3. The garden-variety fictional serial killer — or at least any incarnation after Dr. Hannibal Lecter — is like the world’s worst poet. Every creation is a baroque manifestation of personal desires and symbology. The cop is a New Critic, reading through the signs and severed limbs to see the True Meaning, and thus, capture the killer.
And the writers of such fictions are locked into the closed loop of genre, forced to travel the stations of the cross and genuflect at each utterly familiar landmark or plot point. Lauren Beukes is having none of this malarkey.