In The Shining Girls, Lauren Beukes’ extraordinary novel, there are four sentences, pearls of wisdom, that could be used to describe the discombobulating improbability that is sport: “There are patterns because we try to find them. A desperate attempt at order because we can’t face the terror that it might all be random. He is undone by the revelation. He has the sense of losing his footing, as if the whole damn world is stuttering.”

This is the moment when Harper, the limping, time-travelling serial killer who is hunting down said shining girls, realises he may not be in total control, that his spree of death has spiralled, he has become complacent and, thus, vulnerable and one step towards the abyss. ..

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