When the body of a boy is discovered, Detective Gabriella Versado knows there’s something strange going on. Because it’s actually only half the body of a boy; the other half is that of a deer, fused with the young boy’s remains. Versado must investigate this grotesque case, dealing with a killer whose twisted nature she can’t fathom, while her daughter, Layla, finds herself in over her head in more ways than one.
A novel that crosses genres, Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters is a creepy novel with amazingly drawn characters and an intricate, masterfully plotted storyline.
Let’s talk about creepy novels. I’ve read my share, and I’ll admit I do really enjoy them. I can’t really watch scary movies because I’m too much of a wuss, but for some reason, I can deal with scary novels. More than deal, in fact. So when I heard that Lauren Beukes’ new novel Broken Monsters was the creepiest of the creepy, I knew immediately I had to read it. And wow, this book did not disappoint.
Broken Monsters definitely is a slow building novel. That doesn’t mean it’s slow overall—I was definitely hooked from the beginning—but that it takes time for the story threads to come together and the narrative thread to fully form. Being along for this journey means that the reader gets to see Beukes’ skill at manipulating her characters and storyline, building the tension for the story. And when she bends the narrative further than you’d ever thought it could go, your only choice is to follow willingly, mesmerized by this author’s skills.
Beukes also does an incredible job with her characters. There are quite a few of them, and it takes time to sort them out, but she draws each so singularly that they quickly burn themselves into the reader’s memory. Each has their own issues; I found Layla’s storyline especially intriguing. She’s smart and capable, worthy of being treated as an adult, but sometimes she just wants to crawl into her mother’s arms at the end of the day. It’s so interesting to see how all of these disparate characters intersect, their separate stories merging into a shocking conclusion.
It’s difficult to put into words how different this book is; all I can say is that was drawn in immediately and captivated by the story Beukes was telling. If you like books that defy genre conventions, that are so singular as to be difficult to classify, then you should absolutely read Broken Monsters.