The Mysterious Bookshop

Beukes, Lauren, Broken Monsters

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.