The Shining Girls

The girl who wouldn’t die – hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist.

In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras, leaving anachronistic clues on their bodies, until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and turns the hunt around.

Book Trailer


Read an excerpt

Read Lauren’s essay on violence: All The Pretty Corpses

Check out Lauren’s Murder Wall on Wired and listen to the Geek’s Guide to The Galaxy Podcast’s Book Club discussion and Q&A with Lauren (SPOILERS)

Zola Books Interview on indie bookstores, serial killers and getting over it.


‘Clever story, smart prose’ – Stephen King 

‘A powerful thriller – imaginative, disturbing, tense, compelling reading’ – The Times 

“I’m all over it.”  – Gillian Flynn

“[Beukes] is so profusely talented—capable of wit, darkness, and emotion on a single page—that a blockbuster seems inevitable . . . The Shining Girls marks her arrival as a major writer of popular fiction.” —USA Today

‘Loaded with acrobatic twists.’ —New York Times

‘Utterly original, beautifully written, and I must say, it creeped the holy bejasus out of me. This is something special.” – Tana French

“The premise is pure Stephen King, but Beukes gives it an intricate, lyrical treatment all her own.” – Time

“A tremendous work of suspense fiction… [that explores] questions of free will, predestination, and causality in a mind-melting, heart-pounding mashup.” – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“Unreservedly recommended.”  –Joe Hill

“One of the summer’s hottest books.” –

“A triumph … The smart and spunky Kirby Mizrachi is as exciting to follow as any in recent genre fiction … especially the sharply described murder scenes – some of which read as much like starkly rendered battlefield deaths out of Homer as forensic reconstructions of terrible crimes … This book means business.” –

“Very smart…completely kick-ass. Beukes’ handling of the joints between the realistic and the fantastic is masterful, and those are always my favorite parts, in this kind of story. Not the weirdness (which is itself superb here, and very ample) but the segue to it. The liminal instant.” – William Gibson

‘Brilliant. A book about the duel of two fabulously realized characters. A triumph’ – Independent

‘From something horrific and inexplicable, she makes delicate and redemptive magic.’ – Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune

‘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

‘A new kind of thriller. A dark, relentless, time-twisting, page-turning murder story. It shines’ – Matt Haig (The Humans)

‘Science fiction and psychological thriller collide spectacularly in this heart-thumping tale of a time-traveling serial killer’ —Entertainment Weekly

One of the scariest and best-written thrillers of the year, not to mention the most memorable portrait of a serial killer since Henry H. Holmes in….Erik Larson’s 2003 nonfiction bestseller The Devil in the White City.” – Chicago Sun-Times

“Enthralling and dazzlingly inventive. Lauren Beukes risks everything with a startlingly original structure, that’s perfectly executed. A huge accomplishment.” – Deon Meyer (Thirteen Hours)

“Imagine Poe and Steinbeck in a knife fight where Poe wins and writes Jack the Ripper’s version of The Grapes of Wrath. The Shining Girls is even scarier than that.” – Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim)