REVIEW: THE SHINING GIRLS BY LAUREN BEUKES
Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
THE GIRL WHO WOULDN'T DIE HUNTS THE KILLER WHO SHOULDN'T EXIST.
The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own."
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 the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-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 ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth . . .
THE SHINING GIRLS is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.
Wow, what can I say? Beukes is one amazing author! I can’t believe this is the first book of hers that I’ve read. I feel rather ashamed, as a South African, to be stating that.
When you read the synopsis you might think you’re about to read some science fiction novel, but don’t let this fool you, this story is much more than that. There are now weird and wonderful gadgets or time machines built in the basement of someone’s house. Yes there is some time traveling involved, but the way Beukes did it is genius, in such a way that you might start believing that time travel, in this way, might actually be possible.
One of our protagonists, Harper Curtis, I down on his luck, he really doesn’t have much going for him, Living in the depression era in Chicago. Until he happens to find a key to an apartment which possesses some sort of power which enables him to open the front door to a different era. Curtis is not only amazed by this “gift” that he has received, but he is emerged into the hunting of the “shining girls”, those girls who have that something inside of them, the light that he has to shut off.
Thus Curtis “hops” around in time, going on his killing spree of these young girls with the brilliant potential. Each time he kills one of them, he takes a token from each, which he travels with in time to place on the body of the next. But one shining girl escapes him. Kirby.
Kirby is a feisty one. Not the dull would be damsel in distress that you would expect, but a real fire cracker. She was attacked by Curtis, along with her dog. But what Curtis did not realise was that he didn’t kill Kirby. He didn’t make quite sure that she was really dead. Kirby survived, and she has made it her mission to track down her killer, no matter what. She therefore decides to start working for the local paper, where she delves into the archives to track down a trail of her attacker.
The story is brilliant, because once Kirby realises how her attacker is traveling, who is going to believe her right? She has to get her story straight, but luckily for her she has a trusty older colleague there to support her. Things don’t exactly go off with a bang for these two at first, but eventually he is the one to help her, to convince the police of how the killer is traveling.
The writing is so well done, and everything flows in such a seamless manner. You never get bored with this book.