Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Shining Girls

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Random House Struik - 15 April 2013
375 pages

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.
Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women burning with potential whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles upon a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.
At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable--until one of his victims survives.
Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covers her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth...

Define "soon".

Because if you mean the first 84.4% of the book, then you're sorely mistaken. That part of the book is Harper killing various girls who only get one chapter, Kirby talking to murder victims' families and supposed killers trying to figure something out, and Dan getting a huge, overly creepy crush on Kirby. And yes, I actually did the math to figure out that 84.5% through the book is when Kirby finally figures out that Harper comes from the future. After that, everything wraps itself up in a pretty little ribbon all at the end, just like Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Most of the book was spent either with one-shot chapters in the point of view of one of Harper's victims or of Harper OR Kirby doing God knows what about serial killer nonsense. Did I repeat that? Not exactly, with a few different words? I'm sorry, I guess I'm like Beukes and have to show you the same thing over and over with a couple of variations.

The characters were all one-dimensional things that didn't really seem to have any life. I've seen boxes of cereal that were less cardboard than Harper, Kirby, and everyone else.

Maybe I kept reading this book because I thought that something would happen, or maybe because the chapters were so short I thought that maybe I could just read a few and then stop. Or maybe I just wanted to prove I could slog through this book. No matter what, I was a fool.

Grade: F

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