit embarrassed. "Would you get out of here?"

"I would. I just ..." he shrugs helplessly. "I don't know where we are. It was dark when we came in. If you could give me a suburb at least?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. Copyright © 2014 Lauren Beukes. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Stephen King
BROKEN MONSTERS by Lauren Beukes: Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn't put it down. Next month. I'd grab it, if I were you.

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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Broken Monsters 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
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 deer....how 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not one for the "horror" genre but this book was phenomenal. Could have read it all at once if I had the time. Very difficult to put down. Highly reccomended!
SusieH5 More than 1 year ago
A body is found.  A mutilated body, mutilated in such a way that the police are anxious to keep the body, and all details about the body, hidden from the general public.  It is clear that the body has been killed elsewhere, mutilated in this gruesome and unusual way then moved to its final resting place.   Detective Gabi Versado is on the case, a single mum who feels guilty about the amount of time she has to leave her daughter, Layla, at home alone.   Layla and best friend Cas go to theatre school in their free time from high school.  On computers at home they spend time tracking down paedophiles online, and finding ways to humiliate them, completely unknown to Gabi who is not very computer savvy. This is a real page-turner.  Thoroughly recommended.
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
This book is unlike anything that I've read before.  This book has a little bit of everything including mystery, suspense, satire, horror, fantasy, etc. . .  It is quite unique in that aspect but also unique in the way that Lauren Beukes tells the story.   Her style is very refreshing.  She brings a lot of energy to this book that sometimes is missing from the more "established" authors.  I am glad that I took a chance on this book.  Now I have a new author to read without hesitation when her books come out.  5 stars for this great book.  
Queen_Force More than 1 year ago
This book had me all over the place in the first 50 pages. Too many stories going on within the story. TK's story could have been eliminated and nothing would have been missed in the overall story. The sci-fi weird climax -- where did it come from?? Why? The doorways... serve what purpose?!!! Just overall an odd book leaving me wishing it would end...
MariahEllis More than 1 year ago
I am so disappointed that I did not enjoy this book. It has been on my radar since it released, and I freaked out when I was finally able to snag a copy. There were too many POVs experiencing such different things, and the plot was all over the place. I had such an incredibly hard time keeping up with everything. As soon as I would get a grip on the story, I would be flung somewhere else. I do recognize that Lauren Beukes is a good writer, and I am open to reading her other works, but Broken Monsters wasn't for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Creepy page turner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What the hell did I just read? Amazing! This book is non stop and scary as hell!
eternalised More than 1 year ago
I’m still struggling to review Broken Monsters and it’s been a few days since I finished it. In truth, the book isn’t bad, and if it were up to writing style alone, it deserved more than three stars. Lauren Beukes is an excellent writer, and knows her craft. However, books are about more than writing style. There’s also plot, and that’s where the book drops the mark. In theory, the plot is great. A murderer connects the upper half of a boy to the lower part of a deer, and that’s only the first murder he commits. The murders grow increasingly more strange, and one of our main charcter, Gabriella Versado, a detective with the Detroit police department, has to solve the case. In theory, it sounds good. There’s also a connection with the art community, and the city of Detroit is described in great detail, giving the book more credibility and causing a better writing experience. Then the book warps from a murder mystery into a paranormal thriller, with the mention of doors serving as gateways. Now I’m the first person to admit I love police procedurals that morph into paranormal thrillers, but here it just totally unraveled the plot. No longer were we hunting for the killer, we were trapped in a paranormal nightmare that read more like a bad acid trip. Instead of enhancing the plot, the paranormal aspect weakened it, and the murders suddenly lost most of their importance. Then there’s the characters. Gabriella is all right. She’s your stereotypical struggling working mom who also happens to be a detective, divorced and unable to have a healthy love relationship with anyone except her daughter. Said daughter, Layla, a teenager, gets a POV too and turns out to be a major part of the plot. Next up is TK, a homeless man who we don’t really learn all that much about, and Jonno a struggling author turned film maker who is a despicable human being and does everything to become famous, even if it means not giving vital evidence to the police. Each of those characters also seemed to have a subplot going on, and that took a lot of the focus away from the main plot. I don’t mind a few subplots, but we just got too much of those here. The many characters made it hard to connect to one. I could connect with Gabriella somewhat, and if the whole book had been from her POV, I probably would’ve liked it more. If you like paranormal thrillers or just plain strange murder mysteries, I’d recommend to give this one a shot. It’s not bad, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The_Dragons_Roost More than 1 year ago
I will admit that there were a couple different reasons that I chose to read Broken Monsters.  One was that it takes place in Detroit, my birthplace.  Another was that it sounded interesting -- a detective and single mother chasing a serial killer who combines body parts of his victims with animals.  Finally, I had some extra credits on my Audible account thanks to a Christmas present, so I could afford to try out an author who was new to me. I am so glad that I did. Broken Monsters not only tells a compelling and captivating story from the viewpoints of a number of different interesting and well rounded characters, it is also beautifully written.  There were a number of times that I found myself smiling at a particular description of turn of phrase.  Lauren Beukes is an amazing writer with the massive toolbox of a true wordsmith. What is most impressive is that the story moves seamlessly from one point of view to another.  Portions of the story are alternately told by the killer, the detective hunting him, her daughter, a homeless person, and a budding YouTube reporter.  Each character has their own stories as well.  The reader learns about the difficulties of being a woman and a minority in the Homicide division as well as the worries about being a good parent.  The daughter's school life, the secret her best friend has kept hidden, and the dangerous game they play with an online predator are just as compelling as the murder which needs to be solved.  It is fascinating to see how all of the disparate plot threads are woven into one whole. Then, of course, there is the killer's descent into madness.  Without giving anything away, the reader has to determine if there is a supernatural element to the story of not. Broken Monsters is a prime example of writing at it's finest.  I am truly pleased that Beukes has other novels which I can delve into.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was just a little too "sick" for me. Just could not enjoy it. The end was rather strange, and seemed to come out of nowhere. I wasn't sure I could read the entire book, but did, just to be fair to the book and it's author. I found it rather disturbing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An agile, metaphorical story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good book. I could barely put it down. It was full if twists and turns. And it really gets into your mind! That ending! Woahh. I highly reccomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It will,no doubt, be made into a movie. Another waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsomly good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Jed Jackson age: looks 16 actually 125. Looks: skinny but strong brown hair brown eyes. Species: tbd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*She hums.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am draculas daughter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slaps him and screams NO KILLING