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Find Out Why Lauren Beukes Thinks You Might Be a Psychopath

The Shining GirlsIn one of her latest blog posts, best-selling South African author Lauren Beukes discusses the fact, “that there’s a lack of depth of deep dark motivation” in her characterisation of Harper, the killer in The Shining Girls. She says, “there’s a reason I wrote him like that. Because that’s what real serial killers look like – shallow, violent opportunists with impotence issues.”

Beukes goes on to discuss an article on the “myth of the elite psychopath”, written for Quartz by Rachel Feltman, which she says is, “worth reading in full, not least cos YOU might be a psychopath.” The article explains that a real serial killer is unlikely to resemble the diabolical Hannibal Lecter in the slightest.

The blog post also links to a number of other interesting articles on the subject, from, among others, Zola Books and Science News.

I’ve had some readers disappointed that we never really get into the depths of Harper’s head in The Shining Girls, that there’s a lack of depth of deep dark motivation, unlike, say someone diabolical like Hannibal Lecter.

But there’s a reason I wrote him like that. Because that’s what real serial killers look like – shallow, violent opportunists with impotence issues. I did a lot of research on this and if you read prison interviews with real serial killers like John Wayne Gacy, say, the truth is that they’re not fascinating monsters with deep dark histories – they’re pathetic men, violent losers really, (although often charismatic), who have don’t have insight into why they did what they did.

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