For what I thought was going to be a very good compelling thriller, I can only say it was a decent one. The Shining Girls was the thriller that made me fell in love with the relationship between Kirby and Dan more than the actual main “scary” storyline.

Written by Lauren Beukes, after a long research of locations and many other details portrayed in her story, The Shining Girls was published in April 2013 in South Africa. The book revolves around a time-travelling killer that starts his gruesome destiny in the worldwide severe economic depression between the years 1929 and1939 in Chicago. (As a Chicago fan myself, the fact that the story happens in the wind city brought me a lot of joy and I still cannot wait to be able to visit the city one day.)

A few months before the release of the book, Media Right Capitals and Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way Productions, won the rights to adapt the book. Seven years later, in July 2020, Apple TV+ ordered the series with Elisabeth Moss as the lead. The actress doesn’t just star in the adaptation, but she also directed two out of the eight episodes and also acted as an executive producer for the series. The biggest surprise for me was Wagner Moura (Dan) who also played Pablo Escabor in Netflix’s Narcos a few year ago, and Phillipa Soo (Jenny) that first stole my heart in Hamilton.

Fine is the very definition of mediocrity. It’s what’s polite. It’s what’s socially acceptable. We need to live brighter and deeper than just fine!

Released in April 2022, Shining Girls is the latest thriller series available now on Apple TV+.


Differences between the book and the series:

  • Kirby’s name is not fake in the book;
  • Kirby doesn’t have friend in the CPD;
  • Kirby doesn’t work for the Chicago Sun-Times, she is Dan’s intern;
  • Kirby doesn’t get another dog and she doesn’t live with roommates;
  • Dan works for the Sports Department, not the Crime Department anymore;
  • Kirby doesn’t have a neck scar;
  • Kirby is not getting examined by the medical examiner;
  • Kirby and Marcus are not in a relationship;
  • Harper doesn’t leave matches inside Kirby;
  • Rachel is not a singer;
  • Dan doesn’t have kids;
  • Dan was never married in the series, but in the book he is divorced;
  • Dan and Harper don’t ever meet until the very end of the book, but in the series they meet in the second episode;
  • Harper doesn’t stalk Dan;
  • Dan and Kirby don’t go through old case files in a storage unit, this always happens either at her place or his place;
  • Dan says “We’gonna find him” to Kirby in the series, but in the book it takes him a lot more to start believing that they will;
  • Harper doesn’t confront Kirby until the very end of the book, but in the series it happens in episode 4;
  • Harper gets put in the hospital by another one of his victims, not Kirby;
  • Kirby doesn’t create a sketch of her attacker;
  • Things and events don’t change for Kirby in the book, she doesn’t travel through time and doesn’t live in the House;
  • Rachel doesn’t tell Harper that Kirby died when he comes by the hospital, which is what happens in the book that will lead to him to believe she is dead;
  • Marcus doesn’t exist in the book;
  • Jenny is a bigger character in the series;
  • Leo doesn’t exist in the book;
  • Flashbacks of First World War are not present in the book;
  • Harper doesn’t kill Dan and the overall ending was much better in the book in my opinion.


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