Book Review: The Beast of Kukuyo by Kevin Jared Hosein

The Beast of Kukuyo by Kevin Jared Hosein is the 2017 second place winner of the Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature.

An adventurous story about a girl’s choice to investigate the murder of her classmate, The Beast of Kukuyo follows Rune as she tracks clues and uncovers secrets.

Rune, a lover of the TV show Murder She Wrote, lives with her grandfather and alcoholic brother. She is an outcast at school except for her friend Tiki, a good looking boy who’s abusive father dislikes her. Tiki is her voice of reason; a voice she rarely obeys.

When Rune is mistakenly dubbed a thief while investigating a lead, her grandfather punishes her by making her work for a pig farmer. It takes her a while to relax with him. However, her discovery of a bag of teeth in his bedroom alleviates the pity she felt for him. She realizes that he was not what he seemed or he might have been over his head in an arrangement with the neighbourhood gangster.

Rune does not slow down; she moves forward with her investigations even though the danger is escalating. All the while she still deals with bullying and trying to find her place in a village where she believes her complexion is a liability.

Upon finishing The Beast of Kukuyo, it became one of my favourite books from the Burt Awards. Hosein’s way with words maintained my excitement from cover to cover. His many original metaphors and jokes showcased his skills and experience as a writer. I expect that any teenager would enjoy this story as it has a little of everything and is written a style that you would always want to know what happens next.

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