DiscoverHorror

Broken

By

Loved it! 😍

A horrific story that sucks you in and spits you out when a blissful life transforms into a hellish ordeal. It is short but it ain’t sweet.

Synopsis

A young woman initially basks in the paradise of her small apartment. Her home is filled with love from a devoted husband: Arthur; and a beautiful newborn daughter: Rosa. However, tragedy strikes when Arthur is bitten by a man on the street in what seemed like a mugging. Minutes after the bite, his behavior begins to change, and despite our heroine’s pleas, Arthur refuses the very idea that he should seek outside help. With his humanity quickly slipping from his mind and their daughter in a helpless life-threatening household, our heroine tries to save her husband while at the same time trying to protect herself and little Rosa. However, as many victims of domestic violence, and family members of individuals with mental illness, will attest: there is only so much care you can offer until you find yourself in a position that you can no longer care for yourself, nor those around you. The question remains as to Rosa’s safety when our heroine finds herself at the end of her capabilities in helping Arthur with his own infection.

Life is so much better when you are in love. When you find that special someone there is little chance of taking things slow as your whole existence falls neatly and effortlessly into place. Broken builds up for an eternity of domestic bliss so convincingly you forget there is horror at its core...but then it violently tears you down without warning. 


You could get whiplash from indulging in this book as it pulls the rug from underneath you and rocks the very sturdy foundation it builds within a matter of sentences. The main characters are likeable and immediately identifiable, thanks to Denomme’s accurate depiction of new love - shy and cautious yet also rushed and impatient.


Writing a short story is no easy feat and I am currently putting all of my hats on so I can simultaneously take them off to Denomme. I was slightly apprehensive about the length but it manages to make you want more while coming to a satisfying conclusion. I picked up on a feminist angle which I would love to explore in more detail but fear I could spoil the wonderful and unexpected plot. What I will say is that the power dynamics throughout are well-written, and particularly stung me as someone who knows how heart-wrenching it can be to see someone’s personality take a nasty turn. 


I do have a few quibbles with the tightness of the language. There was repetition with certain words and sentences were occasionally a bit jarring, but otherwise the quality of the writing was top notch. I really don’t have anything bad to say about this book, it was near perfect!


If you enjoy Stephen King's story collections, or simply want a bitesize horror read then this is definitely one for you. But even if you are a sucker for big heavy paperbacks I would still recommend giving Broken a try, especially if like your horror to have a shock factor. My only advice to readers is that this book deserves to be devoured in one sitting. 




Reviewed by

I'm a journalist by day and a horror enthusiast...also by day. The co-host of horror podcast Death By Pod, I absolutely love being scared silly. Oddly, I am also a keen Catherine Cookson reader and devour romance novels like crisps, alongside fantasy and true crime. Bring out your books for review!

Synopsis

A young woman initially basks in the paradise of her small apartment. Her home is filled with love from a devoted husband: Arthur; and a beautiful newborn daughter: Rosa. However, tragedy strikes when Arthur is bitten by a man on the street in what seemed like a mugging. Minutes after the bite, his behavior begins to change, and despite our heroine’s pleas, Arthur refuses the very idea that he should seek outside help. With his humanity quickly slipping from his mind and their daughter in a helpless life-threatening household, our heroine tries to save her husband while at the same time trying to protect herself and little Rosa. However, as many victims of domestic violence, and family members of individuals with mental illness, will attest: there is only so much care you can offer until you find yourself in a position that you can no longer care for yourself, nor those around you. The question remains as to Rosa’s safety when our heroine finds herself at the end of her capabilities in helping Arthur with his own infection.

I

           Despite my responsibilities, I watch a couple with their elbows on the table. Their bodies are comfortably molded into the leather benches of the booth, and their 20 fingers as interlocked as their gazes. They smile to each other, revealing pearl white teeth with the slightest tinge of yellow discoloration caused by coffee and age. By their appearance, you could imagine they were two teenagers on a first date. Yet, they had informed me earlier that they were celebrating their 12th year of marriage that week, and this diner was only a stop on their road-trip to wine country. Funny, I always considered this diner as a single stop myself. However, I have now worked as a waitress with the same uniform for six years, resulting in my thinking of this place as a home that I would never want to leave.

This place really became a home when Arthur joined the kitchen staff. As of this moment, I gaze into the kitchen at the 6'3" man standing in front of the grill, his large rugged hands wrapped around a spatula and a pair of shiny metal tongs man-handling eggs and bacon for another order. He looked at me and accompanied by the subtle smirk that makes my heart warm, and the blood rush to my cheeks, he winks at me. I smile my own smile that he says negates the need for any treasures. I look at my feet in shyness, thinking about that wink as I examine the interlaced knots on my converse shoes that phase in and out of view with my uniform skirt's flourish. 

Arthur joined our staff about a year ago, and we became smitten the very next day when I met him on my following shift. His voice was deep, rugged, yet communicated care, gentleness, and safety. His gaze wasn't piercing, but rather inquisitive for permission. There was never anything he took for granted or without consent. It wasn't long before we started dating, and it wasn't long before we had to tell the owner that we were an item. Fortunately, he agreed to our relationship, and six months later, we began living together. We had a small apartment above this diner for an affordable cost, consisting of two bedrooms, a kitchen with all appliances, and a furnished living room with a television. It became a perfect little life, filled with flowers, home-cooked feasts (rather than meals), and excellent sleep as we clung to each other tightly after making love.

About the author

Award-winning forensic psychology PhD candidate. When not analyzing complicated datasets on mental illness in today's society, I am constantly thinking of new ways to communicate the struggles of mental illness to the world through its fusion with the powerful genres in the literature. view profile

Published on August 24, 2020

10000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Horror

Reviewed by

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