Book Review: The Shining Grils – Lauren Beukes

As you know, I’m chief puffin of LBCPuffins and part of LBCOutlaws and in recent months even stretching to a year, I’ve been pretty bad with book reviews, but this book has got into my soul, it’s the only way to describe it. After a week at work where one customer ruined it for the rest them and left me shaken for a whole week, to end up full of cold and to spend my Sunday sat/laid on the sofa reading is a bloody miracle. I needed to rest and I did it. And yes this book made me go ‘oooooooooh’ and having to put it down to make a coffee or put washing out was difficult.

Please don’t continue reading if you haven’t read it or are attending Tuesday’s meeting incase I spoil it for you as it has done in the past. 😀

But if you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to!.


The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

About the Author

The Shining Girls, her new novel, due out mid-2013 is about a time-travelling serial killer and the girl who survives his attack and turns the hunt around.

Lauren Beukes is a novelist, scriptwriter, comics writer, TV writer and occasional documentary maker and former journalist.

The Blurb

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.

1930’s America: Lee Curtis Harper is a delusional, violent drifter who stumbles on a house that opens onto other times.

Driven by visions, he begins a killing spree over the next 60 years, using an undetectable MO and leaving anachronistic clues on his victims’ bodies.

But when one of his intended ‘shining girls’, Kirby Mazrachi, survives a brutal stabbing, she becomes determined to unravel the mystery behind her would-be killer. While the authorities are trying to discredit her, Kirby is getting closer to the truth, as Harper returns again and again…

I don’t know where to begin with book. Perhaps with the format. One of the biggest things discovered in bookclub is the format we read books and how it can affect the story in which it’s read by paperback,phone,audio,e-reader and in this case for me hardback. I’ve never really been a fan of the hardback, I think it’s always been seen as a luxury of which I’m not accustomed to, and always scared to break it as it is seen as  a precious item, then of course is the sheer size of it (is that the right term?) that is doesn’t easily fit in your rucksack, or there’s enough space for your elbows on the bus.
This book I borrowed from the library and I kept putting it off as it looked so daunting. When I did start I forgot to check the blurb and got slightly confused at the time jumps (it also got mentioned at another book club but I didn’t pick up on it.) It took me a while to realise and at this point I thought the author had made an error, then I reread the blurb, and bingo, it’s a time travelling type book. AWESOME! Also the fact I was reading it on paper meant I could flick back easily to check what year we were in and what character was doing what. Yes, I’m a bright spark I know. But that’s what’s more enjoyable.
This year I have so far read 15 books, some of which are for book club, this time last year I had read about 4, I think. I don’t know about you but I sometimes can be a slow reader and then suddenly  a book grips me and WHAM! I’m off. When people say they can read a book in a day, I scoff. ‘It can’t be done!’ Well I bloody did it, along with a walk in the park, washing and several cups of coffee. Anyway I’ve gone off course…BACK TO THE BOOK!
Like I said I didn’t realise what the time jumps meant at first, I got really confused and wondered how one character could be in a time frame she wasn’t born in but then I think I read something wrong by that point. You see the point of the story, is that the killer steals a coat and finds a key to a house, a house that although stays rooted in Chicago could send the baddie back and forwards in time to kill. That this deranged man picked out girls and waited until they were older before killing them. That was until I thought there was a typo and had to re-read the blurb on the book. Silly me.
That then lead me to practically inhale the book. I got very annoyed when the washing machine needed sorting as I didn’t want to put the book down. You see the bad guy – Harper, sets about picking out girls, gives them a present and tells them to hold on to it for him then years later up he pops and in most cases kills them. But not in Kirby’s, she was given a toy pony while she sat outside her house playing and years later survives a brutal attack by said baddie and goes on a hunt to track him down, all with the help of an older man who is a journalist who first fancied her Mum but then falls her big time, but of course gets injured in the process.
With me so far? I will leave the ending for you to read as I would love to know your thought on the book. I loved the writing style, the descriptions were very detailed, the characters were outstanding, I really felt for Kirby and her upbringing and the strength she showed to find out the truth. I actually felt I was in the story and that rarely happens for me these days, I could see the house, see the streets, the batman and robin duo fighting crime, it was a good read for me and one of those where it left me needing to watch Harry Potter to make me feel everything is ok, it was that creepy.
Whether I would read another of her books, I would have to let this one settle before I decided, as if it was as creepy as this I might need a sunny day to read it. But I highly recommend you read this one.
Thank you for reading

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