Book Review – The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes


The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Release Date: 25th April 2013
Rating: 4.75/5
Source: Advance copy sent over by the Harper Collins team
Synopsis:  The girl who wouldn’t die, hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist… A terrifying and original serial-killer thriller from award-winning author, Lauren Beukes.

“It’s not my fault. It’s yours. You shouldn’t shine. You shouldn’t make me do this.”

Chicago 1931. Harper Curtis, a violent drifter, stumbles on a house with a secret as shocking as his own twisted nature – it opens onto other times. He uses it to stalk his carefully chosen ‘shining girls’ through the decades – and cut the spark out of them.

He’s the perfect killer. Unstoppable. Untraceable. He thinks…

Chicago, 1992. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Tell that to Kirby Mazrachi, whose life was shattered after a brutal attempt to murder her. Still struggling to find her attacker, her only ally is Dan, an ex-homicide reporter who covered her case and now might be falling in love with her.

As Kirby investigates, she finds the other girls – the ones who didn’t make it. The evidence is… impossible. But for a girl who should be dead, impossible doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

I’ve been trying to get my grubby little hands on a copy of Beukes’s The Shining Girls for a long time now.  The buzz on Twitter, Facebook and around the various book blogs I read has been phenomenal.  I mean, I have heard absolutely nothing but good things about this book.

And ya know what?  The reviews weren’t wrong!  The Shining Girls is a bit of sci-fi, mystery, thriller and horror all rolled into one spectacular novel with a dash of sexual tension all around.  Beukes’s novel was intense from the start–a series of brutal murders spanning decades ends with the attempted murder of Kirby who miraculously survives.  I adored Kirby and her attitude, her spunk and her determination to find her would be killer, to not accept that she was a random choice, to not let go. 

My only niggling little issue with the book (and why it was just out of reach of 5/5) was that it was a bit hard to follow at the start.  With all of the time and character shifts I had to go back and reread pages a few times, just so I could figure out where I was in time and whose eyes I was seeing the action through.

Other than that, an amazing novel that totally rocked my socks off.  I expect it to be wildly popular and wouldn’t be shocked if it was picked up as a movie.

The Shining Girls is out on 25 April in the UK and 4 June in the US


If you’re interested in getting in touch, tweet me at @stephanie_khani or @londondiaries1.  Alternatively you can email me at emailthelondondiaries [at]


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