The Shining Girls
Author: Lauren Beukes
Publisher: Mulholland Books
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Novels and movies about serial killers rarely offer anything new or creative, outside of the occasional inventive death scene. Lauren Beukes' The Shining Girls, however, is as ambitious as it is original.
In 1930s Chicago, Harper Curtis is a homicidal maniac, but he's also reserved, patient, and the beneficiary of a special gift-the house in which he broke into can inexplicably send him traveling into the future. Which comes in handy, since all of his "shining girls" (the explanation behind that distinction is best left for you to read) haven't even been born yet. One of them is Kirby, a bright, plucky girl who gets her investigative Lisbeth Salander on after she barely survives Harper's efforts to brutally kill her.
Beukes owes as much to Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs as she does to Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tatto. With The Shining Girls, she's done both of those authors justice. —Matt Barone