In the wreck of the city of Detroit, Detective Gabi Versado is investigating the bizarre murder of a young African-American boy. His torso is found glued to the body of a deer. Gabi is so involved in the case that she doesn’t realize her teenage daughter Layla and Layla’s best friend Cas are attempting to entrap a child molester.
Jonno is a failed writer who moves to Detroit and is soon posting video blogs about the wild art scene. He just happens to be on the scene to videotape the discovery of another weird murder.
Clayton is an artist whose work has recently shifted. A few people have been stunned by the strange beauty of his animal fusion statues. An art promoter wants him to exhibit at a massive art party where the artists are assembling themed shows in a group of abandoned houses.
Beukes steadily builds tension in a novel that juxtaposes the ruins of the city with themes about abuse of the Internet. Those who are fans of her stunning debut, The Shining Girls, will not be surprised by the additional twist the plot takes.
If I have any criticism, and it is a very small one, it is that the South African author, who has set both of her novels in the urban ruins of large cities in the U.S., occasionally gets her American idioms wrong.