Book review – The Shining Girls x Lauren Beukes

Why hello there. I haven’t done a book review in AGES.

I have a good one for you:


The Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes

It has been a long time since i have read anything as good as this. I have, for the past few months while writing my thesis, been reading trashy romance novels that I can start and finish in a day.

I was invited by my ex-colleagues at Exclusive Books to attend a talk by Lauren Beukes about her new book. I went even though I knew nothing about the book, nor have I read any of her previous books. The talk was fascinating and I got immediate book envy because I wanted to read it IMMEDIATELY and it had not been available in store yet. I spent the next few days thinking about it, as you would think of a boy you had a crush on.

I had a book crush.

This was based solely on what I had heard from others and the author herself (which I think is pretty cool). Anyway, skip ahead to 19 April and finally acquiring my book and attending the launch (still not having read it) and spending the Saturday thereafter in my pajamas reading the one of the most amazing stories I have ever read.

Harper Curtis is a time-travelling serial killer. Call it luck, call it fate, he finds a key that unlocks the door to a House that allows him to travel back and forth across time. This allows him to be probably the best serial killer I have come across in any book I have ever read. I have read lots of crime fiction but never anything like this. Beukes’ portrayal of this man is both charming and vile (mostly vile) at the same time. There were times when I wanted to throw the book against the wall because of this horrible man.


Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who got away. She encounters Harper once when she is a little girl, and then again when he tries to kill her. She spends most of her time trying to find Harper.

I was very impressed by the speed of the events and particularly the extensive research that went into the book. The historic accuracy and details is simply amazing and transports you through the decades into Harper’s journey. Lauren Beukes is a masterful storyteller.

The timing of this book could not have been more perfect. Recently in South Africa, there has been a very bright spotlight on violence against women in this country. Beukes’ work gives a face to the victims. She said in her talk, and at the launch that one of the aims of writing the story was to tell the story of the victims; who they were, what they did, who they loved. Harper Curtis’ mission is to snuff the burning light, the potential of his victims. By the author’s own account, the book is a commentary on the beautiful young women who are killed every day in this country. Women who have ambitions, goals, dreams. Women with the potential to be a driving force for change in our country.

Not only is this work a beautiful, fast-paced thriller that straddles genres and engrosses you completely, I believe it raises important issues at such a crucial time in our country.

All in all, this book gets 5 stars from me for just being so excellent.

Find out more about The Shining Girls and Lauren Beukes on her website and blog:


Have a great week, everyone.

Muneera xoxo