Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

Unspeakable Things

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 t...

Details Unspeakable Things

TitleUnspeakable Things
Release DateJan 1st, 2020
PublisherBrilliance Audio
GenreMystery, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Suspense

Reviews Unspeakable Things

  • Senlin
    Must read!I read this in one evening with no breaks...absolutely hypnotic story, charming heroine and a perfect ending. I loved every word and recommend it to everyone.
  • Jodie Norquist
    I couldn’t stop reading this book...and read it in a day! Jess Lourey does a great job with murder mysteries. I definitely recommend this one.
  • The Book Review Café
    Review to follow
  • Nicole Bohr
    Although the readers are warned that this book is dark and one where children get hurt, it’s also based the author's, Jess, childhood and family secret. Although Jess wrote this as a fiction novel, I sense I’ll dive into an emotional roller coaster. Getting a chance to have a glimpse of one of my favorite authors’ personal life will be awe-stricken. Because it reminds us readers that in the end, authors are human too.With that said....'Unsp...
  • Jessica
    I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I've read every thing that Jess Lourey has written and this is the best yet! The suspense was high and the pages were filled with tension as I raced through this coming-of-age novel inspired by true events. My heart was thudding in my chest as I finished up the last pages. I can't wait to see what else comes from this incredible author, because I am HERE FOR IT.
  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    Summer of 1983, boys in Cassie’s small town are being molested by a stranger in a mask. The almost thirteen year old has a number of suspects, her gay music teacher, the scary man kids call Goblin, the creepy police chief, even her own father.UNSPEAKABLE THINGS drew me in with Cassie’s wise, yet innocent voice. Jess Lourey skillfully showed the difference between what the tween understood and what certain characters in her life were actually ...
  • Natasha
    3.5 stars. I devoured this book in two days. Young boys in Cassie's small town are being molested and she doesn't think the police are doing enough to solve this mystery. The innocent 13 year old has her own handful of suspects - the creepy police chief, her gay band teacher, the scary man called the Goblin, as well as her own father. This story is pretty dark and disturbing - molestation, incest, swinger parties, etc. and it's all told through C...
  • Annika Martin
    This book is emotional and intense and just so compelling - I was flipping those pages like mad with my heart in my throat. It's out of my normal genre to read, but OMG so grateful I got an early copy. Beautifully written. Definite winner.
  • Ann
    UNSPEAKABLE THINGS is a work of suspense and mystery with more than a modicum of horror. Jess Lourey has created a book that lures the reader on and on, the story of a young girl and her unorthodox family, living in the outskirts of small town Minnesota in the 1980s. Children -- always boys -- are being taken, are disappearing and then reappearing, changed, and 12 almost 13 year old Cassie wants to know why. The book is peopled with adults who ca...
  • Bryna Bischoff
    This story touches on subject matters otherwise not spoken about. The storyline is gentle and transitions smoothly yet bold and uncomfortable at times. Jess Lourey does a great job of drawing the reader in and keeping your attention. I'm a fan of her work.
  • Debbi Smith
    I really enjoyed this book. A mesmerizing read
  • Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
    3.5 STARS. Thank you so much to Amazon Publishing for the finished copy of Unspeakable Things! This book is SO different from the books I usually read, but I really enjoyed the change of pace This is the first suspense novel I’ve read in a long time that I felt was super emotionally impactful and I definitely need to start reading more books like this! What I really enjoyed about this book was that the character development was fantastic. I ab...
  • Courtney
    3.5 stars.I got this book for free as an Amazon first read and it was really pretty good. It's a fictionalized account of what happened in Minnesota in the 1980s - young boys started to go missing and one in particular gained fame after it took more than 20 years to find his remains. This version of the story follows Cassandra and her sister, Persephone, growing up in rural Minnesota with their odd parents. Mom is a teacher and Dad is an artist, ...
  • George1st
    In the acknowledgements, Jess Lourey succinctly summarises her book as follows. "Its an odd duck of a suspense novel-a thriller for adults but with a teenage protagonist, set in a flyover state."The story draws on the author's own experience of her life growing up in small town 1980's Minnesota and although entirely a work of fiction it is inspired by real people and true events. This is a world very different from the idealised view that many no...
  • Lauren Morse
    3.5 stars. I couldn’t put this book down. My eyes were literally closing at two o’clock this morning but I was like can’t...fall...asleep...must...power...through. I found the protagonist’s voice to be incredibly engaging and effervescent - she jumped off the page for me. That said, I definitely think the marketing of this book is misleading. This is a coming-of-age tale that very much reads like a young adult novel. This isn’t really a...
  • Katherine Holom
    Just released today and it's a Kindle First Read deal! In Unspeakable Things, middle-schooler Cassie lives with her older sister and parents in small town Minnesota in 1983. There are serious, scary issues at home and she’s trying to figure out how to deal with that without much help. Then boys start disappearing and coming back changed. Reading this book, my heart hurt for the kids that come home and those that don’t, for those who are belie...
  • Susanna White
    Truly smart thriller from the viewpoint of an unusually young protagonist. A fittingly titled, startlingly realistic piece of crime fiction. I could tell Jess Lourey was actually a child of the 80s. Maybe those nostalgic descriptions of a small town with "country" kids and "town" kids in the heat of summer, on the edge of puberty...those elements I identified with, maybe that's what initially drew me into Cassie's story. Maybe it was growing up i...
