Cover Image: The Quarry Girls

The Quarry Girls

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Member Reviews

The plot twists, the betrayal, the ending, the plot taking place in the 70s...need I say more! The Quarry Girls is definitely a fun bookthat will bring out all the feelings, especially if you grew up in the 70s. I did not grow up in the 70s, but this book brought the 70s to life for me.

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Love Jess Lourey. As a resident of MN I really love that this is a theme in the setting of her books. The atmosphere Jess creates is what really makes this book shine. I felt like I was IN the story with the characters in places. This book also features good twists and turns and well developed characters. I have seen a lot of hype in the lead up to this book and it lives up to all the hype and then some!

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The Quarry Girls takes place in a small town in Minnesota in the 70’s. At a time when there were no computers, no cellphones, and no 24 hour news cycle. Pantown is a seemingly idyllic and safe place, where teens have free reign of the town in the summertime. Heather, Brenda, and Maureen spent their nights partying and swimming at the quarry, hanging out in the tunnels beneath the town, and playing music at the county fair. It all seemed like quintessential Pantown summer fun until a girl went missing, and then an ominous air settled over the town and its residents. The girls don’t know who they can go to keep them safe.

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In a small Minnesota town in the late 1970s, killers are hiding in plain sight. The girls of this town are prey, and they are on their own. In this town, the men are looking out for themselves.

Loosely based on a true crime, this dark and gritty story sucked me immediately. The story is well-paced and keeps you guessing. I wondered who the bad guy was or if they were somehow all bad guys. I'm constantly amazed by Jess Lourey's ability to combine coming-of-age nostalgia with a suspenseful thriller where you don't know who is trustworthy.

If you are looking for a page-turning mystery filled with secrets and betrayal, grab The Quarry Girls.

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The story is a suspenseful and heart pounding journey, revealing the darkness that lies beneath the surface of seemingly normal individuals. The build up is superb, sometimes agonizing watching a young teen put things together.

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Jess Lourey did an amazing job capturing the atmosphere of the 1970's! The cultural references to the simpler times are no less obscured by the dark tone of the book. The TV dinners, the clothing, the mood rings! The only thing that didn't ring true for me was the concept of party (phone) lines, which I believe went out of style long before the 70s. One of the "Pantown rules for girls" is that you follow the party line and no one talks about what goes on in Pantown, no matter what. And that includes on the telephone! So when Heather sees something she shouldn't have, she doesn't even reveal it to her father, the District Attorney.

The story is based on a true story of kidnapping that occurred in Minnesota, and the book opens with descriptions of several serial killer cases, and starts out with the kidnapping of Beth, a local waitress. If only Heather and her friends had known about those cases! There are a couple of bad boys, and a circus employee who are among the top suspects - "... they do terrible things in packs, boys-who-are-men, things they'd never have the hate to do alone." The story is further complicated by the tight-knit group of men in authority, who close ranks when Heather starts to investigate after being traumatized by what she sees after traveling through the series of inter-connected basements (trust me, I would have triple padlocked and nailed the door shut if this were my basement!). She's always been close with bandmates Brenda and Maureen, but she soon finds out they were engaged in activities behind her back.

The story is at times so sad that it tugs at your heartstrings. Almost every character is flawed, but full of hope for the future. Until that future is snatched away and what remains are scars. It borders on horror. And even though it was written for adults, it had the ring of a Young Adult novel. And it's a story that will stay with you.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance reader's copy.

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I enjoyed this book as it took me back to my own childhood. Heather is in that difficult age of growing into a teenager but wanting to hold onto the pleasures of being a carefree child. The atmoshphere and the friendship between her and her friends pulls you in and you want to know what happens. Heather doesnt give up on her quest but int he meantime she could destroy all she holds dear.

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It’s the summer of 1977 and fifteen year old Heather and her besties, Maureen and Brenda, are living the typical life in a not so typical town. After all what other town has an underground tunnel system connecting the houses? It’s something they have never really thought of before as they have grown up playing in the tunnels, but this summer is different! When a young waitress goes missing after work, there’s a bit of unease, but she’s quickly chalked up as a runaway. When it hits closer to home and Maureen goes missing after their very first gig as a band, Heather won’t let it go. Getting very little help from the very adults she’s trusted, she delves in quick and what she uncovers is going to change the very life of their small town. With a very dark plot and filled with abuse and murder, the adults are despicable characters and have broken all trust in this creepy coming of age story. Heather shines throughout, but the story was just heartbreaking. Thank you to Thomas and Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.

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This was a well written book that portrays exactly what it was like for kids growing up in the 70's
There was minimal supervision by adults and those that were in power abused there positions to get away with unspeakable things.
Brenda was a great character forced to grow up quickly and take charge of the household while trying to protect herself and younger sister.
I found this book disturbing and very atmospheric and it made me realise how far we have come as a society.

