Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes

So maybe I should have looked at what Stephen King wrote about this before I actually read it. “Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn’t put it down… I’d grab it if I were you.” So, if Stephen King thinks it’s scary what exactly does that mean? It means some truly crazy-ass nightmares; that’s what it means. They will be incomprehensible, outrageous, and also, scary as hell. And then you will finish reading it, and you will be like, um, what just happened? Or maybe that’s just me.

 

Listen, I am no expert, but Lauren Beukes bio was enough to impress me. This book, actually, is a lot like her bio — it covers so many different categories: sci-fi, police drama, teen angst, romance (ok, not so much), the art world, taxidermy (yes, you know you were hoping for that) and all kinds of cool things I had to google about Detroit. It is a big, ambitious book. Someone compared it to going down the rabbit hole, and I have to agree with that; to me, there were also echoes of Pete Hamill’s golem here, and Hannibal Lecter’s sheer madness. On the only down-note, I will say that the ending gave me deja-vu for the golem, reminding me of how a supernatural event is used to wrap up an ending that before that, was pretty grittily based in reality. So yes, after being on the edge of my couch for most of the book, I didn’t love the ending. Also, for all the horror and scary parts, the take-down of the killer was something of a non-event. I was completely prepared for a twist that never came. But a testament to the skills of the writer, I still loved the book.

 

I especially loved how it was divided into very short chapters, each from a different character’s perspective. I didn’t always like when the events in one story overlapped the next and were retold, but sometimes that worked to clarify what happened. Reading on my kindle, I could say to my husband, I just have two minutes to the end of the chapter, I’ll be right with you, and then I could read three chapters, really quickly, without him even knowing. So that was awesome. Take a break from reality, set aside some time (or don’t sleep, that might be better), and read this book. It will make you think twice about…everything.