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The Monsters We Make

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  17 reviews
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.

...more
Hardcover
Expected publication: June 9th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
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Kimberly Belle
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m a sucker for a suspense novel crafted around real-life events, and Kali White’s The Monsters We Make had me hooked from page one. This is a story that creeps up the back of your neck, an intense, haunting tale that is as twisty as it is terrifying. A nail-biter with a dark, atmospheric heart.
Bandit
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, decent crime novel. Quite good actually. Based on real life kidnappings that several decades ago all but spelled out a certain shift in zeitgeist, the disappearance of a time of (at least perceived) innocence, when people were decent and children were safe. Set in Des Moines in the 80s, it has all the nostalgia of Stranger Things coupled with all the evils of stranger danger. Young boys are disappearing, paperboys, the community is terrified, the neighborhood will never be the same, ...more
Dee
I must admit, one of the first things that drew me to this story was the era. I remember the 80s well.

The story takes us back to a time when notepads, library books, cassette tapes, and landlines were the norm. A time before we had the internet and cell phones at our fingertips. And more importantly, how prevalent paper runs were back then.

The story is told in third person and from a number of perspectives. (No head-hopping).

This is a whodunnit type story with a certain character painted so
...more
Kimba Tichenor
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A haunting mystery that transcends the genre, because it gives the reader no easy out, no pat resolution, no sinister villain on which to pin our fears. It is an engrossing and powerful read about how when we as a community "give a criminal the label of 'evil,' or categorize them as 'monster,' we them power through camouflage. We allow them to hide in plain sight while doing what they behind closed doors, in secret." I do not want to give away the plot, but if you value realism in the ...more
Gary
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book; it captured me during the first chapter and held me until the end. "THE MONSTERS WE MAKE" is set in an “any neighborhood” kind of place. Though it is really in Des Moines of the early 1980’s it really could be in any city or town—even mine. The setup is that two newspaper boys have disappeared early in the morning as they prepared to begin their route. Because of the near-dawn hour there were no witnesses, no sounds, no evidence. It was as if the two boys merely vanished.

One
...more
Deirdre Rosenberg
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I liked this book very much! It reads like true crime, which is a really nice and welcome change of pace for me. I love the mystery/thriller genres and thought this was a unique angle. White captured the vibe of the early 80’s well and she kept this plot moving at a very steady clip without leaving details behind.
Lynsey
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The Monsters We Make by Kali White.

Publishing date - 9th June 2020
Publisher - Crooked Lane Books



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
...more
Miss R
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A superb, true crime novel from Kali White.

If you enjoy a crime novel grounded in real-life events, "The Monsters We Make" is simply unmissable. Based in the 1980s, the novel explores the disappearances of two paperboys from a small midwestern town. Atmospheric and claustrophobic, White evokes with her stylish prose, the zeitgeist of an era defined not only by Reaganism, yuppies and big hairdos but also some
...more
Miranda
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a work of fiction based on the disappearance of Des Moines paper boys. The work primarily focuses on the Cox family. Crystal desperately wants to go to journalism school and uses the city's current situation as a source of motivation. Her brother Sammy is a quiet boy who delivers papers on Sunday mornings. Their mother Tina works as a hairdresser and a waitress in order to make end's meet. Although something sinister is definitely uncovered in this novel, readers do not learn the ...more
Donna Hines
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Based on a real story with fictional characters this one was different.
It had that weird who could've done such a thing feel that kept readers engaged with eyes squarely upon the paper boys and their families.
The complacency in believing the boys were safe is what has brought on the spur of emotions.
The notion that monsters are made or born is another avenue one can take to understanding it all.
Having been married to a nightmare as a 'kept woman' I can sympathize with the subjects as isolation
...more
Tony
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I raced through this outstanding thriller in a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed being taken back to mid 1980s when two paperboys are snatched, one year apart, from a small midwestern town. The story starts after the disappearance of the second boy and tells the story from three perspectives

The perspectives were all uniquely different and equally terrific: an 18 year old girl who want to be a journalist and begins her own investigation, her younger brother, a twelve year old with his own
...more
ElleM
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
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
...more
Danielle
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book to review !

The Monsters We Make
by Kali White

This was an excellent mystery about a neighborhood boy who goes missing never to return from his early morning paper route. The story unfolds through the eyes of another young paper boy in neighborhood and his older sister who aspires to become a writer. Several characters in the story appear to fit the bill of the kidnapper but the story keeps you guessing. Strong writing, good plot,
...more
Jeffrey Chassen
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
***SPOILERS INCLUDED***: I enjoyed the book, and knowing that it's based on real cases brought me into the story in a more personal manner. I thought the pace was great, and I liked the character development. This book made me feel like I was a fly on the wall, and that's how a good crime mystery should make you feel. My biggest criticism would have to be the ending, because it felt a little too neatly wrapped up. I also felt frustrated that Sammy and his sister, after everything, do something ...more
Kristin Howell
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of The Monsters We Make from NetGalley to review.

This book was heartbreaking. A mystery set in the 1980s when boys running paperboy routes start disappearing. The author based some of the details on true stories and did thorough research, which you can tell when reading this book. It's well written and immersive in the time period and sometimes hard to read. It was a great read, though, and I was invested in the story.

This book will be published June 9, 2020 if you'd like to
...more
Denise
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Drawing on research on true events, Kali White delivers a compelling novel about the disappearance of local paper boys and a young woman’s quest to write a winning news article while unraveling the twisted truths to the story.

Highly recommended. Well written and great character development.

*I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Patricia Grogan Bugher
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank #Crooked Lane Books and #Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC of The Monsters We Make by Kali White. This is a disturbing, cold chills producing suspense based on the kidnappings of 11-13 year old paper boys in Iowa in the early 1980’s. This is a time before “stranger danger” became familiar words to kids. Very riveting and haunting book.
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Kali White is the author of the novel The Monsters We Make (Crooked Lane, June 2020) and the novels The Good Divide and The Space Between (MGPress as Kali VanBaale) She’s the recipient of an American Book Award, an Eric Hoffer Book Award, an Independent Publisher’s silver medal for fiction, and a State of Iowa major artist grant among others. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The ...more