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I grew up in the 70's so a lot of the things in this book hit home for me, like having a bike that took you anywhere you wanted to go and being out and about until dark and being pretty much safe. Well, except in this neighborhood in Minnesota. The book is supposed to be based on true events.

This neighborhood looks idyllic on the surface. But there's something rotten about it, and what's shocking is the people Heather and Brenda are supposed to be able to trust, might be part of it. It's telling that most of the adults are in some way unlikeable, even most of the male characters, and the girls are not.

Teenaged girls are disappearing. Two young girls see something and start investigating on their own, putting all of them in danger. Those they're supposed to trust don't seem trustworthy.

This book is creepy. It's sad. It's the kind of book you don't want to put down but if you're reading it at night, all the lights in the whole house are on. The book had strong characters, was easy to read, had good dialogue. The red herrings worked for me. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

An extra half star for mention of Suzi Quatro and Fanny. Those two names are a blast from the past. Rock on, ladies!

Thank you, NetGalley, for the chance to read and review this book. All opinions are mine, and freely expressed.

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The year is 1977 in the sweltering heat of August where a small town in Minnesota is a place of safety and contentment and everyone knows almost all the people who live there since no-one ever leaves the town even after growing up except maybe going to college. The story centers around four young girls aging between twelve and sixteen years of age whose lives will never be the same after this confusing summer of growing-up. A local girl has gone missing although the police say she probably just ran away but this doesn't damper the spirits of Heather, Brenda, Maureen and Juni because they are oblivious to the news and the happiest they've ever been since they created their own girl's band and are scheduled to perform for two nights at the local yearly summer fair. The girls couldn't be more excited until two of them see something unbelievably bad that they can't tell anyone about until one of their own group goes missing. As the girls try to process the news their good friend is now a second girl to just suddenly disappear, one of them decides to play detective and what she discovers on her way to the truth will tear apart so many lives in this town plus put her own life in danger since her search had also unveiled there isn't anyone left she can trust to help her because she now understands that her town which once appeared safe, clean and tidy on the outside was just a facade because the inside is filled wth so much deceit, corruption and evil.

This story was so good that it was very difficult to stop reading. This was not a young adult book for teens even though it revolved around young teenagers. I loved how the author captured the atmosphere of what it must have been like growing up in the 70's. References are made throughout the story about music from that era, hair styles, food, tv shows etc. The author "Jess Lourey" just made this story come to life with all the realistic nuances and details that she wove into every page where the reader could visualize everything and everyone until the book's conclusion. Sometimes, I was just mesmerized by the storytelling and would try to imagine what the experiences were like that these girls were having. There were sweet, happy, loving and fun moments but then there were some very dark, ugly, disturbing, unsettling and so, so sad moments that just took my breath away. The writer uses many cliches throughout the book, sometimes a little overdone but I really didn't mind since it made the story more relatable for the reader no matter what decade one grew up in. "Jess Lourey" captured a picture of small town atmosphere and the emotions of characters better than if you were watching a movie! I will definitely be reading more books by this writer in the future.

I highly recommend this book to all readers unless you only enjoy light reading!

Trigger Warning: There is quite a bit of dark and disturbing subject matter throughout the story. Physical Violence, Sexual Abuse, Rape, Kidnapping,

I want to thank the publisher "Thomas & Mercer" for the opportunity to read this terrific and well-done novel and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone!


I have given this book a rating of 4 1/2 ATMOSPHERIC AND REALISTIC 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌠 STARS!!

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Most my followers know that I love a genre mash that includes coming of age. This one was perfect. Jess Lourey is becoming one of my favorite authors. The main character is young, but forced to act as an adult. As she attempts to solve the mysteries going on in her town, she faces uncomfortable truths about her life and those around her. I enjoyed the small town vibe and the creepiness factor with the tunnels and quarries.

“That summer, the summer of ‘77, everything had edges. The sharpness took my friends, but it cut away the blinders too.”

The Quarry Girls comes out 11/1.

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I have been wanting to read a Jess Lourey book for quite some time now and thankfully was approved for The Quarry Girls. Evidently, there is no doubt as to why she’s ruling the charts with the kind of creepy menace she has managed to bring forth in her novel

Small towns and big secrets always have a special flavor, it feels like the smaller the town, the worse the dangers hiding in plain sight. Alternating the storyline between the POV of Heather and then thru a girl kidnapped and tortured, Beth, the story grows in darkness with the kind of claustrophobia the author excellently creates in the unraveling. The town with its underground tunnels and the quarry nearby has an atmosphere that imbues the story with such terror that one can literally feel goosebumps on the skin.

The storyline had me worriedly chewing my nails as Beth narrates her side of the story, but I am thankful that the author never made it extremely gruesome for me to stomach. As Heather explores the skeletons in the closet so deeply embedded in the hands of their town’s powerholders, she also must grow up and face the immense challenge of facing the truth of her own family.

Extremely well written and oozing menace, The Quarry Girls is sure to be another winner for Jess Lourey. I am going with 4 stars only coz the culprits became evident from early on and I thought this story really deserved a shocking or surprising twist at the end.

Many thanks to Net Galley, Thomas & Mercer and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

This review is published on my blog https://rainnbooks.com/, Goodreads, Amazon India, Book Bub, Medium.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Another page turner from Jess Lourey. There was a moment in the book where I literally gasped out loud and that’s when I knew this was going to be a good one and I could have stayed up all night to finish it. This book was similar to Unspeakable Things in that the narrator is a teenager and the book is full of secrets. This one is set in the 70s in a town in Minnesota where all the houses have tunnels underneath, connecting them to each other. Heather, the MC, witnesses something unspeakable in the tunnels, and then girls start disappearing. Is there a connection? Looking forward to reading more from this author.

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The first book I read by Jess Lourey was Bloodline. You can always expect one heck of a story as she writes based on actual events. This is another book that definitely was full of heartbreaking moments. What happens to the Quarry Girls is heartbreaking and if you enjoy a 1970s setting, the author does a great job of making you feel like you are transported to another place and time.
Bloodline is still my favorite and this one actually took me a bit to get invested in but once I was it was another small town story that had me shaking my head at the evil that lives amongst us.

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"We kept our secrets in Pantown."

This is a dark story, about growing up and realizing you're catching the gaze of men. It's set in the 70's, very different from now, and girls are going missing in a small town. Heather can't believe her best friend is missing. She's even more shocked when no one else is really bothered by it - they all think she just ran away.

Heather has decided there's more going on here, based on some things she's seen. It was tough, to keep hearing about the abuse. It was constantly flashed back to and was just as stomach turning the first time as it was the 10th. I really liked the girls and their friendship. I really liked the MC. I found the story of her mother a bit distracting, as she was always walking on egg-shells, but it was all explained in the end. I like that it all wrapped up, even if I felt the answers were a bit obvious. This one still entertained and held my attention.


A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

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I will not lie, as much as I love Jess Lourey, The Quarry Girls took me a LONG time to get into. I don't know if it was my mood or what, but after a very chilling and informative author's note, it took a good half of the book for me to really get invested in the story and characters. However, once I finally did feel immersed in the story, I ended up loving it and I especially loved the way Lourey ended things. I am a Minnesota native living in Colorado, and I had no idea of the serial killers that were terrorizing Saint Cloud prior to my being born. As with many others, I am fascinated by what makes these people tick, and it is terrifying to me that out of the 3 the author mentioned, one was never caught. We can only hope that person is gone and buried! I digress, but that really set the tone for this disturbing and bone-chilling book.

The Quarry Girls is told through the eyes of teenagers which gave it a young adult feel to me, and honestly, it read more like YA than adult to me in general. My heart broke for the women in this book and reading from Heather’s POV made her fear feel very very real. I would like to think the audiobook helped with that, and even though the narrator (Jess Nahikian) wasn’t my favorite ever, I still appreciated what she did for the story. I will note that there are definitely triggers galore, so I would recommend checking out the TWs prior to picking this up. Although it was a dark and emotional story, the ending did give some hope for the future. Not everything worked out the way I would have liked to see, but it felt very true to life and the plot which is something. If you like dark storylines and serial killers, I would definitely add The Quarry Girls to your list. Bonus, it is a KU title both for the eBook and the audio!

Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Jess Lourey and Thomas&Mercer for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not sure why I can’t quite connect with this novel, but I was drawn in about halfway. I was in and out with interest and I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t connect.

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I think I know what this book was aiming for. I think I know what story it wanted to tell and what it wanted to say. The issue is that this book felt completely aimless. It took too long to get into the actual plot, it took too long to build the world, it took too long to get to know any of the characters, and it took until nearly halfway through the book to even get a good feel for what we were really looking at in a big-picture way.

This book is based on true events, but even when a book is based on true events that doesn’t mean the story writes itself. There still has to be craft there. I thought maybe this book could be incredible. The prologue was really interesting. It was enough to hook me and get me through the first 25% of the book hoping to recapture the feel of the prologue. At 50% I realized it never was going to be less of a slog and it was never going to recapture any suspense or thrill for me. It’s such a shame to waste that potential.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for granting me access to this title. As per personal policy this review will not appear on any social media or bookseller website due to the 3 star or lower rating.

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I’ve been excited to get to this one and now I’m bummed it’s over! From the first page I was captivated by the story of the young girls in Pantown, MN, fighting an unknown murderer. The underground tunnels lead to some very bad stuff indeed but it wasn’t as graphic as I thought it might be so I was happy about that. The story of Heather, Brenda, Maureen, Beth, and Junie had me on the edge of my seat but also nodding my head in agreement about how girls/women can be treated or viewed, especially back in the 70’s. Not sure a ton has changed since then but it’s a work in progress. High praise for this compulsively readable book!

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