Book report: The Shining Girls and The Maid’s Version

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes – Always engaging though it does take a little while for the central idea to settle. Once it does this time travel tale strives to tweak the nose of the serial killer genre and knock your socks off in a blast of energetic story telling. It succeeds on both counts. Recommended.

The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell – Something increasingly rare in first person POV fiction, a distinct voice, captures you from the opening. A brilliant tale of a town in despair after a deadly dance hall fire will consume you. Perhaps comparable in theme to last years Growing Up Dead in Texas by Stephen Graham Jones. There’s a paragraph later in the book about a night train passing through or nearby the town and Woodrell writes it so that the words and sentences capture the rhythms of the train. It may have been 7 years since the last Woodrell novel and with this one lesser writers have been put on notice. Highly Recommended.

Started another anticipated book by a writer I love and the opening left me cold. Put it down for now.

Started reading Red Moon by Benjamin Percy and The Year of the Story by John Mantooth and am liking them both so far.

Author: Brian Lindenmuth

Former non-fiction of Spinetingler Magazine and fiction editor at Snubnose Press. Long time reviewer.

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