I liked but didn’t love The Shining Girls when I read it a couple of years ago. I assumed I would similarly like not love this. And it does sound creepy and intriguing. A boy turns up dead in Detroit, his top half attached to the dead body of a deer. There are multiple narrators, including a detective on the case, a teenager, a journalist, and a homeless man.
But pretty much right away, I had a bad feeling, and that bad feeling only intensified the further I went into the book. I can’t put my finger on it, but I didn’t like anything about the book: the characters, the writing, the atmosphere. And even as I found what the bad guy was doing intriguing, I didn’t like the way it played out, and I didn’t like how it ended. There were fantastical elements baked into the premise of The Shining Girls so you expect that going in. Here, those elements felt out of place and unnecessary. I definitely would have preferred they weren’t there.
There were lots of elements in play here that in theory sound like something I want to read about (the impact of the recession on the city, racial and gender elements, elements of mental illness, lots of consideration of how the internet can function in modern society) but I didn’t care about any of it, ever.
Two stars instead of one, because I’m pretty sure it’s just Not For Me.