Okay, okay, misleading headline, so the AUTHOR of My Pet Serial Killer, Michael J Seidlinger, wrote this excellent piece for Electric Literature about the serial killer trope and included The Shining Girls as one of eight books he recommends “where the serial killer becomes a vehicle for the author’s narrative vision”. Some of the others that made the list include Perfume by Patrick Süskind, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.
The title of Beukes’s novel hints upon the killer’s bind — the need to kill those with utmost potential. “The shining girls” are the targeted victims of Harper Curtis, a man that stumbles upon the ability to travel through time. Trick is, he must travel through time with a specific purpose: to kill every women that “burn with potential.” Of course, it’s not that simple especially when one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives. The book never oversells its more fantastical elements, nor does it hide a prevailing theme of personal worth, and how one measures it.
Thanks to @bookclubwithbite for this beautifully styled photo of the US edition of The Shining Girls.