The Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes, Author
Lauren Beukes. Little, Brown/Mulholland, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-21685-2
Reviewed on: 04/01/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-00-752916-2
Hardcover - 470 pages - 978-0-316-24521-0
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Open Ebook - 244 pages - 978-0-316-24897-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4789-5088-2
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Hardcover - 391 pages - 978-0-00-746456-2
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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. (June)