"The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own."
Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.
Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.
At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable - until one of his victims survives.
Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth....
The Shining Girls is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.
©2013 Lauren Beukes (P)2013 Hachette Audio
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
Have you ever been on a roll where you have listened to several wonderful books in a row, and you begin to believe that your luck of choosing the next great read won't end. I have been in book heaven this past several weeks only to have the "Law of Averages" hit me with this choice.
This was not the book for me. Yet, I completely understand why there is a large audience for this book with lots of ecstatic reviews from many credible sources.
PROs: The book is very well written by Lauren Beukes. The mood was ominous from the start. Kudos to the narrators -- they did a very good job.
-- The time travel was very interesting and not real hard to follow even though I normally like my books to have a higher than average believability ratio.
CONs: If you like your violent scenes described only to the point that the reader understands what happened, you will find these murders against women (torture really) hard to listen. The goriness is provided in the most graphic detail. I read lots of violent books, but the creepiness and gruesomeness of these murders were way beyond my tolerance level.
-- The killer's character was much more developed than the last remaining girl, Kirby. Kirby, whom I wanted to like, was so sarcastic in all her interactions that I began to dread her time on the page. The killer is described as charming, but all his interactions with people, especially the "shining girls", was not charming at all -- just very creepy.
I just could not get past the 5th hour of the book. For the audience this book was intended, I do think you should read some reviews by people who finished the book and were delighted with the experience. This might be a book that you will enjoy.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
I learned very early on while listening to this book to pay close attention. It has many threads that wind around each other, and a timeline that passes back and forth as the macabre plot unfolds. This is one of the better books I have read in a while. When I reluctantly had to turn it off, I could not wait to get back to this non stop twisting story.
Quite a ride following a ruthless psychopath into the future, and past, who has some sort of twisted timetable of murders to accomplish. The killer feels confused about whether he is choosing the victims or is being compelled by a house that is on sliding rule of time. Part of his ritual is to visit each victim, "shining girl", when they are younger to tell them that he will see them again and to give each one a small token. Some remember him when he returns much later, some don't.
As the murders go on throughout the years investigators never match the MO to a serial killer because of the time separation. When he thinks he is almost done with the years of predesigned killings, he finds out that one of his victims has survived and is tracking him through the, "out of time", tokens he leaves on the victims. In order for his insane destiny to be met he must find and kill her. In order for her to retain her sanity, she knows, she has to find and stop him no matter what it takes.
All of the great narrators are what helped to make this listen a grand slam. I found this book to be very reminiscent of Stephen Kings early, more graphic books, definitely not for the faint of heart. Headphones suggested. Highly recommend.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
Grisly, horrifying, seductive and pure entertainment! I especially liked rooting for the heroine, lithe and foul-mouthed, who takes the reader up, out, over and through the mulberry bush. It reminded me of Joe Hill meets Gillian Flynn. Creepy fun!
Science writer in America's heartland
This book grabbed me from the very beginning, and did not let me go. Driving home and listening in the car, I missed the turn for my house! It's not a mystery... We know from the beginning who the killer is, and how he gets away with murder. The question is, will our heroine figure it out in time to save herself and the people she loves? Lauren Beukes created many different characters for the book, and tells the story from each one's point of view. Coming from a less-skilled author, the frequent changes in time and place and point of view could be confusing, but not here. Perhaps the use of multiple narrators helped—and the narrators were all very good—but this is some seriously good writing! I highly recommend this book.
I couldn't recommend this book to a friend. I was engaged throughout, but entirely confused by the ending. The storyline is unique and absorbing; the characters are interesting and unusual; but the end left me thinking "What just happened here?"
Yes, but not the audio version.
Interesting enough but expected. The ending was no surprise and I felt it could have been better.
There were too many characters in this book and it became very tedious very quickly. This book would have been better read than listened to. This way you can go back and refresh your memory as to who people are because there are so many of them. Or if you listen to the audio book you should probably try to listen all at one time.
I enjoyed the different characters and the different narrators.
This book is very unique, I can't compare. I will say that the style of writing is similar to Gillian Flynn.
When the main character goes through the time machine
Not really, I just wish it was longer. The ending was a little too abrupt. I would have liked more detail.
I think this could have been a great book, however I can't say that for certain. The narration was so awful. Many times I wanted to quit the book and just prayed for it to be over soon. The female voice made this book sound like a teen's young adult novel. I felt like I was watching a show on nickelodeon.
a dedicated dilettante
This is one of those books that I read simply because of the author; reading about a serial killer is not a natural draw. I've heard countless praise regarding Ms. Beukes writing and became more acquainted with her through interviews she given. So I found myself with The Shining Girls; its characters are memorable with a tightly paced story-line, brilliant setting and deftly applied phrasing and dialog. As a writer, Ms. Beukes does not disappoint. Despite this, or rather because of this, it was a difficult book for me to read. I had to take the story in doses. Part of her goal is to show us the ugliness of violence against women; she succeeds. This story is about the strength of a women (Kirby) whom a time-traveling serial killer (Harper) attempts to kill, fails and comes back to finish. Kirby is befriended by Dan, a jaded newspaper man covering sports because he burned out covering the crime scene
As I often do, I went back and forth between the Kindle and the Audible version. It was a well cast with special kudos to Ms. Hvam as Kirby and Mr. Snyder as Dan. I think they handled the drama without over dramatizing and the pacing and hand-offs between dialog went well. If you enjoy audiobooks (and serial killer thrillers) you like this recording.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-xN
Tony R Jackson
I will listen to it again and I am looking forward to it.
I started listen to audible books back and forth to work. So I was not just wasting this time. I found myself not wanting to get out of the car, wanting to hear more of this story.
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