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The Quarry Girls: A Thriller Kindle Edition
Killers hiding in plain sight. Small-town secrets. A girl who knows too much. From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things and Bloodline comes a nerve-twisting novel inspired by a shocking true crime.
Minnesota, 1977. For the teens of one close-knit community, summer means late-night swimming parties at the quarry, the county fair, and venturing into the tunnels beneath the city. But for two best friends, it’s not all fun and games.
Heather and Brenda have a secret. Something they saw in the dark. Something they can’t forget. They’ve decided to never tell a soul. But their vow is tested when their friend disappears—the second girl to vanish in a week. And yet the authorities are reluctant to investigate.
Heather is terrified that the missing girls are connected to what she and Brenda stumbled upon that night. Desperately searching for answers on her own, she learns that no one in her community is who they seem to be. Not the police, not the boys she met at the quarry, not even her parents. But she can’t stop digging because she knows those girls are in danger.
She also knows she’s next.
“[The Quarry Girls is] one of the most anticipated thrillers of the fall season…[The] novel is about innocence lost, the unwritten rules of silence in small towns, what ‘broken men’ do to others, and what boys growing into men do in packs that they would never do alone. And then there’s the courage of one woman who will not allow herself to be killed.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press
“Like Unspeakable Things and Bloodline, Jess Lourey’s The Quarry Girls is ultimately a morality tale—almost a dark fairy tale except that the plots are rooted in reality and the danger is all too real. The sad fact is that there is no shortage of past crimes to prompt Jess Lourey’s creative mind, but readers can rest easy knowing that this author will approach every idea with deep reverence for the victims and a goal of providing a healing and heartfelt journey—for both the characters and their readers—within the pages of some truly exceptional crime fiction.” —BOLO Books
“Jess Lourey’s new novel The Quarry Girls is a love letter to Gen-Xers and Murderinos everywhere.” —The Big Thrill
“Few authors can blend the genuine fear generated by a sordid tale of true crime with evocative, three-dimensional characters and mesmerizing prose like Jess Lourey. Her fictional stories feel rooted in a world we all know but also fear. The Quarry Girls is a story of secrets gone to seed, and Lourey gives readers her best novel yet—which is quite the accomplishment. Calling it: The Quarry Girls will be one of the best books of the year.” —Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Secret Identity, Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall, and Miami Midnight
“Jess Lourey once more taps deep into her Midwest roots and childhood fears with The Quarry Girls, an absorbing, true crime–informed thriller narrated in the compelling voice of young drummer Heather Cash as she and her bandmates navigate the treacherous and confusing ground between girlhood and womanhood one simmering and deadly summer. Lourey conveys the edgy, hungry restlessness of teen girls with a touch of Megan Abbott, while steadily intensifying the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small 1977 Minnesota town where darkness snakes below the surface.” —Loreth Anne White, Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Patient’s Secret
“Jess Lourey is a master of the coming-of-age thriller, and The Quarry Girls may be her best yet—as dark, twisty, and full of secrets as the tunnels that lurk beneath Pantown’s deceptively idyllic streets.” —Chris Holm, Anthony Award–winning author of The Killing Kind
From the Publisher
When I was seventeen, two of my friends snuck out of a hotel room while we were on a school trip and met up with some college guys. I stayed behind, too afraid to break the rules, and—if I’m honest—even more afraid of boys. My friends came back, and no one thought anything of it.
But what if they hadn’t come back? Would I feel responsible? What secrets would you keep to protect your friends? To protect yourself?
In The Quarry Girls, Jess Lourey’s newest novel based on true Minnesota crimes, teenage Heather and her friend Brenda are like so many of us trying to act adult while still wishing for those simple games of childhood. They were playing an epic game in the town’s underground tunnels when they saw something they couldn’t explain.
It was right after that their best friend Maureen disappeared. And Maureen wasn’t the only teen to go missing.
Who do you tell when you think the people closest to you might be responsible for your friend’s disappearance? The Quarry Girls is a heartbreaking rumination on loss of innocence. But it’s also a fierce, nail-biting story of suspense that uncovers the dangers of secrecy…especially from those closest to you.
—Jessica Tribble Wells, Editor
- ASIN : B09G6DMDVR
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (November 1, 2022)
- Publication date : November 1, 2022
- Language : English
- File size : 3803 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 332 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #9 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2022
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In her author notes (pg. 310), Jess Lourey thanks five authors whose words inspire her writing. Jess writes, " [they] can put together a sentence so unexpected and delicious that I go back to taste it again and again." Jess Lourey's writing inspired the same feelings in me. I usually read to escape but with Jess Lourey's Quarry Girls I found myself savoring her words. It was an experience similar to lingering over a magnificent five course meal, allowing the different flavors of the food, the wine and the companionship, to roll over your tongue and incite your mind. A book that excites and involves all 5 of my senses is a new experience for me.
As much as I was exhilarated by the suspense of the story, I was facinated by Ms. Lourey's word craft. Quarry Girls is the most highlighted work of fiction I have on my shelves. Jess Lourey through mere words invoked a feeling of childhood nostalgia, taking me back to a time in the 70s I remember to be idellyic and simpler than today. And while I reveled in memories of swimming in the canals around my small Central California town, Jess Lourey's creative words reminded me that I never knew what secrets, plots and political manipulations were occurring at my parents cocktail parties. I thought she might have read my diary but again the opening pages of the book clued me into the fact that miles from California, Jess Lourey shared a similar childhood. The way I instantly related to her characters added to the thrill and chills felt as the story unfolds! Of the 70s for example, Jess character Heather says, " That summer, the summer of 77,everything had edges. The sharpness took my fiends, but it cut away the blinders, too. And once you understand the truth, there's no living any other way." Talk about "killing me softly with words"! Jess Lourey took my memories, my adventures, my bad choices and wove them into poetic work of art. If only I had the talent to paint a picture with words the way, Jess does in this novel.
