The Shining Girls on the front page of The Bookseller
The full story is behind a paywall for subscribers only, but here’s a snippet:
“What’s scarier than a psychopathic serial killer that can travel through time toying with victims at various points in their life? Not much if Lauren Beukes’ new thriller, The Shining Girls (April, HarperCollins), is anything to go by.
Set in 1931 Depression-era Chicago, the violent Harper is living a hand-to-mouth existence in Hooverville, until he commits a murder and takes refuge in a mysterious house. It is in this strange house that he discovers both a portal to other times and visions of his “shining girls”, women from various decades who “shine” for him and become his murder victims—but only after he has visited them as children, teenagers and then as adults. With the ability to time travel on his side Harper is the perfect, undetectable murderer, until one of his “shining girls” does the impossible . . . and survives.
Harper is one creepy character—incredibly violent, he takes pleasure and sexual gratification from the murder of his “shining girls”—and Beukes says that writing him “was terrible, it was horrible being inside his head. That’s why he gets fucked up at every available opportunity—from breaking his jaw to getting stung by a bee—I just had to hurt him whenever I could. I loathed him, but at same time I had to make him human as well. So it was interesting to see how he feels trapped by the house, how he tries to resist that and break out of the cycle by trying to find the meaning in things. I think that’s a very universal thing, we’re all trying to find meanings and patterns and Harper just has a very twisted and deviant form of that.
“The rest of us might read horoscopes—he’s reading entrails…”