• The Monsters We Make

  • A Novel
  • By: Kali White
  • Narrated by: Mia Barron
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,313 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's August 1984, and paperboy Christopher Stewart has gone missing.

Hours later, 12-year-old Sammy Cox hurries home from his own paper route, red-faced and out of breath, hiding a terrible secret.

Crystal, Sammy's 17-year-old sister, is worried by the disappearance but she also sees an opportunity: the Stewart case has echoes of an earlier unsolved disappearance of another boy, one town over. Crystal senses the makings of an award-winning essay, one that could win her a scholarship - and a ticket out of their small Iowa town.

Officer Dale Goodkind can't believe his bad luck: another town and another paperboy kidnapping. But this time he vows that it won't go unsolved. As the abductions set in motion an unpredictable chain of violent, devastating events touching each life in unexpected ways, Dale is forced to face his own demons.

Told through interwoven perspectives - and based on the real-life Des Moines Register paperboy kidnappings in the early 1980s - The Monsters We Make deftly explores the effects of one crime exposing another and the secrets people keep hidden from friends, families, and, sometimes, even themselves.

©2020 Kali White (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about The Monsters We Make

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Secrets abound, sneaking in and out of the pages

Des Moines, Iowa, 1984; the center of the Midwest, where “kids were taught God and manners....Bad was other places. Other cities.....”

A second paperboy has vanished in the span of two years. Sergeant Goodkind is now in charge of finding 13 year old Christopher Stewart after failing to solve the disappearance of Matthew Kline. Goodkind, struggling to repair his damaged marriage, is again being pulled away from his family and inside the hunt, a constant search for the missing boys. This couldn’t be happening again.

Paperboy Sammy Cox and his older sister Crystal, an investigative journalist in training, are also involved. Secrets abound, sneaking in and out of the pages. Their stories intertwine with Goodkind’s to spark a fast-paced reading of this slow burning book.

White is a skillful writer, immediately immersing the reader into her story. Jelly shoes, wall telephones, waterbeds and avocado green kitchens are just the atmospheric bed on which White layers a raw, intense tale filled with unexpected turns and burning questions.

Warning ⚠️ triggers: child abuse, pedophilia


I listened to this book on Audible. Narrated by Mia Barron, I found the audio to be hypnotic, lyrical, very pleasant, and clear.

56 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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GREAT Book Club Discussion

My book club enjoyed discussing this book.
I actually had to begin this book over a few times for clarification (it could've just been me).
We discussed parenting, the difference between Baby Boomers, Generation X, & Millennials.
We discussed what a stranger looks like to a child, then versus now.
We discussed single parents, divorced parents, and 2 parenting households.
We discussed kids trusting adults. Kids having outlets outside of parents.
We discussed doing the best you can with what you have.
I would be considered a helicopter parent. I want to encourage and have an ongoing daily dialogue with my child to ensure an open line of communication. I want the school and community to see me as a highly visible no-nonsense parent. I want to be a provider, protector, and the best cheerleader.
I feel like if you do all you can do and it still happens to you (Kidnapping or child abuse) I have done all I can do.

This young boy was failed by his parents.
This young girl was failed by her parents.
The parents were not observant, not listening, and definitely not paying attention, NOT even when the information was placed in their lap.
The police detective was overworked and burnt out. Although he gave it an ole college try, he wasn't mentally up for the challenge.

It's a really good mystery, a good read, I would recommend.

36 people found this helpful

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Underwhelming

Wouldn’t call this suspenseful. It was just exceedingly depressing. If you’d like a disturbing yet somehow also rather boring read, this is it.

31 people found this helpful

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Fact based fiction

Credit to the author for taking the facts of a true case and making a good story, without changing the real-life outcome.

31 people found this helpful

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Great pace and terrific narration!

Kali White's impeccable storytelling pace, and Mia Barron's top-notch narration enhanced my listen of The Monsters We Make! Set in the 80s, the story's tone has an eerie and engaging conflict between its "innocent" feel-good era and a feeling of being vulnerable without having the internet and cell phones to save the day. The three main characters, Crystal, Sammy, and Dale, each has their own unique and exciting narrative and White lets each of their stories breathe -- Crystal seemed neglected of her mother's attention and had so many fires burning that she is easy to admire and cheer for; I worried for Sammy, his pubescent stress and private guilt crushed me; and Dale's tunnel vision while fighting his own demons seemed naturally flawed and perfectly human. The tension builds to an unexpected ending. Well worth the credit!

30 people found this helpful

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Left Hanging from a memorable story

Love the story although sad. It's a real crisis we have with "monsters" in our Country and in the world.

Another novel could be written about the characters who had really no closure.

Maybe that's the reason the novel 's ending left us dangling.
I would definitely read/listen to a continuation of this story.

I even have a few plot ideas I gladly share with the author lol

I would definitely recommend, The Monsters We Make.

Thanks again to Kali White, Mia Barron and Audible for a story I'll not soon forget.

17 people found this helpful

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Good, BUT!

Very good story ruined by horrible narration. Whatever sound editor thought a female narrator with horrible vocal fry makes for a good listen is totally insane. I had to quit listening several time because I just couldn't take any more. I did finally finish it. I will avoid this narrator with future purchases.

15 people found this helpful

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An interesting story with great detail

A very real feeling but a fictional account of the terrible crimes that occurred many years ago. The level of detail is amazing and really helps tell the story. This would be an amazing movie, no doubt. Once you start the book, you will not want to stop. Highly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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5

Mia Barron,Narrator. Her work on this book lifts it to remarkable.
And the author Kali White writes beautifully. I thought this would be
a dry telling of the facts.. HA! As I
said before - remarkable mystery.

12 people found this helpful

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100% loved

I listen to 2-3 books per week going on 4 months now. This has been my absolute favorite. I loved the 80’s imagery! Great story, always moving, not slow at all. Great character development. This would be a great movie.

10 people found this helpful