Stuart Turton, author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, wrote this brilliant piece for Crime Reads, about crime fiction and books that stretch the genre. I’m so happy that he’s reccomended The Shining Girls, alongside books by China Mieville, legend Douglas Adams, and Eva Dolan.
Serial killers are an off-the-shelf villain for authors. We take one down, screw up their childhood, then splash a bit of swagger over them. It’s Hannibal Lecter’s fault, I’m certain of it. Lauren Beukes did not do this.
Beukes’s serial killer is a 1920s hobo who comes upon a strange house with the ability to transport him to different periods through time. In return, the house compels him to kill extraordinary women, so he travels through time hunting down these Shining Girls. Kirby Mazrachi is one of these girls, and when she survives the attack, she decides to do some hunting of her own.
It’s very tense, very violent, and exceedingly well researched—with every period stuffed with detail. One word of caution, though. Beukes uses her time-travel house as set-dressing, so if you’re one of those people who needs to know why everything is happening, this book will leave you stamping your feet.
Photo creds go to @thebooklyclub.