readingtrance

book reviews by Althea

Review: The Shining Girls

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The Shining Girls
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m now all caught up with Lauren Beukes! Write more! 🙂

Beukes is one of my favorite authors, and this is an excellent novel. I do have to say, however, that for me, it might be the least striking and remarkable of her works, although I believe it is her most critically-acclaimed.

It’s a cross-genre mashup of a time-travel story and a serial killer/murder mystery.
Harper Curtis has always been a psychopathic killer. But when the hobo, back in 1939, wanders into a seemingly-abandoned house that’s strangely well-appointed inside, he realizes he’s stumbled onto a way to travel between times. But the house seems to demand something specific from him: it seems to make certain young women shine with a certain brilliance, driving Curtis to pick them as his victims, stalking them through the years. And how can you track down a killer who is no longer even in your time?

That’s just the task that Kirby Mazrachi, all unknowing, has set herself. She may be the only one of Curtis’ victims to survive: after a brutal attack in 1989, she was left for dead, and the killer is unaware that she is still alive – and determined to solve her own ‘case’ even though the cops have given it up. She’s pursued investigative journalism, and her internship at a newspaper office has given her a working relationship with a former homicide reporter. He’s reluctant to turn back to crime after moving on the the sports world – but Kirby is nothing if not tenacious.

Good stuff – nicely plotted, beautifully written.

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