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Lauren Beukes is a novelist, TV scriptwriter, documentary maker, comics writer and occasional journalist. She won the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award for her novel Zoo City, set in a fantastical Johannesburg where guilt manifests as spirit animal familiars. Her previous works include Moxyland, a dystopian cyberpunk thriller set in Cape Town under corporate apartheid. She helped create South Africa's first half-hour animated TV show, URBO: The Adventures of Pax Afrika, and has written kids animated shows for Disney UK and Millimages in France.
`A powerful thriller - imaginative, disturbing, tense, compelling reading' The Times `I'm all over it' Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl `Brilliant. A book about the duel of two fabulously realized characters. A triumph' Independent `Clever story, smart prose' Stephen King `Extremely creepy' Mail on Sunday (`Must Reads') `Very smart, wholly original, completely kick-ass' William Gibson `Engrossing as it is original, as rewarding as it is challenging. Superb - a beautifully layered work of fiction. Take the time to read this, it's mesmerizing' Sun `Utterly original, beautifully written. This is something special' Tana French, author of In The Woods `Brilliant. Forget GONE GIRL, now it's all about THE SHINING GIRLS' Observer `Disturbing, smart and beautifully written' Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus `This year's must-read' Stylist `A new kind of thriller. A dark, relentless, time-twisting, page-turning murder story. It shines' Matt Haig, author of The Humans
Harper Curtis is down on his luck, a drifter in Depression-era Chicago with a predilection for violence. When he finds a key to a special house that allows him to travel through time, he uses the house (or it uses him) to hunt down and kill certain special girls, his Shining Girls. Kirby Mazrachi is identified as a Shining Girl, but she survives Harper's brutal attack and starts hunting him. VERDICT The gripping mix of sf, horror, and suspense works because of the way the likable characters Kirby and her newspaperman ally contend with the menacing chill of Harper and his special house. (LJ 4/1/13) (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
South African author Beukes, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Zoo City, adds an intriguing wrinkle to the serial killer suspense novel. In the creepy opening chapter, set in 1974, sadist Harper Curtis, who's on the prowl for one of his "shining girls" ("bright young women burning with potential"), approaches six-year-old Kirby Mazrachi, as she plays alone. After an initially friendly exchange turns nasty, Harper promises that he will see Kirby when she's grown up. In 1989, he keeps that promise by savagely attacking her. Miraculously, Mazrachi survives and leverages an internship with a Chicago newspaper into a private investigation of her assailant who can travel through time. The shifting perspectives require readers to stay alert, but those who do will be rewarded. Beukes is particularly good at garnering sympathy for Harper's female victims, creating deep characterizations in only a few pages, so that they come across as more than just fodder for a psychopath's mission. 5-city author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.