Fans of Rosemary’s Baby will relish this.” —Publishers Weekly
“Based on a true story, this is a sinister, suspenseful thriller full of creeping horror.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Lourey ratchets up the fear in a novel that verges on horror.” —Library Journal
“In Bloodline, Jess Lourey blends elements of mystery, suspense, and horror to stunning effect.” —BOLO Books
“Inspired by a true story, it’s a creepy page-turner that has me eager to read more of Ms. Lourey’s works, especially if they’re all as incisive as this thought-provoking novel.” —Criminal Element
“Bloodline by Jess Lourey is a psychological thriller that grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let go.” —Mystery & Suspense Magazine
“Bloodline blends page-turning storytelling with clever homages to such horror classics as Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, and Harvest Home.” —Toronto Star
“Bloodline is a terrific, creepy thriller, and Jess Lourey clearly knows how to get under your skin.” —Bookreporter
“[A] tightly coiled domestic thriller that slowly but persuasively builds the suspense.” —South Florida Sun Sentinel
“I should know better than to pick up a new Jess Lourey book, thinking I’ll just peek at the first few pages and get then back to the book I was reading. Six hours later, it’s three in the morning and I’m racing through the last few chapters, unable to sleep until I know how it all ends. Set in an idyllic small town rooted in family history and horrific secrets, Bloodline is Pleasantville meets Rosemary’s Baby. A deeply unsettling, darkly unnerving, and utterly compelling novel, this book chilled me to the core, and I loved every bit of it.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Little Secrets and the award-winning Jar of Hearts
“Jess Lourey writes small-town Minnesota like Stephen King writes small-town Maine. Bloodline is a tremendous book with a heart and a hacksaw…and I loved every second of it.” —Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the critically acclaimed novels And Now She’s Gone and They All Fall Down
When pregnant reporter Joan Harken doesn't get a promotion and is mugged, her fiancé, Deck, suggests they move to his hometown of Lilydale, MN, where his father is on the local draft board and can help him avoid the Vietnam draft. Deck lets everyone assume they're married. While he settles in working for his father, Joan finds the gathering of the Mill Street neighbors to be uncomfortable and bizarre. The neighbors seem to watch every move, and know everything she does. Joan fears she's going nuts when even her college roommate doesn't believe her about how weird the town is. While investigating the story of a child who went missing two decades earlier, Joan uncovers the strange history of the cultlike Mothers and Fathers of Mill Street. She fears for her safety and that of her baby, an emotion that echoes throughout the book in moments when she shares her postpartum trauma. VERDICT Lourey returns readers to Lilydale, the setting of Unspeakable Things, in a tense novel that combines traces of The Stepford Wives with Rosemary's Baby. Although the plot hinges on the history of a missing child, Lourey ratchets up the fear in a novel that verges on horror.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
Lourey returns to the Minnesota town of Lilydale, whose perfect exterior hides a seething mass of horror.
After she’s mugged, pregnant reporter Joan Harken agrees to move from Minneapolis to her fiance Deck Schmidt’s hometown both for her own safety and to save Deck from the military draft that’s claimed so many other men in 1968. Deck’s parents and their friends on Mill Street welcome the couple with joy, installing them in Deck’s childhood home. Accustomed to big-city living, Joan immediately feels smothered and uneasy with the attention she gets from the townspeople, who seem unusually delighted with a pregnancy she hadn’t wanted to reveal yet. Desperate for a job, she gets one on the small local paper, which sends her out to do the usual puff pieces, and finds herself intrigued by a story about a little boy who vanished from school in 1944 and was never found—and the man who's just shown up in town claiming to be that boy. As she investigates, she feels constantly watched and reported on by the Mill Street gang and quickly learns she can trust no one. Her paranoia about the way she’s treated and the things she’s learning makes even Ursula, her college roommate and best friend, think she needs help. Realizing that the only way she may ever learn the truth about the town’s strange past and disturbing present is by pretending to be docile, she’s still outsmarted by the cultish group, which forces her to give birth at home. She awakens bloody and in pain and without her baby. In a desperate attempt to rescue her child, she uses every bit of remaining strength and wit to escape Lilydale.
Based on a true story, this is a sinister, suspenseful thriller full of creeping horror.