Murder time machine

The Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes' latest, The Shining Girls (Mulholland Books, $26), is a devastating and gruesome serial-killer mystery wrapped up in a time-travel tale that satisfies on both levels. The question surrounding the murders isn't so much “who” as “when,” and it's further complicated by a victim who wasn't actually murdered, despite the careful efforts of the killer. With multiple perspectives, Beukes has her work cut out for her, creating a number of fully realized characters, the most compelling of which is Kirby, the girl who refused to die. Time travel unleashes all sorts of paradoxes, but Beukes navigates smoothly and keeps up a machine-gun pace that makes this novel an up-all-nighter.