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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling 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.

©2014 Lauren Beukes (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Lauren Beukes has got an intriguing style of dealing with slightly surreal things in very real ways. I'm all over it." (Gillian Flynn, O: The Oprah Magazine)
"One of the scariest and best-written thrillers of the year" (Chicago Sun-Times
"Wildly inventive" (Entertainment Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fascinating Final Twist

Majority of the book is a very realistic crime thriller with believable and interesting characters. It does start a little slowly for my tastes.

The final act of the book is very tense and takes a fascinating turn. I'd compare it to Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not heard these narrators before, but they were perfectly cast. They brought personality to each character and gave the story great texture.

Any additional comments?

Another fantastic book by Beukes. Wonderful mix of detective thriller, commentary on modern life and social media, keen observation of the impact of the economic downturn on a once-great city, exploration of the artistic process and mental health, with a final touch of the supernatural. The book is grounded by multiple narrative voices: a detective who struggles to balance work and single motherhood; her daughter who is navigating teenage life where social media has the power to consume and obliterate; an artist struggling with his work and sanity; a homeless man finding a way to survive in Detroit despite a fraught past; and a hipster-blogger-wannabe who is awash in pretension and an unattractive desire of recognition. Beukes manages some impressive character depth and sharp, believable dialog. She also depicts a struggling Detroit, weaving in realistic details and actual headlines to underscore plot points examining social media and how it drives daily life, for better or worse. In many ways, the book feels akin to a Stephen King in the best way -- no throwaway characters, no sloppy lines, no shortcuts in depicting the setting, and supernatural elements that accent rather than overwhelm the story. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very not scary

Get ready to listen to text convos and fake reddit threads. I was led to believe this would be very scary....maybe for teens?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim N
  • Chicago, IL
  • 07-09-16

A disappointing mashup

Rather than being a 'genre-redefining thriller", Broken Monsters is a combination of police procedural/serial killer thriller and supernatural horror tale. The problem is these elements are barely integrated so the story builds as one type of tale, ends as another and the climax ends up feeling distinctly at odds with what preceded it. Rather than being a surprising twist, it felt false.

To be fair, there are a few hints that the story could go in the direction it eventually does but the ideas aren't unified in a satisfying way and the novel left me disappointed.

On the plus side, it is an interesting, if ultimately not quite satisfying story and Lauren Beukes can write. The characterization is solid and the narration is superb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good mashup of horror, police procedural and online culture

Beukes captures slices of the modern social media culture, the post industrial decay of urban America, the police procedural and the supernatural horror novel blended well by the differing narrators to very good effect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I Had to keep listening in every spare moment

A nail biting story and very topical in today's world of ubiquitous social media use

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inpending dread

My favorite horror stories build a subtly build a since of dread that looms over the principle characters as the author introduces and establishes them. Lauren Beukes does this effectively in Broken Monsters. While not quite as expert as Lovecraft, (earlier) King, or Nick Cutter, she got me.

While a lot of people would consider Broken Monsters a little over long I don't, but I don't think it over stays it's welcome outside of one or two sections and one character's arc. For me it didn't harm the story enough to subtract the half a star that would of dropped my rating of the story to a four. (I'm probably in the minority here.)

There are a lot of prominent characters here, a lot of people would probably think there are one or two too many. Not me. I really hated one character, but he serves a very important role in the subtext (which is topical and current).

The ending is another thing that a lot of people may find problematic. I love it. Be prepared of a shift in tone and focus. I think it provides a perfect exclaimation point to the subtext (which is awesome imo.) The best comparison to another modern horror writer's endings is Nick Cutter.

There are a lot of things people won't like about this book. Read any 2-3 star horror reviews ans you'll see the complaints and issues that a lot of reviewers have.

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average characters

average characters and story it didn't consume me or thrill me at all, but those are just my thoughts

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  • keith
  • Howell, Michigan, United States
  • 07-09-17

Really good book!

I was surprised by some of the negative reviews. I thought this was a great book and not disappointed by the end. Being from Detroit it was cool that the author mixed in real stories and landmarks. Plot was original and had likable characters.

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really great until the last hour

Would you try another book from Lauren Beukes and/or the narrators?

yes

Would you be willing to try another book from Lauren Beukes? Why or why not?

On the fence, the stories are really great but her ending tend to feel rather rushed.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably; the psychedelic imagery was glossed over in the novel but the screen would be a great place to portray it.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyed that there were multiple narrators