Book Review – The Shining Girls


by Lauren Beukes (Umuzi) ISBN: 978-1-41520-201-2

Best-selling, award-winning author, Lauren Beukes has given time-travelling a spine-chilling twist. The Shining Girls will take you on a journey that will give you nightmares.

Harper Curtis is a despicable character. He finds a key in depression-era Chicago that provides him access to a house that becomes the portal for his time travels and serial killing. He meets young girls in different eras and gives them a little memento. He returns a few years later to kill them. The murders remain unsolved because he moves backwards and forwards in time.

Kirby Mazrachi is one of Harper’s targets but she survives the attack. She is determined to find her would-be-killer. She joins the Chicago Sun-Times and works with Dan Velasquez as his assistant. Dan is the ex-homicide cop who covered her case. He tries to stop Kirby’s investigations but does not reckon on her determination. He is drawn into a case he would rather forget.

The storyline is intense. At first, it is difficult to follow as the short chapters jump from one year to the next but the plotting is consistent. The characters are believable and well crafted. The reader gets a short glimpse into the various ‘shining girls’ before they are killed. This snapshot pulls at the heart-strings and makes Harper even more chilling and twisted.

I developed a morbid fascination with the book. I wanted to know how Harper’s killing spree would be stopped as he commits another ‘perfect murder’.

Ulrike Hill
4/5