Broken monsters cover

Broken Monsters, Thriller Review

Author Lauren Beukes

This is the spoiler free review of Broken Monsters, if you would like to read the spoiler full review go here.

Broken Monsters starts off as your ordinary serial killer thriller. A body is found in a sensational scene, a boy’s body is attached to a deer’s body and staged, and a single mom detective is hard on the case. I picked this one up because I still needed a horror for October but I needed something much easier than my last few reads. This fit that bill pretty well.

Overall, the story was interesting enough but it was the characters that kept me going. I still think there were one too many, I could’ve dealt without any of the homeless man TK’s chapters and even when his part fell into place at the end, getting to know him at all just seemed like unnecessary padding to the book’s length. But the other characters are developed, interesting, and best of all, real.

Gabi is your single mother detective who works her absolute butt off trying to do both. But not in the lean-in gotta have it all way, just the we’re all trying our best with what we’re given sort of way. She is a good cop and she’s a good mom but she can’t always be both at the same time.

Her daughter, Layla, behaves like a normal teenager. Just a real normal teenager and not the “normal teenager” you see on TV. She gets in some pretty deep trouble. But I never found her unbelievable. If I had had her friends and today’s technology when I was her age it’s very possible I too would have been in the same deep trouble. She’s relatable and endearing.

Jonno is a struggling reporter/writer/blogger who is relatable but not in a good way. He’s the worst of us. Searching for fame and attention even when it’s a danger to him. He can’t be bothered with things like the law when, gosh darnit he has a story to break! He is constantly obstructing justice and putting himself and others in harm’s way. We see this all the time today, it’s a real factor for criminal cases anymore.

Clayton Broom is our killer. We know that pretty early on in the book which means this story is not a who-done-it but a why-done-it. His story started off interesting to me but got very confusing by the end. He’s an artist, sort of. His new medium is human bodies, and other things…

There is a whole cast of side characters who also fit nicely into place. The author did a good job of fleshing out relationships and making the people have a purpose there. Things mentioned in the beginning of the book come full circle by the end and it’s very satisfying to read a book that seemed to have a plan before they sat down to write it.

My main problem with the book is the ending. Without giving anything away, it gets weird. Really weird. At the beginning of the book I thought I knew how it would all play out. By the middle I thought, oh maybe this is something a little deeper than that predictable thriller course. But at the end, I was just confused and struggled to find meaning in what had occurred. The ending was not for me. It certainly wasn’t predictable but I don’t think that’s a good thing in this case.

I enjoyed reading the book overall even though it got weird at the end and had a couple pacing issues. Mainly that we get one murder at the very beginning and then nothing until nearly the halfway mark over 200 pages later. But it accomplished my need for a nice engrossing quick read to finish off Spooktober with. Happy Halloween!

3/5 deer 🦌🦌🦌

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Buy it here: Broken Monsters (Reading Group Guide)

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