Cover image for Unspeakable things
Title:
Unspeakable things
ISBN:
9781542008785
Physical Description:
282 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
"A novel"--Cover.

Based on a true story.
Summary:
"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. One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed - violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who's responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie's own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable."--Publisher description.
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Summary

Summary

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 to them.

All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.

One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed--violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who's responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie's own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in Lilydale, Minn., in the 1980s, this heart-pounding crime novel from Lourey (Mercy's Chase) is narrated by Cassie McDowell, who appears to be a normal 12-year-old with a crush on 13-year-old Gabriel Wellstone. Her family has a secret, though, which she knows but is only revealed in stages. Cassie's father warns her that if that secret is discovered, the state will take her and Sephie, her older sister, from their home. Meanwhile, boys from Lilydale begin disappearing and returning with altered personalities; they become moody, angry, and unruly. When Gabriel is abducted and fails to return, Cassie takes it on herself to find Gabriel and uncover the boys' abductor. The townspeople regard the school band teacher, Mr. Connelly, as the perpetrator because he's believed to be gay. In Cassie's mind, neighbor Gary Godlin and Sergeant Bauer of the local police are also prime suspects. Working the case, Cassie stumbles into grave danger and is likely the next victim. Lourey does a good job evoking a bygone place and time. The suspense never wavers in this page-turner. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Jan.)


Library Journal Review

Cassie McDowell's short life hasn't been easy, but the year she turns 13 is the scariest yet. She and her older sister have always feared their father, an unemployed artist whose drunken rages cause Cassie to sleep under her bed or in the closet. Now there are worse things to fear in 1980s Lilydale, MN. There's a Peeping Tom, a curfew for everyone under 18, and a man who abducts boys, and brings them back changed. Cassie fears anyone could be the kidnapper: her middle-school music teacher; a police officer; even her own father. When a boy she admires disappears and doesn't return, Cassie begins searching, even in forbidden basements. From the beginning, readers see tragedy coming, as Cassie looks back on that fateful summer. VERDICT 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 (March of Crime), but this tense novel combines the best of a coming-of-age story with suspense, and an unforgettable young narrator.--Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN