Thursday, December 26, 2019

ARC Review: Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

Unspeakable Things
Author: Jess Lourey
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (January 1, 2020)

Description: Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author’s hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet—or as safe—as it seems.

Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents’ strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she’s grown accustomed to them.

All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.

One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed—violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who’s responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie’s own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.

My Thoughts: With a prologue that indicates that the main character survives and maybe even flourishes, we are taken back to Cassie McDowell's past when she is nearing the end of her seventh grade year and when terror stalks her small Minnesota town. Someone is taking boys and returning them changed.

Cassie is worried by the disappearances and the the curfew but her biggest problems are in her own home. She is terrified of her father whose unexplained rages and excessive drinking makes living with him like living with a bomb that could explode at any time. She is so terrified of him that she no longer sleeps in her own bed but either underneath it or curled up in her closet. She is also concerned about her older sister who seems to have changed greatly in the past year.

Cassie is also concerned about her parents who host swinging parties on their rural farm where the sexual hijinks embarrass her and have caused her to lose friends. She is also crushing on the nicest boy in her class and planning a future with him that he doesn't know anything about. He becomes the next victim of this strange stalker. Only he doesn't return. Cassie is left with her fears that her father could be involved or that one of his creepy friends could be.

The author mentions that she was inspired by the Jacob Wetterling abduction that was big news in her part of Minnesota when she was a child. Jacob's case took twenty-seven years to be solved and shaped a generation of kids who were his age.

I enjoyed this story but I felt that all of Cassie's concerns rather overwhelmed the thriller aspect of the story.

Favorite Quote:
"You know what Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman had in common?"

"Not smart enough to play the saxophone?"

He chuckled. "You're not going to make first chair with that attitude."

"Or these fingers." I waggled them at him. "Yet the world continues to turn."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!