A masterful twist on the serial killer novel from the award-winning author Lauren Beukes: the girl who wouldn't die hunts the killer who shouldn't exist.
Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.
At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of these shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing without a trace into another time after each murder -- until one of his victims survives.
Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on an impossible truth . . .
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
How do you make a serial killer who targets fiercely intelligent (“shining”) women even more dangerous? Give him access to time travel. That’s the daunting challenge facing cub newspaper reporter Kirby Mazrachi, who begins to track the murderous, elusive Harper Curtis after nearly dying in her own encounter with him. His vicious attacks leave a bloody trail across Chicago, but the man himself is virtually untraceable as he time hops from the Depression era to the present. Lauren Beukes’ cerebral thriller doesn’t skimp on gore: depictions of Curtis’ kills are violent and unrelentingly vivid. While it’s not for the faint of heart—or stomach—The Shining Girls will thrill fans of sharp psychological horror.
South African author Beukes, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Zoo City, adds an intriguing wrinkle to the serial killer suspense novel. In the creepy opening chapter, set in 1974, sadist Harper Curtis, who's on the prowl for one of his "shining girls" ("bright young women burning with potential"), approaches six-year-old Kirby Mazrachi, as she plays alone. After an initially friendly exchange turns nasty, Harper promises that he will see Kirby when she's grown up. In 1989, he keeps that promise by savagely attacking her. Miraculously, Mazrachi survives and leverages an internship with a Chicago newspaper into a private investigation of her assailant who can travel through time. The shifting perspectives require readers to stay alert, but those who do will be rewarded. Beukes is particularly good at garnering sympathy for Harper's female victims, creating deep characterizations in only a few pages, so that they come across as more than just fodder for a psychopath's mission. 5-city author tour.
Time traveling serial killer
Interesting concept and well-written. This book was hard to put down!
The shining girls
This book is a waste of time. The timeline is difficult to follow which is fine because at that point you don't care enough to follow. There is no depth to the characters and often no discernible motive for their actions. There do exist some nice passages but overall the story didn't support the characters.
Creepy and captivating
I could not put it down! Once you start you are hooked on the fast-paced, ever-changing plot and sinister villain. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you like crime mysteries, you'll love it. Really well-done fiction.