The Beach Read of The Summer

The Shining GrilsJanet Maslin declares Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls, (Hachette/Mulholland), “a strong contender for the role of this summer’s universal beach read,” in Tuesday’s NYT, narrowly avoiding the cliche of  “this summer’s Gone Girl.”

On the Salon site Laura Miller, has no such compunction, counting it as one of seven titles worthy of that mantle, occupying the “sweet spot where literary quality mingles freely with crackerjack storytelling.” She notes that Beukes has brought together two favorite fictional themes, time travel and serial killers into “a soulful puzzle novel with an evocative final twist.”

Beukes’s earlier books have ben have been “closer to hard-core science fiction” says Maslin (Zoo City won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2011), but this one is a “pure thriller …an expert hair-raiser.”

Readers will have to wait a bit, however. The book isn’t due to be published until June 4. Librarians can get a jump on it by requesting e-galleys through Edelweiss and NetGalley.

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