Harper Curtis has found the perfect way to get away with murder – a house that transports him into the future and back. He finds the girls when they “shine” and he goes back years later to snuff out their shine and walks away, not worrying about getting caught. Kriby Mazrachi survived the brutal attack on her life and she is set on catching the guy who did it. But how do you catch someone who leaves no trace?
I liked the overall idea behind The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes – a serial killer who can jump to different points in time in order to commit his crimes. Kirby, the one who gets away, is a likable character. She’s a tough girl who doesn’t let people easily into her life. The reader doesn’t get much insight into the killer, Harper, but it’s fairly safe to assume he was never a good guy. The hardest part about this book is how the story is told. Almost every chapter is a different time – from the 1950’s to the 90’s to the 80’s, and then back to the 1950’s. This makes for confusing reading at first, however, once you get your head around the chronology, it’s gets easier to read.
Harper is able to go to different times due to the house that calls hims, and would have liked to know how this came to be. Although I don’t think it would have quite fit into the story, more just a curious thought on my part. The murder scenes are rather brutal and one or two are described in gory detail. Don’t know if this book falls easily into crime or mystery since it touches on both elements. I wish I had more to say about this book but I don’t. The Shining Girls is a quick paced and an average read. The way it ends leaves the door open to a future book or maybe it’s just a way to show how things continue on. Not sure if I’d recommend this book to others. If you’re looking for something a bit different in overall concept, I’d say read it, but the overall formula – killer on the loose, girl gets away, girl driven to find who did it – is nothing too new. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either.