Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Shining Girls

Imagine yourself as a child playing outdoors when a stranger approaches, a man who limps toward you and offers you a prize from the pocket of his sports coat: a plastic pony with yellow hair, something a little girl would love. And even though your parents have taught you better, you accept it, because what little kid doesn't like getting a prize? Then, as the man turns to leave, he says something rather odd: Now keep this safe, alright? I'll see you when you're all grown-up. Look out for me, okay sweetheart? I'll come back for you. 

Grownups are weird, aren't they?

But weird doesn't begin to describe this particular grownup. Try dangerous. Try murderer. No, you don't know this, nor do you realize that in accepting this man's gift, you've just been marked. Years from now, when you're a grown woman and that long-forgotten stranger comes back for you--because it's really you he wants--you'd better run. Nothing gets the blood flowing like a little chase before the kill. After all, when your killer can hop through time as easily as walking through a door, your fate's already sealed.  

This is what awaits you, dear reader, in the pages of Lauren Beukes's mind-bending thriller, The Shining Girls. When a sociopath named Harper Curtis stumbles upon the find of the century in Depression-era Chicago--a house that allows him to travel through time--he begins a savage and impossible killing spree that spans decades. Like most serial killers, he prefers a certain type of victim: girls who shine, young women full of life and potential. But one of them, a spunky girl named Kirby Mazrachi, escapes death and is determined to identify her attacker and bring him to justice--just as he is determined to correct his mistake and snuff out her light once and for all.

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