Cover Image: The Quarry Girls

The Quarry Girls

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Member Reviews

The Quarry Girls
Genre: Thriller
Format: Kindle eBook
Date Published: 11/1/22
Author: Jess Lourey
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Pages: 335
Goodreads Rating: 4.43

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer for providing a digital copy of the book for me to read in exchange for my honest opinion.

Synopsis: 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.

My Thoughts: The narrator is Heather, 15 years old, taking place during the summertime of 1977 in small town in Minnesota. The 1970’s was a male dominated era with women having very limited rights and even less voice. The actual events in the timeframe maybe a bit off, but this is a work of fiction. The author does a great job at building the characters with creativity, depth, and a voice. The author’s writing describes a scene that you very much felt a part of with a plot that was fantastic. Along the way, you see hearts break, growing pains, and justice served. Overall, this was a good book that I enjoyed and I would read other novels by this author.

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𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒔𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒇 '𝟕𝟕, 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒆𝒔. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒘 𝒎𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒈𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒆 𝒊𝒕, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒇𝒊𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒏'𝒔 𝒂 𝒈𝒊𝒓𝒍 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒊𝒙𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒂 𝒘𝒐𝒎𝒂𝒏...𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒊𝒓-𝒅𝒓𝒐𝒑 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒊𝒏...𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖'𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒍𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖'𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒚, 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚'𝒓𝒆 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒈𝒊𝒇𝒕...𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚, 𝒊𝒕'𝒔 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒚𝒂𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒅. 𝑮𝒊𝒓𝒍𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒓𝒐𝒌𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒚 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒚.

I can't praise this book enough. The nostalgia was so strong for a childhood lived in the 1970's-80s. Danger was still everywhere, predators at every corner, but we were blissfully unaware as we rode our bikes to forbidden places and stayed out past dark, confident in the belief that our youth, like some sort of protective barrier, would save us.

In Minnesota an entire neighborhood was constructed with tunnels beneath it, making a fun past-time for the teens who lived there. Traveling to one another's home underground was thrilling, and realizing one key opened every basement door made it even more fun. But in this small town, teenage girls are going missing. Friends Heather and Brenda are keeping a terrible secret about something they saw--or thought they saw--one night when they opened a basement door. I so wish I could tell you what they saw because it was both shocking and heartbreaking. I alternated between wanting to savor this story and not wanting to put it down until I got to the truth. And while I figured out the truth before the reveal, it still hurt.

THE QUARRY GIRLS is a dynamic read about both the brilliance of youth and the utter sadness when innocence dies. I can't recommend this book enough. Releases November 1, 2022. Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for my e-ARC.

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Whoa! What a ride. It was very fast-paced. The writing style kept me hooked and I didn't find myself losing any interest. I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters and how real the story felt. The author did a great job painting the setting, so it was easy for me to visualize the scene played out before me. I recommend giving this one a chance!

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I am a HUGE Jess Lourey fan and will read anything she writes. The Quarry Girls is no exception. Tight, tense, and amazing. This one will suck you in!

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Kids who grew up in the 1970's, 80's, and 90's were born into an era where missing children got top billing. There were eerie pictures on milk cartons and info sheets hanging in the grocery store stamped with "last seen." For some, there was a child from our own community missing. Our parents were obsessed and we were terrified. Where was the child? Who could do something like that? Where will they strike next? We constantly had our eyes pealed for disheveled strangers and white panel vans. As terrified as we were, we were just as likely to keep quiet if someone said something to us or made an inappropriate gesture. It was just too terrifying to put into words. But Jess Lourey did.

I have to admit, I had trouble sleeping the night I started reading this book. It hit a chord with me, took me back to traumatic moments in my childhood where I discovered that people could do horrible things to other people and that no one could be assured of safety. Though Heather was much more deeply connected to and impacted by what was happening than I ever was, I could relate to her experiences, her fears for her own safety and that of her younger sister, and her doubts about the very fabric of the community where her family had chosen to nest for generations.

