The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Time travel makes a vicious serial killer unstoppable, but when one of his “shining girls” survives, the paradoxes in her case send her looking in the right direction, even as the killer grows more disorganized and deadly.

The Shining Girls is, quite simply, a great crime story with time travel element that probably has Stephen King kicking himself for not thinking of it first. In 1932, Harper has found a house filled with shining objects, and when he steps outside he can will himself into another time in 20th century Chicago, where those shining objects connect with girls whose names are written on the wall. When Harper kills them, he leaves behind one shining, anachronistic object, and finds another he has already seen on his wall. I’m not giving anything away–this is a murder mystery where we know who did it, how, and why. The suspense builds because we know that no rational person could figure out his time travel secret, and there seems to be no way to stop him. Kirby Mazrachi was the only one of his victims to survive, and she’s desperate to find her killer. She’s a fantastic character, full of 1990s goth/grunge disdain for procedure and rules, but she does indeed shine so brightly that her impossible quest is worth watching. Intricately plotted, perfectly constructed, and scary as all hell, this book is this summer’s Gone Girl.

2 thoughts on “The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes”

  1. I highly recommend Beukes’s earlier works like Zoo Story (frenetic paced crime novel where some people develop animal avatars or “familiars”) and the YA novel, Moxyland (in the future Cape Town, every teen has the potential to become a walking advertisement). I can’t wait to check out Shining Girls!

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