All week long, I’ve been trying to summarize The Shining Girls, the new novel from the South African writer, Lauren Beukes, to my friends and family, and so far, it is a book that defies easy description. The book’s wibbly-wobby, timey-wimey premise tells the story of a serial killer, Harper Curtis, who stumbles upon a haunted house that compels him to travel through time in order to track his victims. Harper is foiled, however, when one of his victims, a young woman named Kirby, survives his brutal attack, and instead, begins tracking him. As Kirby gets closer and closer to understanding the nature of the attempted murder and how to solve the crimes, Harper’s machinations (or are they the house’s???) begin to go awry.
The Shining Girls is based on such an odd concept that it seems like it might be difficult to buy into it. However, Lauren Beukes is a supremely talented writer and within the first 20 pages of the book, a universe in which something like this is possible makes complete sense. This is definitely a book, and author, to keep your eye on: word has it that there is already a deal for a television show in the works.
Three words that describe this book: Creepy, inventive, unexpected
Read if you like: Dr. Who, Gone Girl, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo