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The Shining Girls

by Lauren Beukes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,9971556,285 (3.54)162
"A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace-- until one of his victims survives. In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back. Working with an ex-homicide reporter who is falling for her, Kirby has to unravel an impossible mystery"--Publisher's web site.… (more)
  1. 11
    NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Well: Time-traveling serial killers powered by unexplained forces. You'll see the comparison in many reviews. NOS4A2's definitely worth checking out for genre fans. (The audiobook is read by Kate Mulgrew--Captain Janeway!--and comes highly recommended.)
  2. 00
    The Straw Men by Michael Marshall Smith (imyril)
  3. 00
    Watch Me Disappear by Jill Dawson (Anonymous user)
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» See also 162 mentions

English (152)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
I don't normally pick up suspenseful/thriller novels, but I received this as a Christmas gift and decided to give it a try. While is was definitely a suspenseful, crime drama, the science fiction side really drew me in.

Without giving too much away: The story jumps around in perspective between the shining girls (women from all different periods within the 20th century) and their murderer. The main shining girl, Kirby, survives her own attempted murder and makes it her mission to solve her own cold case. She enlists the begrudging help of a seasoned newspaper reporter and begins to find connections between her attack and those of many other women.

The book moved at a solid pace and I never felt lost. Like I said before, the sci-fi side of the book was much more interesting to me than the murders, but I finished it quickly and thought it was a solid choice. ( )
  CarleyShea | Sep 16, 2021 |
I just complained, in my last review (of the abjectly horrible [b:Stephen King shot John Lennon|6562238|Stephen King shot John Lennon|Steve Lightfoot|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1251977401s/6562238.jpg|6755076]), that Goodreads wouldn't allow negative ratings. Now, it's time to complain again, because this book is at least a seven on a five scale.

There are many ways to rate how good a story is. But for me, one of the immediate things to consider as I finish a book is to consider its standing in one of four categories:

1 - I could never have written this (part one): This means almost everything is wrong. The story is terrible, the writing is terrible. Why would someone even publish this? I don't put a lot of books into this category, simply because I try to avoid them.

2 - I could have written something better than this. This means it was a good enough idea to get me to read it, but, in my opinion, the author botched it. I tend to put quite a few books in this category.

3 - I could have written this, and damn, I wish I did. Great story, well-executed. I put fewer books into this category, but they are ones I love, because they give me hope that I will one day have a book that is shelved here by other readers.

4 - I could never have written this (part two): This means the story is absolutely brilliant, something that leaves me awestruck with wonder. And then the writer goes one better and pulls it off. They take this wonderful concept and make it real. Very few books make it here. Very few.

And I know that this is a highly conceited rating system, because it all comes back to me. I get that. Still, I think any writer, aspiring or otherwise may do this at least once in their life.

That being said, The Shining Girls just got added to that rarest of categories. I can't tell you how many times, as I made my way through this story that I thought, Oh damn! That's awesome! in relation to a plot point, or a line of characterization, or a reveal.

Seriously, Lauren Beukes, where have you been all my life?

I first came across the author with her amazing [b:Broken Monsters|20706269|Broken Monsters|Lauren Beukes|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1394562848s/20706269.jpg|27869457] (which you should go read now. No, I mean right now. And I didn't think she could top that one. Then I went back to the book before. This one.

Having read them in reverse chronological order, I can see some of the seeds that would blossom into Broken Monsters, but the brilliance of this one, not just the idea of a time-travelling killer, but Beukes' flawless execution of the storyline...wow.

This would be an easy story to let go off the rails...the constant hopping around in time, the many characters, the shifting viewpoints...but the author keeps a firm and steady hand on the proceedings.

I could say more, but it'll just spiral into incoherent rambling. Just go read it.

My God, my God, my God. I loved this book. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
This was a rather gruesome book that I enjoyed a good bit, especially the last third of the book. I feel like I wanted there to be more of an explanation of the strange events that occur, but can live without it. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Well, at least I can say I've dipped my toe into the world of serial killer fiction though I don't when I'll have the stamina to revisit it. Still, this was interesting despite the usual hang-ups that accompany writing time travel. I'm looking forward to reading more of Beukes' work I have waiting in the ranks. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
1 Time-Traveling Serial Killer
1 Inexplicable and Convenient Wormhole Magic House
1 Time-Loop of Murders and Anachronistic Keepsakes
1 Weird Concept of "Shining" Girls who have Potential or Virtue or something messed-up like that
Too Many Grisly Murders
1 Escaped Would-Be Victim
1 Sacrificial Dog

1 Washed-Up Cranky Sports Journalist
1 Manipulative Newspaper Internship Used to Further:
1 Messed-Up Quest to Find the Killer
1 Weird and Inappropriate May/December Romantic Interest
Several Incompetent Police Officers
1 Junkie who Offers the Best Lead
1 Incredibly Unlucky Businessman ( )
1 vote Caramellunacy | Mar 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beukes, Laurenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayes, KeithCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Llewellyn, RobertCover photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neleman, HansCover photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Matthew
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He clenches the orange plastic pony in the pocket of his sports coat.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

"A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace-- until one of his victims survives. In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back. Working with an ex-homicide reporter who is falling for her, Kirby has to unravel an impossible mystery"--Publisher's web site.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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 Mizrachi 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 onto 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.

Determine 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.

Haiku summary
Back and forth in time
goes a serial killer.
One victim prevails.
(julienne_preacher)

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Average: (3.54)
0.5 1
1 17
1.5 4
2 50
2.5 12
3 172
3.5 57
4 233
4.5 18
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