The Shining Girls

The Shining GirlsI haven’t read anything like The Shining Girls before and this isn’t a bad thing. The structure of the story is kind of like Pulp Fiction – you get a snippet here and a snippet there but you don’t get the whole picture until the end.

It was on on of our monthly book promotion for May, but my interest was only piqued when I heard the author Lauren Beukes read the first chapter at a Sydney Writers Festival event. The way she read what she’d written made me wish she’d recorded her own audio-book, but alas no, which meant the book went into the TBR pile until now…

Each chapter is told from a different characters point of view and from a different time in history with the stability of the location – Chicago. Why a different time? Well the story is that of Kirby and her time-travelling killer Harper and his murder victim Kirby. Yup, that’s right a time-travelling killer, and Kirby the girl who should be dead but isn’t. We travel with both of them, through time with Harper as he does his dastardly deeds, and with Kirby as she investigates her own case under the cover of newspaper intern and discovers impossibilities in hers and other cases that lead to the realisation that there is a serial killer loose in time…

While it’s got time-travel the book isn’t science-fiction-y. The web that is woven through the chapters is on the complex side (meaning no skim / skip reading) but it definitely isn’t a chore to read, in-fact it’s really enjoyable (well, as enjoyable as a book about a serial killer can be). The pace is good, the thrill is good and the ending … well I’ll just say it’s also good. If you’re looking to try something out of your normal reading zone give The Shining Girls a go – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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