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Murders, Detroit, etc.

Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes

So I read an earlier book by this author, The Shining Girls, which was superficially quite similar to this one (gross thriller with paranormal overtones peppered with Britishisms that somebody should have edited out).

 

I liked The Shining Girls a little more because it was more suspenseful and the paranormal bits were handled better. Here, they felt kind of half baked and were the worst, most tedious part of the story. Reading the finale I kept thinking that this was going to make a really cool-looking movie one day, but as a reader I was just not interested in any of it. Actual serial killers, cops who imagine murdering someone and arranging the scene so they'll get away with it, sexual assaults shared on social media as though they're funny--all of those things are scarier than whatever the hell was behind the doors in this book. 

 

Which I guess leads me to my main complaint about the story: it wasn't scary, or suspenseful. It was gross and grim. It was a little bloated, and I don't think it had anything terribly new or interesting to say. In fact, some of the characters are giant stereotypes and I cringed a bit as I read. I might check out the author's books that are set in South Africa, though, to see how she handles a setting that she's lived in.