Perfect town. Perfect homes. Perfect families. It’s enough to drive some women mad…
In a tale inspired by real events, pregnant journalist Joan Harken is cautiously excited to follow her fiancé back to his Minnesota hometown. After spending a childhood on the move and chasing the screams and swirls of news-rich city life, she’s eager to settle down. Lilydale’s motto, “Come Home Forever,” couldn’t be more inviting.
And yet, something is off in the picture-perfect village.
The friendliness borders on intrusive. Joan can’t shake the feeling that every move she makes is being tracked. An archaic organization still seems to hold the town in thrall. So does the sinister secret of a little boy who vanished decades ago. And unless Joan is imagining things, a frighteningly familiar figure from her past is on watch in the shadows.
Her fiancé tells her she’s being paranoid. He might be right. Then again, she might have moved to the deadliest small town on earth.
No. of pages – 347 pages
Date published:- January 1st 2021
The story is set somewhere in 1960’s. Joan and Deck move to Lilydale, Minnesota, from Minneapolis to live with Deck’s parents. Joan is pregnant and is actually a journalist. When she moves to Lilydale, the town is haunted by the missing case of a four year old, Paulie, who disappeared mysteriously back in 1944 and Paulie’s mother too disappeared and the house where Paulie lived with the mother was burned down. Then a boy who claimed to be Paulie returns back to this small town and Joan is asked to write the article. And Joan finds many disturbing things about this small town.
Since this was actually based on real events, the story itself intrigued me. However, the first part of the story was a bit boring but it got tad interesting towards the ending. The development of the story was a bit slow but the ending, there was this unexpected twist that I literally did not expect! Overall, it was actually a good thriller and the writing was good. I am not giving too much details about the story but there were some parts in the book, that was actually a bit disturbing and disgusting to read but nonetheless it was a good thriller. Worth four stars!
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the book. This review is based on my honest opinion.
Jessica (Jess) Lourey teaches, travels, and writes about secrets.
Jess is the Amazon Charts bestselling Lefty, Agatha, and Anthony-nominated author of nonfiction, YA adventure, magical realism, and crime fiction. She’s a tenured professor of writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft’s Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, a TEDx presenter (check out her TEDx Talk to discover the surprising inspiration behind MAY DAY, her first published novel), and a leader of writing retreats for women and online creative writing classes for all.
She lives in Minneapolis with her family and foster cats (and occasional foster puppies, but man those goobers are a lot of work). You can find out more at jessicalourey.com.
(The UNSPEAKABLE THINGS epilogue lives here: http://jessicalourey.com/survey-two.)