Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
While the plot of Broken Humanity by Karine Vivier is based upon child trafficking, this compact psychological thriller is actually more about the characters in the story than the events…in particular, three characters: Denis Papin, a convicted child molester; Andy, the kidnapper; and little Alice, an unfortunate child used to lure other children into Andy’s van.
Vivier unfolds the events surrounding the disappearance of and search for a young girl, Elaine, who was playing a game on her mom’s cell phone while her mom rushed back into the store to get eggs. Readers don’t really learn what happened to Elaine until the end of the book. In the meantime, what readers do get, bit by bit, is a psychological insight into how and why Denis and Andy grew into adults lacking humanity, especially when it comes to children. These are chilling insights that leave one more disturbed and sad than hating the perpetrators. As for little Alice, who is used to hurt other children, one can only imagine the long-term effects on her young psyche.
Other characters in this story, like Elaine’s distraught parents, are also pivotal to our understanding of others victimized and traumatized by the loss of a child. On the point of divorce, this couple realizes how much they need each other to cope with their heartache. Broken Humanity is not just about the “broken bad,” but about all whom life has broken in one way or another. It’s a sobering, touching read that readers won’t easily forget. Definitely worth your time.