Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Mulholland Books (Sept. 16 2014)
448 pages - 29 $

Lauren Beukes has created quite a phenomenon on the web after the release of her book The Shining Girls. So I decided to read this author who seems very appreciated. Seeing that her new book Broken Monsters was available on Netgalley, I did not hesitate!

Before reading this book, it's good to know that part of the novel lies in the horror category, I didn't know it, since it was categorized as mystery & thriller. Sure, The Shining Girls, her first book, is the story of a serial killer plaguing in different time periods (time travel, all that), which suggests a penchant for the supernatural. But even after reading the summary of the book, I had not predict that the horror side would come quite late in the book. This has baffled me and it didn't appeal to me, I must say, but knowing it, my opinion would probably have been even more positive, so... an informed reader is forearmed!

The blurb

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.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

What's good about it

What I like in a good book is for the writing to be fluid, for the story to flow and that it has a tone, humor, a little cynicism and good dialogues. Lauren Beukes gives all that. I liked her writing style and I've never been bored, even in descriptions! 

Lauren is really good in the writing of her characters, we are able to know which character is at the forefront in two seconds. The story is told from several points of view and without transition (you know, sometimes we change chapter, there are small ***,etc.) but at no time do we wonder "but who is talking now? "And oh my, it's a pleasure to read. 

The characters are numerous and Detroit is one of them. So I'm quite sure that the tourist office in Detroit may not love the book... because Detroit is pretty creepy, thank you! I do not know if you've seen pictures of deserted buildings of this former splendor? Well, that is quite like that but worse! 

The story is well done and the different stories lived by the characters all end up overlapping or if this is not really the case (I'm thinking of Layla hunting pedophiles), they help to bring a little more of seedy narrative to add to the prevailing malaise. The end of the book has a little bit disappointed me in the sense that I did not expect that kind of end and it completely changed from the rest of the book. This is the only negative point in my case, because until that time, I found the book excellent. 

In a nutshell 

A good pace, very well written and differentiated characters, smooth and nice writing, but an ending that leaves me wanting more, it's a 3.5/5 for me. (an end that did not stop me to buy The Shining Girls!)

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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