Serial killer books are usually about serial killers. This sounds self-evident, but a closer look at the genre yields numerous books that manage to glamorize the killer and make the victims (often female) no more than bodies in bags. Lauren Beukes doesn’t do this. She’s said that she set out to write a book that focused on the promise and strength of the female victims (who are more than just “victims”), and painted the killer as the monster he really was. In doing so, she averts the trope of the sexy psychopath: We are often drawn to and fascinated by charismatic killers in fiction (see: American Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, etc.), but Beukes refuses to go there. The Shining Girls isn’t quite like any other serial killer thriller out there (and not just because it includes time travel, either). Beukes gets major feminist points for resisting the urge to construct depthless female victims, and building a more complex narrative instead.