Lauren Beukes’s Film and TV Inspirations

The Shining Girls is a mash-up of a thing: part serial killer thriller, part old-fashioned romantic buddy caper, part time-travel twister. The TV shows and movies that had a major influence on me generally, which I think played into the writing of this book, are:

Memento for its twisty out-of-order storytelling


True Grit for a young bolshy heroine set on justice

Zodiac, which perfectly captures newspaper journalism, obsessions, and the years-long frustration of hunting a serial killer


The Secret In Their Eyes is a devastating movie about an Argentinian ex-Justice agent writing about a cold case that that leads him to dark places

Se7en as one of the best classic serial killer thrillers

Silence of the Lambs for Jodie Foster’s determination in spite of the odds, including facing down sexism in her department

Silence of the Lambs

Angel Heart for its dark noir, fiendish premise and unreliable narrator

Romancing the Stone as an off-kilter high adventure mismatched rom-com

Romancing the Stone

Broadcast News for the buddy love story, hard news and some incredible writing

Broadcast News

Season 5 of The Wire for its insight into journalism and police work

The Wire

Timecrimes (Spanish-language) about an accidental time-traveller who keeps making things worse as he tries to fix things

Boardwalk Empire for its pitch-perfect rendition of 1920s and 30s America

Boardwalk Empire

Carnivale for its depiction of the 1930s Depression and carneys


The Untouchables for 30s gangsterism and policing and some fine detail and, hey, Capone!

The Untouchables

Road To Perdition for incredible period detail and gorgeous storytelling

North By Northwest had lovely 50s Chicago detail

North by Northwest illustration

The Fugitive was great for showing off 90s Chicago

The Fugitive

Now that you’re familiar with Lauren Beukes’s influences, it’s time to go read The Shining Girls! Pick up a copy this weekend at your preferred retailer.