THRILLER THAT SHINES
Lauren Beukes said in an interview that the only way she could write her horrific, serial killer Harper was to hurt him at every opportunity possible. And injure him quite often she does which only makes him more frighteningly real.
She also didn’t want to glorify violence against women. So each victim of Harper’s is given a full life before Harper whisks it away. They are women who are Mothers, journalists, nurses, social advocates and their lives are revealed within their eras in fascinating detail.
The Shining Girls is an extraordinary book in that it crosses genres. It’s a crime thriller but also a work of science fiction. And it’s about as complicated as a time travelling book can be as the killer leaves victim’s personal objects from one era on the body of another victim in another decade.
Beukes kept meticulous charts on her wall, while writing the book, showing where and when objects were taken and then placed, where Harper was injured, how long before he healed, along with the timeline of victim’s lives and deaths.
Harper living in 1926 is drawn to an abandoned house that works as a portal into the future. Any time he thinks about he can travel to. He has a compulsion to kill and particularly enjoys visiting his victims as children in order to confirm they are his shining girls. Behind their eyes he can see a glow.
Kirby is the only victim to survive an attack. Years later, interning for the Chicago Sun-Times, Kirby teams up with a reporter who covered her attack and slowly they discover connections between her and numerous murders in the past.
We all know Harper is the killer. The real thrill is watching characters discover the truth. Beukes is a gifted author who works seamlessly in the complex time travel arena. Just like Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘Time Traveler’s Wife’ this book will haunt you with the possibilities. You will marvel, too, that an author with such a moral compass can write one of the truly most evil killers ever put to page.
My review copy of The Shining Girls thanks to the shiny people at HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS Australia
Australia and New Zealand: May 2013
Purchasing details: Click here
Author’s Website: LAUREN BEUKES
Sample Read: Click here
Lauren Beukes is a novelist, TV scriptwriter, documentary maker, comics writer and occasional journalist. She won the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award for her novel ZOO CITY, set in a fantastical Johannesburg where guilt manifests as spirit animal familiars. Her previous works include MOXYLAND, a dystopian cyberpunk thriller set in Cape Town under corporate apartheid. She helped create South Africa’s first half-hour animated TV show, URBO: The Adventures of Pax Afrika, and has written kids animated shows for Disney UK and Millimages in France.