I love a good thriller and this really didn't disappoint! I was gripped! It's got an element of time travel (which satisfies my inner geek) and the novel is in seemingly random order so I found myself flicking back to check dates on the first couple of chapters but soon got into the rhythm of the story!
There's a lot of violence in this story (as expected, given its theme!) as it follows a serial killer's journey through time, the killer, Harper, gets great pleasure in visiting his victims as children or teenagers and again to kill them as adults, and sometimes returning to the scenes of their violent murders for sexual gratification ... so he really is one crazy man!
Kirby and her dog are loveable and I loved how the story twists from her being the hunted victim who survived her attack to the hunter searching for clues to lead her straight to the killer himself.
The main focus is on Kirby and the Killer - kirby is feisty and full of courage and determination, she's inspirational and has a great "sidekick" in Dan.
I liked how the element of time travel was represented via a room in a house and that Harper (the killer) explored Chicago in different eras, often using money or a local cafe as a way to determine when he is and represent how the time had changed.
The book delves into the lives of each victim so they all get a turn to literally "shine" in the story. There are things about them all which are great - they are all normal people who are full of potential and "shine" everyone can relate to the characters easily and you will see some if yourself in them. I particularly liked glow girl and the forward thinking member of Jane (a safe abortion service before it was legalised)
You can tell a lot of care and attention went into the research and writing of this novel and you can see how easily it could be adapted for a film.
Overall - would I recommend to a friend? Absolutely! It's so far, my fave grown up novel of the year!
Published by Harper Collins, Available now on Amazon:
"A serial killer who should be undetectable – until he picks on the wrong victim. In 1992 wild child Kirby Mazrachi, a clever, punkish misfit who miraculously survives his vicious attack, vows to track him down. But as his very existence is impossible – how can she ever find him?"
From the winner of the 2011 Arthur. C. Clarke award comes a masterpiece of thriller writing, quite unlike anything else in tone and conception. It is 1931 and Harper, a violent down-and-out is living a hand-to-mouth existence in the shanty town of Hooverville, Chicago. After a murder, he’s hounded out of Hooverville by a vigilante group and find refuge in a mysterious house. To the outside world, this looks like an uninhabitable wreck, but inside it is something quite different. Like the wardrobe in C S Lewis or The Tardis in Dr. Who? It gives him access to different times and also offers him a vision – of his ‘shining girls’, women across time who are to become his murder victims. He visits them as children, then as teenagers, then as adults, when he will kill them and leave anachronistic clues on their bodies.
Two damaged outsiders. Two impossible people locked in a bloody dance, a dance which will end in death. For one or the other..."
I'm lucky enough to have been offered a copy of the novel "The Shining Girls" by Lauren Beukes for one of my lovely readers.
To enter the competition, please leave a comment below telling me when in time, you would visit if you had a time travel house (For me, it'd have to be a coin toss - I'd love to see a Steggasaurus up close, have lunch with Cleopatra, Breakfast with Audrey Hepburn, or revisit that first day after both my children were born or that first morning waking up on honeymoon!) don't forget to include a way for me to contact you if you are the winner, such as twitter id or email please.
The prize will be sent directly to the winner from the company supplying the prize.
Open to the UK only please.
Competition will close on Monday 27th May 2013 at 12noon.
One winner will be selected using random.org, please reply with your details with 7days of winning or another winner will be selected.
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Emma in Bromley xx
*I was sent a copy of the book so that I could review it.