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.
... stunning ... an exceptional piece of suspense fiction. This book is sure to provoke strong reactions on both sides of the fence, in large part owing to the challenging themes explored within its pages, but it was a home-run for me. Vivid, atmospheric, and genuinely unsettling, Unspeakable Things is a coming-of-age story as you’ve never read it before ... not your typical crime novel, and it’s not likely to resemble any domestic suspense you’ve read lately, either—Lourey has crafted something entirely her own here ... one of the most disturbing books I’ve read this recently; its emotional and psychological impact were, for me, all the more heavily felt for the author’s skilled and restrained portrayal of horror and crime on the page ... a book that is so genuinely dread-inducing, I found myself gripping the pages, anxious about what might happen next yet unable to turn away ... an exceptional work of suspense and ever-building dread, a story that will enrage and terrify in equal measure.
... a perfect read, though an uncomfortable one due to the subject matter. Lourey takes a real-world incident that took place in her Minnesota hometown in the 1980s and spins it into a tale that will shock and haunt readers long after the final page is turned ... Thankfully, there are just enough loose threads (as well as a hint in the Epilogue) that indicate Lourey may not be done with either Lilydale or the McDowell family. If she does see fit to revisit either, that journey will be mesmerizing and unsettling. Hopefully, she will bring her talent for creating similes and metaphors, which by themselves would have made this tale worth reading.
The atmospheric suspense novel is haunting because it’s narrated from the point of view of a 13 year old, an age that should be more innocent but often isn’t. Even more chilling, it’s based on real-life incidents. Lourey may be known for comic capers, but this tense novel combines the best of a coming-of-age story with suspense, and an unforgettable young narrator.