I was mesmerized by this book. I read page after page of this novel, ignoring my messy house and myhis dogs whines for attention, and finished this book in a day. I was so enthralled, determine to figure out whodunit and how things would turn out, I didn't realize that night had fallen! And then I was so upset that I had finished already, I almost started over again; this time determined to take my time and savor every word. Instead I purchased the audio version so I could sit back close my eyes and have the words wash over me as I rock in my favorite chair in front of the fireplace this winter.
Thanks so much to the Kindle Challenge for forcing me to choose a book out of my usual readings which led me to Jess Lourey. She will now occupy a place on my "fave author's shelf.
This story is set in the summer of 1977.
There are three good friends Maureen, Heather, and Brenda. Heather's younger sister Junie plays a big part in this story also. And another older teen, Beth. These girls are the best of friends and are in an all girl band. The three that is. One night their worlds are turned upside down. Nothing will ever be the same again. Heather and Brenda see something that makes them see life in a whole new way. The men in the town are not what they seem. Not the ones that they can count on to keep them safe.
This story is told by Heather. She has a lot going on in her life. Her mother is suffering from a mental problem and it's hard for Heather and her little sister Junie. Though Heather does step up and takes care of her sister. She cooks and makes sure Junie is ok. She also takes care of the house and her dad. She thinks her dad is the best. Heather wants more than anything for their mother to be ok and to approve of things she does to help. There is a story there that you will read about. What happened to Heather's ear. There is even a bit of a hoarder in this town. But I liked her. I felt bad for her too. She made a mistake and is paying for it. Also every so many chapters you hear about Beth and what is going on with her. I really admired Beth at the end.
The tunnels under the town are very interesting to read about. How these kids could run around under the town. But it's also very scary. Anything could have happened. Anyone could have come to your house and possibly done horrible things to the ones living there. That part was a big disconcerting for me. Made me wonder why all the basement doors leading out to the tunnels were not boarded up. Locked up tight. Even in a small town where people feel safe you have to be smart.
I enjoyed this book even though it made my skin crawl in places. Made me cry in places and made me think about stopping it in places. I almost didn't keep reading because of the subject matter. Not the serial killer parts. The sexual abuse parts. They were bad. But not so explicit that you can't continue. Unless maybe if you experienced this type of abuse. Then you might find it hard to read. But keep going. It's a story that is worth reading.
Be sure and read the parts at the beginning. Before the actual story starts. The part about serial killers that existed back then. In the early to mid and late seventies. The young girls who were murdered and no one ever brought to justice for it in many cases.
Top reviews from other countries
Admittedly the story is related by a young teenager but I was reading it thinking,despite it's often difficult and disturbing scenes that I was reading something written for people of the same age group as most of the characters. No problem there if the publishers had marketed it as Young Adult fiction as it addresses a number of important issues and situations that young girls unfortunately have to deal with very well.
The story is based on real events from Jess Loury's home town as she says in her introduction. A group of teenagers are negotiating the tricky transformation between child and adult with misfit Heather feeling left out as her ,relatively,more mature best friends Maureen and Brenda tackle the minefield of being girls in a woman's body and dipping a toe into the adult drugs,alcohol and male attention.
With reports of a girl having being abducted Heather and Benda stumble across something awful ,closely followed by another one disappearing. Thinking there's a link Heather investigates and discovers a different side to the town and people she's known all of her life.
I'd strongly suggest that the publishers market this as a YA book. There are many difficult issues addressed in the story addressed in a way that is not explicit , exploitative or patronising. It shows the pressures on young people,girls in particular ,not least from predatory adults.
While I appreciate that the narrator is a teenager I wasn't massively convinced by much of it as an adult reader,and I've read plenty of very good books written with "a young voice"
I'd actually consider this a great book for the 16+ age group, plenty of "bad stuff" happens but young people of that age group will be aware of most of the subject matter from tv and movies and it's written in a way that won't give them nightmares. As a YA book I'd actually give it 5 stars.
As an adult reader that would be 3 stars,it very nearly lost me right at the beginning with the description of the town and its origins.
Split down the middle that's 4 stars
It’s quite a fast paced read though I did find it a little strange being written from a 16 year olds point of view with murder, kidnap, rape and sex/drugs featuring so strongly. Although all of that is not described in very intimate detail it’s a book that seemed more for a young adult audience due to the cast of characters and viewpoints but with quite an intense subject matter. Although both this and her other book were set in similar time settings (1960s and 70s) I did prefer Bloodline as it was written from a more adult point of view.
It encompasses all that is bad in human nature and the worst of what men can do to the people who rely on them to provide safety and moral guidance.
Infidelity, kidnap, rape and murder merely scratch the surface of this incredibly tense story. The real fear comes from knowing that futures are shaped by monsters disguised as trusted adults.
But who can they trust with their hopes, their fears, their futures and their lives.
An enjoyable, if at times uncomfortable, read.