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Bureau: Creature – Kim Fielding

Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who—or what—he is.

Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.

When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream—to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs—all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him. Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man—and what a monster truly wants.

This! 

A monster was kept in a cell, alone for who knows how long. Isolated, he dreams of the sky, grass, and coffee. His only comfort is the warm patch of sunlight that filters through his cell then he crawls to a corner to sleep. The monster knew his name was John and he said his name over and over again. I am alone most of the time but the depth of John’s loneliness was something I could barely fathom even in my most isolated state. Breaks the heart, it truly does. 

Harry Lowe dreamed of becoming an agent of the Bureau. He was turned down because Chief Townsend saw a softness in him that doesn’t fit an agent role. He was, however, approached by Townsend once again when they were in need of a pretty face for a case involving the illegal and unethical scientific practice of reanimating dead people. Harry will be used as a bait for the mad scientist and John will be used as a hook. Desperate, alone and penniless, he reluctantly accepts and meets John inside his cell. Harry’s initial reaction was that of shock but he soon noticed that the monster was not dangerous. 

Right from the start, Harry treated John with kindness and day by day John grew stronger and more human. Harry grew to care for John and now he is conflicted. Poor Harry! He is a simple minded bloke and the case was quite out of his league. The moments he spent with John were really sweet. I love the way John marvels at the everyday things we take for granted. He is so pure and selfless and it’s really adorable how Harry was showering John with little gifts.

He, in turn, reminded Harry of appreciating all the small blessings he has.

“Let me see your feet.”
An odd request, but John held them up obediently and watched as Harry
measured one of his own stocking feet against John’s bare one. “All right. Yours
are just a little bigger.” Then Harry sat in an armchair to put on his shoes. “I’m
going to run errands. Need anything?”
“I already have so much.”
Harry looked surprised and then smiled. “Yeah. I should remember how
good I have it too.”

And then this!

“I like you.”
“Even though—”
“Yes. Just as you care for me, even though.” In fact, John thought, their
respective shortcomings made their feelings exquisite. It was probably easy to
fall for someone who was flawless, but to ache for someone who was not…
didn’t that mean the emotion was more genuine?

Go! You both deserve it!

Kim Fielding in a “noir frame of mind”created this beautiful story about men and monsters. Creature is my favorite Bureau book so far. It neatly captured the mood of the 1950s with diners, Sinatra and Cary Grant. There men who were crueler than monsters and monsters who were more human than most men. There were men who create monsters and monsters who hunt other monsters. And then, there were monsters who simply want a friend.

Harry was tempted to remind him of their earlier discussion, in which Harry had questioned the very concept of monster. He still believed it was just a word people threw at someone they feared or misunderstood.

I couldn’t agree more, Harry!

Rating

5 Stars – absolutely perfect

Soundtrack: Somebody Loves Me
Artist: Nat King Cole
Album: Penthouse Serenade

(source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39779972-creature)

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