The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey | book review “THE QUARRY GIRLS” is the latest book by Jess Lourey, who has previously achieved success with her award-winning novels “LITANI” and “BLOODLINE.” This new book is a serial killer story that has been inspired by real events that took place in Minnesota. It is likely that Lourey has drawn on her own experiences and knowledge of the state to create a realistic and immersive setting for the novel. The success of her previous works suggests that Lourey is a skilled and accomplished author, and readers may be excited to see what she has in store with this new book. If you are a fan of Lourey’s previous work or are interested in serial killer stories inspired by true events, you may want to consider giving “THE QUARRY GIRLS” a try.
This book is set in the 1970s in a small town where girls are going missing and their disappearances are being swept under the rug. Our main character, Heather, is trying to take care of her sick mother and be a good big sister. While Heather father, a district attorney, is busy with work. When Heather witnesses something terrible and begins hanging out with the wrong crowd, things take a turn. The secrets the town has been keeping are no longer able to be hidden, especially as more girls go missing. The author does a great job of developing the characters and plot, and the story includes heartbreak, growth, and justice. I was convinced that I knew who was responsible for the crimes, but was surprised to learn that I was wrong and that another crime was being committed.
According to Lourey’s introduction, everything was dangerous in the summer of 1977 in Pantown, Minnesota. Three girls died, and it all began in the tunnels and later at the quarry, a popular swimming spot. Elizabeth McCain is the first to disappear, taken while she was supposed to be at the quarry with her friends and waking up as the captive of a psychopathic killer. The novel includes chapters narrated from Beth’s perspective, showing the psychological impact of her deadly situation on her young mind.
The novel also closely follows the three friends and band mates, with a significant focus on Heather, who is the most level-headed and aware member of the group. Besides dealing with typical challenges like preserving her virginity and avoiding drug use, Heather has a strong sense of unease about the town sheriff, Jerome Nillson, and does not trust him as he leads the search for the missing girls.
When Maureen fails to come home one night, Brenda and Heather are uncertain how to react. They know that they share a dark secret that may provide insight into the evil terrorizing the young women of Pantown. Brenda is grounded by her parents until Maureen is found, as the community is anxious about the situation. She is especially concerned because Maureen left a note saying “If I disappear, I’ve been murdered. Don’t let them get away with it.” Brenda and Heather also want to prevent anyone from claiming that Maureen’s disappearance and eventual death was a suicide.
The situation becomes even more frightening when suspicion falls on some of the teenage boys with whom the girls associate. It would be terrifying if Brenda and Heather were hanging out with a potential serial killer. Lourey expertly evokes this dark reality as the narrative transports us to a more carefree time and allows us to experience the fear and evil that these young ladies never expected to encounter in their sheltered Midwest town.
“THE QUARRY GIRLS” is a novel that is based on a real crime, but the story is told in a fictionalized way. This book is sure to be a suspenseful and unsettling read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and may cause them to have some sleepless nights. The subject matter is likely to be disturbing and may evoke strong emotions in readers. If you enjoy true crime stories and are not easily disturbed, you may find “THE QUARRY GIRLS” to be a captivating and thrilling read. However, if you are sensitive to disturbing content or are easily scared, you may want to avoid this book.