#BookReview - Soot by Andrew Martin

York, 1799.

In August, an artist is found murdered in his home - stabbed with a pair of scissors. Matthew Harvey's death is much discussed in the city. The scissors are among the tools of his trade - for Harvey is a renowned cutter and painter of shades, or silhouettes, the latest fashion in portraiture. It soon becomes clear that the murderer must be one of the artist's last sitters, and the people depicted in the final six shades made by him become the key suspects. But who are they? And where are they to be found?

Later, in November, a clever but impoverished young gentleman called Fletcher Rigge languishes in the debtor's prison, until a letter arrives containing a bizarre proposition from the son of the murdered man. Rigge is to be released for one month, but in that time, he must find the killer. If he fails, he will be incarcerated again, possibly for life.

And so, with everything at stake, and equipped only with copies of the distinctive silhouettes, Fletcher Rigge be…

Book Review: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes



Broken Monsters is one of those novels that are impossible to pigeon hole. At first glance it's a police procedural thriller but it quickly becomes apparent there is a supernatural, urban fantasy element to the book and the reader is treated to a story that is dark and creepy but also a thought- provoking look at what makes a monster.
Detective Gabrielle Versado is the single mom homicide detective who believes she has seen it all. When a body is discovered that is half boy, half deer somehow fused together Versado realises this is weird even for Detroit. It's worth mentioning here that the city is a central player in the novel, in Beukes' hands it comes alive, the bankrupt city still vibrant despite its dark and dangerous reputation.
Much of Broken Monsters focuses on Versado's teenage daughter, Layla and it is here that the book really shines. As nail-biting as the hunt for the serial killer is, what particularly stood out for me was the light Beukes shines on the murky darkness of the internet. It's not just the paranormal monsters we should be scared of, there are monsters of a different sort sat behind a computer screen who also have the ability to tear lives apart. The power the internet gives people is perhaps more chilling and unsettling than anything.
Broken Monsters is a multilayered, intelligent thriller that will set your heart racing. It's the sort of compelling page turner that will have you reading long into the night - but then you might need to sleep with your light on!
Thanks to the author and publishers for my copy received through NetGalley in return for my honest review.

Broken Monsters is published in the UK by Harper Collins

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