Reviews

Library Journal
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In 1930s Chicago Harper Curtis discovers a key to a house that is a time-travel portal. He finds and tracks young girls who "shine" in his eyes through different eras, killing them as they develop into young women. He uses this fantastic ability as a means of extending and titillating his inner demons. Unknown to him, his victim in 1989, Kirby Mazrachi, survives his vicious attack. As she works to find the identity of her assailant, she tracks down clues to other killings and realizes a serial killer is at work. Her determination, cleverness, and insight are what saves the book from being just another thriller about an opportunistic, sadistic killer on the loose. -VERDICT H.G. Wells's The Time Machine set up fiction's basic mode of travel through time with a portal. Strangely for an award-winning sf author, Beukes (Moxyland; Zoo City) uses time travel as a plot vehicle yet neither explains nor expounds upon its magical existence. But readers who enjoy genre-bending fiction will be drawn to her memorable heroine's determination to save her future by resolving her past. [See Prepub Alert, 12/14/12.]-Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Harper Curtis is down on his luck, a drifter in Depression-era Chicago with a predilection for violence. When he finds a key to a special house that allows him to travel through time, he uses the house (or it uses him) to hunt down and kill certain special girls, his Shining Girls. Kirby Mazrachi is identified as a Shining Girl, but she survives Harper's brutal attack and starts hunting him. VERDICT The gripping mix of sf, horror, and suspense works because of the way the likable characters Kirby and her newspaperman ally contend with the menacing chill of Harper and his special house. (LJ 4/1/13) (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Harper Curtis isn't your run-of-the-mill serial killer. He gets to time travel from the 1920s through the 1980s, killing girls in different decades, all to satisfy a bloodthirsty Chicago bungalow. Yes, you read that correctly: the house makes him do it. In this genre-bending novel, Beukes never explains the origins of this evil house or how it manages to transport Harper from year to year. All we know is that Harper is compelled to track down and murder specific shining girls in gruesome ways (usually evisceration), and he gets away with it since he can escape across time. Until he leaves Kirby Mazrachi behind in 1989, that is. Kirby miraculously recovers from the vicious attack and is determined to track down her assailant, even if the police consider it a closed case. She enlists the help of Dan, a reporter at the Sun-Times, and they slowly uncover odd clues left behind in a dozen unsolved murder cases; it turns out Harper has been leaving behind items from the future. Not for all tastes, but fans of urban fantasy may be interested in this clever and detailed supernatural thriller.--Vnuk, Rebecca Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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South African author Beukes, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Zoo City, adds an intriguing wrinkle to the serial killer suspense novel. In the creepy opening chapter, set in 1974, sadist Harper Curtis, who's on the prowl for one of his "shining girls" ("bright young women burning with potential"), approaches six-year-old Kirby Mazrachi, as she plays alone. After an initially friendly exchange turns nasty, Harper promises that he will see Kirby when she's grown up. In 1989, he keeps that promise by savagely attacking her. Miraculously, Mazrachi survives and leverages an internship with a Chicago newspaper into a private investigation of her assailant who can travel through time. The shifting perspectives require readers to stay alert, but those who do will be rewarded. Beukes is particularly good at garnering sympathy for Harper's female victims, creating deep characterizations in only a few pages, so that they come across as more than just fodder for a psychopath's mission. 5-city author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.