"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, July 04, 2016

Broken Monsters

TITLE: Broken Monsters
AUTHOR: Lauren Beukes

Lauren Beukes continues to fascinate me with her books as each one is better than the one before. Broken Monsters starts as a conventional suspense/mystery, with a murder and a detective, Gabi Versado, in charge of the investigation. The story is told from alternating povs, including that of Gabi's daughter, Layla, as well as the killer, himself. The killer seems to be a typical haunted psychopath who quickly escalates into serial killer-hood. But is the dream that compels him just that, or something more?

The title takes on many meanings in this book that skates the line between reality and fantasy, defying an easy label, which is how I prefer it. My favorite books often blend elements of multiple genres. Mystery? Fantasy? Horror? Thriller? This book covers all those and adds in a decent amount of social commentary about how the internet, especially social media has come to impact and even control our lives, becoming a place where people derive meaning, validation, confirmation. The supporting cast are characters who all matter, coming from varied walks of life, to all play a role as the killer's obsession grows. That obsession crosses into the art world and the need for an audience. Even more than with her other novels, Broken Monsters has a lot to say beyond telling a compelling story. And I can't wait for her next book.