As an avid fan of cozy mysteries featuring amateur sleuths, I really appreciated Heather's drive to find out what was happening. She didn't seem distraught over the death of her friend, nor did she seem fearful of being the next one to disappear, but she focused completely on trying to figure out what had happened and why. For that reason I would recommend this book to fellow cozy mystery fans (though I would in no way consider this book to be a cozy mystery) or to anyone who grew up in this era and enjoys suspense.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

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One of the most amazing books I’ve read in a very long time! What a rollercoaster of fear and emotion. A coming of age turned into something so dark and sinister. Such a dark gritty thriller, you won’t know what hit you. Full of twists and turns and suspense in a setting that is so unique. The atmosphere is phenomenal and adds huge depth to this story. The town is so well written it feels like you are there, the characters so developed you feel like you know them.
This was an all night rollercoaster of a read.

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This book started out with a bang and I was super invested, but as the story went on I found it cry predictable and guessed what was going to happen. It was a good read, I was just hoping for something more and different,

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Heather lives in a small town in Minnesota, where most of the houses are connected by a series of underground tunnels. There are also multiple secrets and numerous corrupt officials and town leaders.

Heather's childhood has been traumatic. Her mother is in an institution and she herself was badly injured.

But she has 2 good friends, who are admittedly a bit more wild, a younger sister and there's a neighborhood boy whose company she enjoys.

Then one of her friends goes missing and the police don't seem concerned. They think she ran away. So Heather decides to investigate and winds up unearthing many secrets.

I liked Heather and her sister and I was charmed by her new romance. I also found the history of the town and the secrets of the tunnel and the pervasive corruption entirely engrossing. I still can't believe how rampant the crime and coverups were.

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The Quarry Girls, is loosely based off of an unsolved murder in the author's hometown. This story is about a young teen, Heather, coming of age, and wanting to learn the rules of her hometown, Pantown. Teenage girls around her start to go missing. Heather is trying to find out what happened to her friends, while protecting her younger sister from reality and the bad things happening around them. There are many plot twists to keep you turning pages.

I am not going to lie. I had to read the first chunk of this book a few times because I found myself confused with so many characters, and the different POV. However, as I got more into the book, I really enjoyed it. I loved the nostalgia of this book.

Thank you to Net Galley, Thomas & Mercer, and Jess Lourey for allowing me access to this ARC!

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This book was amazing! I enjoyed every single chapter, and it kept me hooked the entire time, which I loved!

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Such a thrill! Loved the characters the plot and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time! For sure will read more by this author!

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The Quarry Girls is a mystery/thriller set in 1977 where the teenage girls are right at the precipice of becoming women. Hard lessons are learned as the boys are becoming men and the men are a part of bad things in the town. Heather uncovers a darkness in her hometown as girls go missing, her best friends amongst them. The story twists in a way that you stay wish washy on the whodunnit and no one is above suspicion. Dark and chilling, the story draws you in and leaves you in shock and awe for page turning good read. My voluntary unbiased review is based upon a review copy from NetGalley.

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This book was suspenseful, but I felt like some of it had been done before. Particularly, I noticed some similar plotlines as Local Woman Missing. In all, it kept me wondering what was going to happen, whodunit, etc. The characters were likeable and I enjoyed learning that Jess felt the need to add in the character of Beth after watching Mare of Easttown. I think the book was certainly made better by this addition. I had a little trouble following what happened to Heather and her families dynamic and I wish the author had elaborated on that a bit more in the earlier chapters. I could see this being adapted into a movie.

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When I first started this book, I got the Stephen King vibe and started thinking about his book IT. Yet, as the story went on, it was nothing like his work, like a totally different genre and everything.
Interestingly, this book is set in the '70s, which was pretty neat. Girls are going missing; things are happening in a small town, and it just seems to always be swept under the rug. Kind of like that saying, "what stays in your household stays; you don't want anyone to know what is going on behind closed doors." Our main character Heather is doing her mom's job because her mom is sick. She is trying to be a big sister and be a kid while making sure the household is okay because her father, a DA, is busy with work all the time. When she sees something so horrible and starts hanging out with the wrong crowd, that is when things take a turn. It seems the secrets that this town believes it could hold are not going to keep quiet anymore, especially as girls go missing. The author did a great job building the characters and the plot because it all went together so well. I loved how it wasn't all just a happy ending. There was some heartbreak, some growth, and justice. I honestly had it in my head that it was this one person, I am sure of it, then bam! Surprise, it was not even connected. Just another crime is going on.
I enjoyed the turn of events, and I even thought it was neat that the houses had a tunnel that connected them. That was pretty cool.
This was my first book by this author, and I believe I will be checking out more of her work! I loved the setting, and I do not think I've read a book set in Minnesota, so that was really cool.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book.

