Good Read: The Shining Girls

Sunday, September 29, 2013


A serial killer on the loose through time, an enchanted house bursting with answers, a girl haunted by her past and determined to control her future, and a city bursting with change and stories. Lauren Beukes’ third novel marks her as an author that shines. The mark of a good novel is in the detail–the details so specific and real that you almost feel you know too much about the character, the setting, the plot–but just enough that you feel well-informed but not over acquainted.

Meet Kirby. Kirby is your first acquaintance, a young girl with a wild imagination that grows into a wild ambition, an ambition to hunt the man who tried to kill her. A twentysomething Kirby finds herself tied up in a plot thicker than she ever expected as she searches for clues about her attacker in old police files and newspaper clippings, pulling a host of characters along with her to aid in the pursuit.

Meanwhile, her attacker seeks out other bright women, like a wild dog hunting it’s prey, sniffing them out among decades and crowds, following them through childhood into their adult lives.

Beukes’s thriller will paralyze you with fear, make your heart lurch with excitement, and maybe even teach you a little something about the 90s alternative music scene and some Chicago history. What!? Yeah, all that in under 400 pages. Shining Girls: 1. Serial Killer: 0.


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