New York Times bestselling author Lauren Beukes returns with her next smash crossover thriller.
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. The cops nickname him "Bambi," but 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 over-achieving teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you are the disgraced journalist, Jonno, you do whatever it takes to investigate what may become the most heinous crime story in memory. If you're Thomas Keen, you'll do what you can to keep clean, keep your head down, and try to help the broken and possibly visionary artist obsessed with setting loose The Dream, tearing reality, assembling the city anew.
If Lauren Beukes' internationally bestselling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, her BROKEN MONSTERS is the genre-redefining thriller about the horror of our city's future.
This book! I needed a book like this. Not that I didn't love all those other books I've read this year (well some of them anyways) but I feel like a long, lost lover has come back to me (sorry hun). I forgot how much I love a GOOD horror, even if this is borderline. I really needed this to perk me out of that funk, a good murder or two. Okay, so maybe I shouldn't be admitting that... but I'm sorry, someone who likes horror will tell you the same thing... sometimes you have that itch that needs scratching. Lately I've been ignoring it. No longer! Lauren Beukes has invigorated me, not only has she given me a horror novel, but one that is REALLY well written with a great plot. I truly would have given this book 5 stars if it didn't get a little odd at the end there (not going to give that away, just sayin').
Okay, let's get past my gushing on horror and get to what the book is about. Beukes introduces us to a few main characters and quite a few background ones. We have Detective Gabriella Versado, the strong - single mother police figure that thinks she can carry the world on her shoulder. I think what I really liked about this book was how far the Author strayed from mystery/police detective cliches but Detective Versado was the closest she came to making one. I loved hearing all the perspectives from the mind of the killer, the detective, the detective's teen daughter, a homeless guy and a failing journalist. Each character has great depth to them and brings many angles to the main plot, I'm a sucker when this is done well. Telling the story this way also gives the Author ways to drop little hints and clues and possibly explain things that another character would not have caught or noticed.
Another thing I particularly love in books is getting into the mind of a killer. I think it might be that horrible curiosity that begs to ask the question "why? why? why?". After a few of my favorite novels that have featured a serial killer, I may have learned a little of the why (broken homes, tragedy, psychological damage, etc) but I still can't seem to get a real grasp on how that switch gets flipped. I think it's only natural to be curious about something that you could never imagine yourself doing... we, the human race, love questioning why people do the things they do and this is no different. In this particular novel, Art is the desire and motivation behind the killer and this is quite a different take from other books I have read. In a way, I can almost bring myself close enough to have that slight flickering of understanding, obviously not that Art is a reason to end someone's life, because it isn't. However, almost every artist knows that the best art is created during stressful and hurtful situations, and what could be more stressful/hurtful than murder?! I know. Sounds bad, but you have to admit, there is truth to it.
Steering clear of that topic (it makes me uncomfortable to express my feelings about why it fascinates me or why I think there is something to be said about it), the clear reason this book is something to be read is the writing. Beukes has a way with creating real to life characters that come to life a little too much, and the fact that her books center around horrific people make them even more intriguing. I haven't read her previous success "The Shining Girls" but I think I'll be diving into that the next time an itch comes up - I know what to reach for. Be advised readers, this book does have a funky dunky ending and some might not like it BUT the book is worth the trip and I would hardly say that is something to deter anyone from reading this.
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