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Publisher's Summary

The jaw-dropping, gripping, critically-acclaimed book of the year: a serial-killer thriller unlike any other from the award-winning Lauren Beukes.

The Shining Girls is now streaming on Apple TV+, starring Elisabeth Moss and Jamie Bell.

It’s not my fault. It’s yours. You shouldn’t shine. You shouldn’t make me do this.

Chicago 1931. Harper Curtis, a violent drifter, stumbles on a house with a secret as shocking as his own twisted nature – it opens onto other times. He uses it to stalk his carefully chosen 'shining girls' through the decades – and cut the spark out of them.

He’s the perfect killer. Unstoppable. Untraceable. He thinks....

Chicago, 1992. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Tell that to Kirby Mazrachi, whose life was shattered after a brutal attempt to murder her. Still struggling to find her attacker, her only ally is Dan, an ex-homicide reporter who covered her case and now might be falling in love with her.

As Kirby investigates, she finds the other girls – the ones who didn’t make it. The evidence is...impossible. But for a girl who should be dead, impossible doesn’t mean it didn’t happen....

©2013 Lauren Buekes (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Critic Reviews

"Oh my … a glorious creation. So pleased to read a serial killer thriller that has such intelligence behind it. But what I was really thinking (along with reminding myself to BREATHE) was what a brilliant film it would be and how awesome the house was." (Granta)
"The Shining Girls is utterly original, beautifully written, and I must say, it creeped the holy bejasus out of me. This is something special" (Tana French, author of In the Woods & Broken Harbour)
"A new kind of thriller. A dark, relentless, time-twisting, page-turning murder story guaranteed to give you heart palpitations. It shines." (Matt Haig, author of The Radleys)

What listeners say about The Shining Girls

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SA Shining

If you could sum up The Shining Girls in three words, what would they be?

Time Traveling Killer

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the story line, it had you on edge waiting for the killer to make a mistake and be found....

What about Christopher Ragland’s performance did you like?

He spoke well and his accents were good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely!

Any additional comments?

Great South African talent that makes you proudly South African!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • P
  • 07-27-13

Completely awful characterisation.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The story itself is enjoyable enough but with an unsatisfying ending. However, the narration is dreadful. Christopher Ragland is a fine narrator when he sticks to his own voice but his male characterisations are bad and the the female ones are appalling. Every woman/girl whether she is a child, an architect, a transsexual, a drug addict or the sole survivor of a serial killer sounds like a cross between Mariliyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday Mr President and a muppet baby!

5 people found this helpful

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  • zoe
  • 06-20-13

So much emotional value for your credit!

What made the experience of listening to The Shining Girls the most enjoyable?

This book is totaly absorbing from the very first chapter. Its hard to stop listening too, i was unsure about it and decided to go for it after reading other reviews and seeing how long it was (the longer the better for me). The brutal scenes in it aren't as horrific to listen to as they are to read and are pefectly in context with the story. The narrator does a fantastic job, bringing scores of characters to life and really sucking you in. You really get two threads to the book. One of the time-traveling murder element,of a man driven to horrific acts being thrown through the years addicted to murdering beautiful, strong women and then the story of the survival of one of his victims. Both are as compelling as the other. Also each of the murder's other victims is beautifuly written, a real rounded character that you feel for and i found that quite astounding as some of them feature very briefly.Infact every character comes roaring to life, due to some superb writing and some excellent acting skills from the narrator. I was expecting the end to be a let down, because it built so beautifully, but it isn't. Clever, moving and make an impossible situation completely believable.To listen to all the time jumping back and forth through the decades can be confusing, but i dont think it really made any difference , you can tell where you are from the context of the story itself. Really worth the credit, even if sci-fi or detective storys aren't you thing, its got such a lot of weight to it that those points aren't even the main focus, the characters are and their story just has to be heard, it stayed with me for days after and i found myself re-playing chapters afterwards.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Saffy
  • 06-18-13

An intriguing concept

After reading reviews and hearing the author interviewed on Woman's Hour I was so excited to download 'The Shining Girls' and in many ways it did not disappoint. It is beautifully written and narrated and what a fantastic concept - a time travelling serial killer. I was a little concerned that this would take it into the sci- fi genre but crime fiction lovers can relax- it reads very much like a crime novel and I just accepted the time travelling element without question. I loved the chapters focusing on Kirby- a surviving victim- and her hunt for Harper the serial killer and these chapters were definitely the strongest part of the novel. The chapters focusing on Harper's victims were a little less successful as I did get a little confused around time and characters. This may however be to do with listening to rather than reading the novel. I was disappointed with the ending but it's hard to know how it could have been concluded. Overall though, a highly recommended listen by a brilliant author.

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  • A customer
  • 07-11-22

loved the book, didn't love the performance

this is an excellent and gripping book, with characters you'll love and hate with a passion. however, the narration is a bit too much, very over the top and almost silly voices.

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  • Rosie
  • 04-18-22

Good book, bad narration

If you like crime/ supernatural Stephen King-style books then you'll probably like this one. The characters are all very well drawn and the premise is a good one.

The downside is the narration by Christopher Ragland. He seems to think all women speak in breathy, Marilyn Monroe baby voices which is incredibly irritating and makes even the badass main character sound annoying. Pretty sure he also mispronounces the main male character's name as well.

Get this one as a physical book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-22

It’s not as good as I thought.

It’s not as good as I thought , it became same old, same old , nothing original. Had too many unexplained plots , side roads that you knew would lead to the ultimate poor ending.
It was crafted as something unexpected but didn’t deliver. Still worth a listen , but not a top ten for me.

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  • Guy
  • 01-24-22

Interesting read

Novel somewhat in the style of Stephen King (I mean that in a good way): supernatural, slow-burn but well-paced and interesting. Not outstanding: neither powerfully gripping, nor beautifully descriptive, nor intellectually intriguing. But a rewarding listen nonetheless. Oh dear, feels like I'm damning it with faint praise: not my intention, it's just that this book is neither "meh" nor "wow", it's simply a good read. And boy, there are plenty of very BAD reads out there, right Harlan?

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  • Polly701
  • 05-18-20

Gave up

This is an interesting take on the serial killer theme but I had to give up part way in because I couldn’t stand the simpering voices allocated to the female characters. I may have to get the book to finish it. Lots of male readers just soften their voices a bit and that’s usually enough. You can allow the listener to use their imagination.

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  • M Robinson
  • 10-18-19

Would recommend to anyone.

I loved this book. It was a bit confusing at the start, but got into the swing of things quickly enough. Really interesting and well formed characters, and an interesting story line. Would definitely recommend.

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  • Metaltoe
  • 03-13-16

Slow building, complex and unusual .

What made the experience of listening to The Shining Girls the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the narration - very good voices and characterisation and plenty of life in the reading. And the unusual twisty story.

What other book might you compare The Shining Girls to, and why?

Not sure what I could compare it to. It's a serial killer story with a difference.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The last few chapters where it all sort of comes together. Very tense!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well, it's a long book so no! I listened to it as I listen to most of my audio books - an hour or so every afternoon while I have a rest.

Any additional comments?

It's quite a graphic book - a fair amount of detailed violence and profanities. If you're ok with that, you will probably enjoy this unusually told tale of a serial killer with a strange element. Quite weird and complicated though. It takes time to fully get the idea of what is going on. And the ending takes a bit of thinking about.