Scrapper by Matt Bell

Bell's latest novel is set in the urban decay of modern Detroit and tells the story of Kelly, a scavenger who breaks down the city and sells it for parts, working almost exclusively in what's called "the zone"—the part of the city that has been cut off from public services including water, electricity, and police. On one fateful run, he discovers a boy held captive in the basement of an abandoned building and being suddenly thrust into the spotlight as an unlikely hero forces Kelly to confront his own dark history and violent impulses. Conveying its almost allegorical plot in incantatory prose, Bell's novel digs through the rubble of broken people in a broken city to explore the intimate relationship between destruction and atonement. – Kenneth Loosli