I thought this was a good read. Smooth, a good narrator, and enough action to keep the reader involved to the very end.

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I had always wished that an author would come along and write books based on real life true crimes... And then Jess Lourey came in and DELIVERED on my wish! I've been loving her novels for a few years now and think she does a fantastic job when it comes to turning real life crimes into fictional novels. They are highly addicting and of course must reads!

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The Quarry Girls was a beautifully written coming of age mixed with murder mystery. Set in small town 70s, you really get the atmosphere for the vibe of the book. I truly enjoyed this read even though I still have a few unanswered questions!

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In the 1960s and 1970s, way before the Internet shrank our world, small towns could be scary places. Local governments, law enforcement, the family down the street, the church, all existed in their own tiny worlds. People looked the other way. Families were no one else's business... I remember those days, and in The Quarry Girls, Jess Lourey took me back there and made it so much worse.

A small town, built to support a failed factory, where tunnels run under the ground between homes, and the kids party at the end of winding roads at quarries with pools of water so deep you might never reach the bottom. Lives lived on different levels, the surface, the agreed upon reality, the truth, almost never open or public, and even then rarely to be trusted.

Heather is just reaching the end of her high school years. She has friends. She has a band, her drums, a handsome father, and a fragile family dynamic she is forced to maintain, despite her age. She has survived trauma, and has all the issues of a young girl getting ready to face the world.

After a man named Ed rolls into town and starts corrupting her friends, and young women begin to go missing, Heather has to fight for her sanity while unraveling a continually more tangled knot of terror and lies.

This is a frightening story with a lot to say. Highly recommended.

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This is a mystery about a small town where people are born and never leave. Best friends since childhood, they sometimes walk through underground tunnels that connect their houses. One night two friends see something horrific but are vow not tell anyone. As things start to happen, they report it to the police. The police are not doing enough so Heather decides she needs to take actions on her own.
With her family dysfunctional and friends changing, she isn't quite sure if even the police are on her side. The book was thrilling and disturbing because it involved young adults and what they endured. I had to keep reminding myself it was only a story.

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Jess Lourey has delivered another terrific atmospheric thriller about growing up during a time of silent serial killers. The author sets the story in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where she lived herself. The time period is during the 70s and if you read the prologue you’ll be aware that at least 3 serial killers were operating in St. Cloud in real life at the time. That fact seems surprising — it’s not a realization you incorporate normally into day-to-day life. The prologue made me think back and I realized that when I grew up in Chicago, at least two spectacularly well-known serial killers, Richard Speck and John Wayne Gary, were doing evil things, and who knows how many lesser known murderers with multiple kills were active as well.

The narrator is Heather, who lives in the unusual Pantown neighborhood — built years ago for a failed car company who provided workers with housing that included interconnected tunnels to avoid difficult commuting during the Minnesota winters. The tunnels still exist; some homes have blocked the old doors; some still use them and the neighborhood kids, of course, are exploring them. Heather is in that periphery of adolescence — not quite a woman, still mostly bike-riding girl, who grew up with a group of boys and girls also experiencing growing pains. Ms. Lourey does have a repeated ominous message about the boys: Men [and boys] in packs do terrible things, things they wouldn’t have the hate to do alone.

Heather is in a garage band with Maureen and Brenda, girls growing up faster than her, interested in boys and “quarry parties.” We know that Heather feels isolated by “a deformity” that happened during an accident that involved her now mostly bed-ridden mother. A teenage waitress who attends Heather’s church qhas also gone missing in the town and Heather’s dad is the district attorney. Beth McClain’s disappearance isn’t at the forefront of Heather’s thoughts until one of her friends also goes missing. The suspense builds as the group of lifelong friends choose different roles and are witnessing things dismissed by the authorities. It’s a great buildup with surprising twists — definitely a 4 star thriller.

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!

Literary Pet Peeve Checklist:
Green Eyes (only 2% of the real world, yet it seems like 90% of all fictional females): YES Both Heather’s sister Junie and neighborhood boy Claude have green eyes.
Horticultural Faux Pas (plants out of season or growing zones, like daffodils in autumn or bougainvillea in Alaska): NO Not much discussion about plants beyond the cabin in the Minnesota woods.

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