For fans of Rene Denfeld and Shari Lapena comes a rich, atmospheric family drama set in the 1980’s following the disappearances of two paperboys from a small midwestern town.
It’s August 1984, and paperboy Christopher Stewart has gone missing.
Hours later, twelve-year-old Sammy Cox hurries home from his own paper route, red-faced and out of breath, hiding a terrible secret.
Crystal, Sammy’s seventeen-year-old sister, is worried by the disappearance but she also sees opportunity: the Stewart case has echoes of an earlier unsolved disappearance of another boy, one town over. Crystal senses the makings of an award winning essay, one that could win her a scholarship – and a ticket out of their small Iowa town.
Officer Dale Goodkind can’t believe his bad luck: another town and another paperboy kidnapping. But this time he vows that it won’t go unsolved. As the abductions set in motion an unpredictable chain of violent, devastating events touching each life in unexpected ways, Dale is forced to face his own demons.
Told through interwoven perspectives–and based on the real-life Des Moines Register paperboy kidnappings in the early 1980’s–The Monsters We Make deftly explores the effects of one crime exposing another and the secrets people keep hidden from friends, families, and sometimes, even themselves.
What an intense story. Right from the beginning there is that sense of danger for the young boys of Des Moines. The author is very clever in that nothing is laid out for the reader, and yet we are not left wondering what is happening. I particularly loved Crystal’s story. I thought her character’s thoughts and actions were perfectly and realistically portrayed and she was very relateable. The tension was well maintained thoughout the book and was even a little creepy.
Where I felt the story fell a bit short was in the way Crystal and Sammy seemed to be handle an extremely traumatic incident a little too well. That felt a little unreal in an otherwise extremely realistic story. Having said that, it was still a fantastic read!