Book Report: Broken Monsters

Halloween is just a few short days away…with that, I bring you another spine-tingling, squirm-inducing read to make you seriously jump at what goes bump in the night. Broken Monsters Book CoverWhat’s the Buzz?: Author Lauren Beukes is a relatively new force on the thriller / horror scene (although not necessarily new to writing as a whole). Her 2012 novel The Shining Girls won rave reviews from the likes of Stephen King, master of the genre, who named it one of his favourite reads of the year. Not a bad endorsement if you can get it. After being elevated more prominently into the public eye, Beukes’ latest has been eagerly anticipated by fans across the globe.

What’s the Plot?: Detective Gabi Versado, a seasoned Detroit cop, is called to the scene of the crime – another day, another body, she thinks. Only when she gets there, she discovers the body is in fact a young boy that has been mysteriously adhered to the torso of a fawn. Apart from being utterly creepy, it’s also utterly unlike anything Gabi has seen. And the creepy murders don’t stop there…Now, if you’re a mystery fan, I can tell you this much: Broken Monsters isn’t really a classic mystery novel. It’s more of a detective novel mixed with a dash of Stephen King-esque horror. What I mean by that is we find out who the killer is by the end of the first section. What’s less clear in those early pages is how Detective Versado and her team will ever track the killer down, and how the other various sub-plots will weave together, including that of a convicted murderer named TK, a desperate journalist NYC expat named Jonno, and Gabriella’s own daughter, Layla (hint: they do, in a pretty terrifying climax).

How Mysterious Is It If It’s Not a Mystery?: As I noted above, Broken Monsters is an interesting book in that it borrows elements from thrillers, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and murder mysteries to craft something wholly different. The story is told in alternating viewpoints (including the killer’s) that eventually twist themselves up into one big knot. So while you know who the killer is from quite early on, what you don’t know is how the other stories will interweave themselves with the killer’s – and what will happen if they do. A good chunk of the story also closely follows Detective Versado and her team as they try to crack the case, which is quite different than your standard mystery novel because you already know the answers – you’re just waiting for the Detroit PD to play catch-up. It’s important to note that there is definitely a fantastical, horror aspect to the book: it’s not a cut and dry murder case by any means, and the climax is somewhat inexplicable (even as it’s resolved in a rather amusing afterword) by our strictly logical standards. So if you don’t like your murder with a side of sci-fi fantasy, then perhaps pass on this one.

Thrills & Chills Factor?: I’d rate Broken Monsters at about a 3 out of 5. Whenever the murders pop up, you’ll probably have to put the book down after a chapter or two to process, especially if you’re heading off to sleep soon. But a large portion of the book is dedicated to the periphery of the murder investigations, making it less horrifying to read. That being said, as the book carries on, the chapters become increasingly short (often lasting no longer than 3 pages), making it much more of a page-turner, particularly as you get to the horror-driven climax.

Who Should Read This Book?: I couldn’t help but picture Broken Monsters being adapted for a future season of True Detective. If you liked the sort of moody, slow-burning atmosphere of that show, you’ll probably appreciate the gritty realness of both the investigation, alongside the portrayal of modern-day Detroit. It’s available at booksellers nationwide as of now for $29 so pick it up as a unique Halloween hostess gift or as a holiday gift for a friend that loves to be scared while they turn the pages.

Happy Halloween week guys – I’m giving away a copy of Broken Monsters to a lucky and soon-to-be-scared reader. Here’s how to enter for your chance to win:

1) Tell me in the comments below by November 9, 2014 – why are you interested in reading this eerie book?

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around November 10, 2014 to select the winner(s), who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry #1: Like Hachette Book Group Canada on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall as to why you’re interested in reading Broken Monsters. You don’t have to mention CGG, but you do have to leave a link to your comment below (learn how to do so here).

5) Bonus Entry #2: Add Broken Monsters to your ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads. Leave a link back to your to-read list on the page where the book is included to earn yet another bonus entry.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure all entries are submitted as separate comments. That means your base entry, and each of the bonus entries, should be 3 individual comments – otherwise your entries won’t be counted!


37 Responses to “Book Report: Broken Monsters”
  1. Taps says:

    i always feel written horrors are the best..

  2. cookie3 says:

    If it compares even slightly to the series True Detectives then this must be a great read.

  3. prim says:

    I’m looking for a new book to read, I don’t usually read thrillers but this one sounds scary.

  4. Holly says:

    I love scary movies but scary books are just as good!

  5. Audrey Skinner says:

    I love reading thrillers.

  6. GARRY S says:


  7. Diane Brunet says:

    I think I prefer scary stories in books more than the actual movie, because you’re imagination really goes wild. Whereas a movie, the characters and scenes are already established for you and it leaves much less to the imagination. I love movies but I prefer the books. So I tend to read the book and then watch the movie, if it’s a book that is derived from a movie that is. 🙂

  8. linnett says:

    Am always on the look out for new authors to me, this sounds interesting, thanks

  9. katydidit21 says:

    I”m not a fan of scary movies, but love to read scary books so this sounds like my kind of read.

  10. Steph says:

    I am in need of new reading material – this book sounds great 🙂

  11. Anne Derkat says:

    This would be for my daughter in law who loves this type of book.

  12. photomum says:

    I love reading books that are different from the run of the mill novels!

  13. It sounds good and i don’t usually read eerie books!

  14. truckerofbc says:

    I like Horror stories so adding this to my collection would be great

  15. neednewspace says:

    I love a good horror/thriller! The Shining Girls was fantastic and I’m excited to read Lauren Beukes next creepfest!

  16. neednewspace says:

    My TBR shelf on Goodreada needs some updating! I’ve been very lax lately. Whoops! 😉
    Here’s the link:

  17. Linda Fast says:

    I like reading thrillers as well as horror and this looks like a fantastic read.

  18. DARYL MOAD says:


  19. Susan T. says:

    I am a huge horror fan and this one is supposed to be super creepy. Bring it on! 🙂

  20. AgnesM says:

    I’d love to read this book because if it’s good enough to be endorsed by Stephen King, The Master of Horror, then I’m sure I will love it!

  21. Grace says:

    I would love to read this book because I love detective stories!

  22. CLC says:

    The title alone grabbed me. I love reading detective novels.

  23. Angela Mitchell says:

    This sounds like exactly my favourite type of book. I love the mixing of genres and when you mentioned the comparison to True Blood, you had me!

  24. Victoria Ess says:

    I love thrillers!

  25. Joan G. says:

    I’m an avid reader that likes a all mystery, thriller and suspense novels.

  26. Mike says:

    Joe Hill said the book was good. And a lot of other people too!

  27. D.Petch says:

    I love scary books and this sounds interesting!

  28. leah says:

    I love reading in general so I’m interested in all books; however, your comparison of this book to True Detective is what really interested me. Loved the show and I’m always looking for a good page turner!

  29. Anne says:


  30. aly3360 says:

    I’m always looking for something new to read and new authors to discover and this book sounds right up my alley!!

  31. Lori P says:

    The summary of this book really sticks with you, so I’d love to read the book in its entirety to find out how ends up (or I won’t be able to sleep at night).

  32. Sharon says:

    I would love to read this book. It sounds so good.

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