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The art of serial killing

18 April 2018

Broken MonstersBroken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So how does a South African author come to write a crime novel set in Detroit?

My initial response is that there are so many crime novels set in US cities that this seems a bit like carrying coals to Newcastle. And surely we’ve got enough crime in our own country to write about. so there should be plenty of material. We have Michele Rowe, whose novel What hidden lies is set in the Cape Peninsula, but I can’t think of many others.

And then there’s Elizabeth George, and American whose crime novels are set in Britain, so why shouldn’t people write crime novels set in other countries than their own?

And, if we want to be postmodern about it, the author, and the author’s background and experience don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the text itself.

So what can I say about the text?

It starts off with a bunch of disparate people whose lives intersect when they encounter a serial killer. as the threads gradually draw together one gets drawn into the lives and concerns of the characters. The killer mutilates his victims, and sees them as a kind of art form, possessed by a dream that he cannot articulate, even through his gruesome art works.

To say more would be to introduce spoilers, but I found it was definitely worth a read.

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