Author: Lauren Beukes (website)(Twitter)
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Mulholland Books (Little, Brown & Company's suspense imprint) (website)(Twitter)
Rating: amazing and disturbing
Source/Format: library, hardcover
Time traveling serial killer. I could really end the review here. Just sayin'.
I'm not sure where to even start with this book. It's one of the most unique books I've read. Megan from Book Brats talked about this one on Twitter and I was so intrigued that I immediately requested it. I usually agree with all of her thoughts on books and this one sounded so amazing.
Harper is the serial killer that has a special house that allows him to skip through time. His victims "shine" out to him and he always meets them when they are younger and then kills them when they are grown. He often leaves something with them that he collects later or he tells them that they will see him again.
Creepy as h-e-double-hockey-sticks.
Kirby is his victim that lived. Only he doesn't know it right away. The story is told in flash-backs, flash-forwards and by the different characters. At first it confused me because I kept thinking that Harper should be a girl and Kirby should be a boy and I couldn't keep the dates straight but after a while, I just let go and went with it without worrying about all that.
Kirby's attempted murder is alluded to and we know that something happens to her dog but the actual scene of her attempted murder and hearing what actually happens to her dog was almost more than I could take. Had to put the book down for a while after this scene. So if you, like me, can't take animals hurting, be warned. It's brutal and heartbreaking.
She begins a huge investigation into all the murders that have the same or similar MO and begins to think that something really weird is going on. Things are not like they should be but she begins to doubt herself.
A huge cast of interesting characters is both overwhelming but well developed. Dan, one of the main characters, is one of my favorites. He's an older, sarcastic man who barely keeps up with Kirby. Their relationship is sweet and complicated. He gives her a bit of balance when she's going off the rails trying to find the man who did this to her.
I was a bit put off with the reoccurring language but I am sure it could be argued that it was necessary. If you are being murdered, you probably aren't going to burst out with "well, shoot!" The Shining Girls is both scary and literary. The writing was almost lyrical and Beukes has a way of phrasing things that made me re-read whole passages just for the way it was written.
This is my first experience reading Beukes, but it will not be the last. If you enjoy murder and mystery and want something different, The Shining Girls might be a really great fit. Time traveling serial killer. Again...what else is there to say? Awesomeness.