The Monsters We Make Book Review
by Kali White VanBaalenarrated by Mia Barron
set in Des Moines, Iowa, 1984
Des Moines, Iowa, 1984; the center of the Midwest, where “kids were taught God and manners….Bad was other places. Other cities…..”
A second paperboy has vanished in the span of two years. Sergeant Goodkind is now in charge of finding 13 year old Christopher Stewart after failing to solve the disappearance of Matthew Kline. Goodkind, struggling to repair his damaged marriage, is again being pulled away from his family and inside the hunt, a constant search for the missing boys. This couldn’t be happening again.
Paperboy Sammy Cox and his older sister Crystal, an investigative journalist in training, are also involved. Secrets abound, sneaking in and out of the pages. Their stories intertwine with Goodkind’s to spark a fast-paced reading of this slow burning book.
Instantly hooked, I was thrown back into my childhood. Like Crystal, I too grew up wearing thick gawky glasses in the eighties. (If you’ve made it this far, you deserve to see my geeky photo. Swipe left above 😉 🤓)
White is a skillful writer, immediately immersing the reader into her story. Jelly shoes, wall telephones, waterbeds and avocado green kitchens are just the atmospheric bed on which White layers a raw, intense tale filled with unexpected turns and burning questions. My only regret? I was left with a few of those burning questions singeing my brain. If anyone else who has read this would like to discuss, please reach out!!
Warning ⚠️ triggers: child abuse, pedophilia
The Monsters We Make is based upon true events. Johnny Gosch was the first paperboy to go missing in 1982. He was also the first missing child to be put on a milk carton. This fascinating story is now on Amazon Prime. I recommend reading the book first.
I listened to this book on Audible. Narrated by Mia Barron, I found the audio to be hypnotic, lyrical, very pleasant, and clear.
I had lots of goodies to choose from! Lots of eighties throwbacks like sloppy Joes and fudge striped cookies.