Broth House (Soup Kitchen Gore Mystery Novel)


When there are so many homeless people looking for a good, nutritious meal, the Broth House, run by Joel Zane (real identity is revealed), is there to save them and make sure they have soup with only the freshest and most reliable source of protein. Broth House starts and ends with an extremely ominous, creepy feel where your hair stands up on the back of your neck but you’re unsure why. There are many uncomfortable, dark scenes and despite the fact the gore isn’t always extremely descriptive, I think sometimes just the fact that no one would be safe from the people eating madman makes it all the more terrifying. 


“Fontaine used the flat side of his knife and tapped it on the woman’s bulging belly. Without warning, he pulled the blade vertically across the swell of her stomach. The taut flesh separated, widening the gash like a toothless maw as the blade made the curve and ended at her pubic area, where the hair had been plucked leaving dimpled flesh. Jeffery groaned and closed his eyes. He couldn’t bear witness to this. “This is the most delicate part, Jeffy. I’m sure you’re familiar with veal, no?” Jeffery didn’t respond. “This is as close to the human variety as I can get without kidnapping a child.” A nod and a smile of appreciation. Fontaine pulled the flesh away and carefully used his knife to cut through the membrane and then into the womb. He pulled out the fetus, speckled with coagulated fluids. It looked like a contorted blue baby doll that had been rejected and never made it out of the factory.”


This was an extremely quick-paced read, which worked well for the plot,  and I thoroughly enjoyed Veronica and Roger’s chapters, out of all of the POVs. They change the story from just a cannibalistic, fucked-up idea to a kind of whodunnit/mystery-style extreme read. There were times when scenes were just plain funny, which broke up the tension a little (the jacuzzi stew pot, I’m talking about you) but some chapters were a let down, especially towards the end where you expected a bigger reveal or shock factor, but certain scenes just ended up being a bit lackluster. What happens is unexpected, it’s how it happens that leaves me not feeling satisfied. The ending wasn’t rushed, just slightly abrupt, and some emotional expression from certain characters was missing and kind of gave me NPC vibes. Whilst not explicitly descriptive in gore, the violent scenes are exactly that, violent, and brutally so. Less gore and more description added to that ominous feel. Broth House is a dark, people-eating story, surrounding the mystery of where the meat comes from. And almost enough to put me off eating other people’s soup forever, just in case…


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Written by Arianne, Sovereign Deity of the Damned

Broth House (2022)
Robert Essig
3.9 / 5