  • RedRedtheycallmeRed
    This is one of the best Kindle First books I've read in a long time. The whole time I felt a mixture of disgust and dread, but I didn't want to put it down.Having grown up in the 80's, I could relate to some of Cassie's experiences: not having enough money to have fancy birthday parties, wearing hand sewn clothes, kids coming up with cruel nicknames...luckily I never had to endure any swinger parties thrown by my parents! Cassie is just finishing...
  • Shari Ring Wolf
    A favorite author of mineI especially love this author's magical realism books. This was not one of that genre, but I read the book in just one sitting. Told from the perspective of a 12 year old girl in the eighties, in some way it was a trip down memory lane. The author even had the tv shows--Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas--on the correct night of the week! There were things about the 80's I had forgotten that were brought back to life with Lourey...
  • Kristi Lamont
    Wow was this a really good book about some truly disturbing things. Got it as an Amazon First Read so I went into it with low expectations; whipped through it in a couple of hours this afternoon. Realized as I was getting toward the end that I was thirsty, I needed to go to the bathroom, my jaws were locked and my fingers were clenching my iPad very, very hard. The sense of foreboding Ms Lourey had going on was something else. No way in the world...
  • Coty
    I honestly don't care that it's based off of true events, that it's "just the way it was", the homophobia in this book is sickening. it's hurtful and heartbreaking and sickening that we continue to explore these ideas, that we write them off as "that's the way it was then", that we allow people to exploit and hurt and demonize gay people like this. we don't need to read about all of the terrible shit that people have done and thought about us bec...
  • Victoria Doyle
    I’d like to meet these characters.This was a quick read and worth each minute. If the story was bit more developed, I would have given the book five stars. Each of the characters were believable with the author doing a terrific job in making them multi dimensional. Plus I found references to 80’s culture especially satisfying (Remington Steele, Charlie’s Angels), the dialogue exactly as I remember speaking at that age, and the clearly traum...
  • M
    Dark, horrific read with uncomfortable triggers 2.5 starsWhilst reading books with unspeakable and/or uncomfortable topics, I look for characters I can associate with. That way, I can follow the characters—especially if they’re protagonists—as they live and experience the awful events in the story. In this book, the protagonist is a twelve-year-old, who’s immature for her age, so I found no joy there. Overall, the adults were unlikable an...
  • Dominique
    This my first Amazon First Reads and I'm pleasantly surprised. I liked the sound of the synopsis: a small town in the USA where a girl grows up with a somewhat peculiar family. Her parties host special parties.That's not all that happens here, because suddenly boys are abducted and come back changed. Cassie takes it upon herself to figure out who's responsible.The story was propelled forward by the author's writing. She doesn't explicitly mention...
  • Barbara
    Gripping SuspenseTbis book had me on the edge of my seat from the first paragraph to the very last word. It is based on a true story of boys being abducted in a small town. The author is skilled at manipulating you into thinking you know who the perpetrator is several times, then showing you why it could not be that person. I was fooled multiple times and I loved not being able to figure it out. If you like suspense, you need to buy this book, bu...
  • Ladory
    This book was a coming of age story. The main character was just turning 13 by the end of the book. It was touted as a psychological thriller, but I kept wondering if I was reading a young adult book. It seemed a bit amateurish. I read murder mysteries and thrillers in between heavier fare just for something quick and entertaining. This one had me wishing I was reading one by Rick Mofina instead. The pace just did not keep me on the edge of my se...
  • Harper Hamilton
    A thriller, could not stop until the final laysThis story was set during my teenaged years, such that everything felt so familiar. Times when Matt Houston was a hit TV show and kids still played outside and rode their bikes all over town. This was a gripping thriller that kept me up late reading until the final page. I don't want to say more than that or risk giving anything away.I would have liked A little more closure on what happened to Cassie...
  • Richard Croner
    I just took a look at the other reviews of this book and see that, as a male, I am definitely in the minority. I did enjoy the book but felt all the way thru it that it was written for a female reader. I guess the reason that I initially started reading it was the statement that it was based upon true events. The characters were reasonably well developed and I thought the book was well written. As reading I felt the questions and the descriptions...
  • Nicole
    Couldn't put it downWHAT A READ!!!! My first book by this author, and what a fantastic story. She absolutely captured the perfect tone from a thirteen year old girl coping the best that she could. My only question: after Sephie eats the strawberries, what happens? There is no mention of it again, only that she wouldn't want Sephie's consequence. There is no mention of a fight or the dad or anything. I'm guessing her dad does something to her? Ove...
  • Nancy Paris
    Not my favorite. I felt like this book just tried to hard... ... Tried to read like a kid but sounded like an adult trying to sound like a kid. Tried to be poetic with the over the top descriptive language but it was more distracting than impressive. Tried to bet set in the 80s but was full of language/references that weren’t used until well past the 80s. Tried to be suspenseful but was just slow. Once I gave up and just skimmed over the over-f...