Lourey serves up another terrifying reality-based thriller…a tale of horror, grit, and, ultimately, hope.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Curious, perceptive Francesca, with her concern for others, makes an irresistible heroine. Psychological thriller fans will be satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly
“Litani shows that the real terror is not ghosts, but human monsters.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press
“Lourey has accomplished quite a feat here with a coming-of-age novel buried inside a very dark psychological thriller.” —Bookreporter
“A riveting and disturbing thriller. With Litani, Lourey truly cements her position as the queen of melding small-town suspense and coming-of-age stories that creep into your bones and refuse to leave. Lourey’s masterful pacing and prose create a captivatingly claustrophobic atmosphere that hooks you from the very first page and tightens the noose with every shockingly chilling reveal. While secrets and lies fester at the heart of the novel, it is Frankie, the engaging young protagonist, who becomes a reminder that humanity can exist even in the darkest of places. This is one that’s going to stick with you for a long time. An absolute must-read.” —Brianna Labuskes, Washington Post bestselling author of Girls of Glass
“Writing about real monsters lurking in Minnesota’s small towns is Lourey’s specialty. The sinister, eerie feeling you get while reading this creepy story…well, that’s another unnerving tendency. In Litani, Lourey is at her terrifying best. A heart-pounding story of suspense.” —Kaira Rouda, international and USA Today bestselling author
“Move over, Stephen King. Jess Lourey is a master at evoking the horror that lurks beneath the surface of a sleepy all-American small town. Vivid, consuming, and terrifying, Litani will haunt your dreams.” —Michele Campbell, internationally bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband
Lourey serves up another terrifying reality-based thriller.
When Frankie Jubilee’s parents divorced, she stayed in California with her botanist father while her mother, Linda, returned to their hometown in Minnesota, where Frankie made only one brief, disastrous visit before her father died. At 14 she returns to Litani to live with Linda, a prosecutor, and is dropped into the poisonous atmosphere created by the town children, who play something they call The Game. Her mother, deeply involved with crime and criminals, pushes her out the door to go make some friends, telling her not to leave the nearby playground (what 14-year-olds go to the playground?!) or talk to any adults. Frankie’s attracted to the woods, though, where she spent many happy hours with her father and became a plant expert herself, until she’s set upon by three tough little girls who beat her up and take her shoes while taunting her about The Game. They’re about to steal her most precious possession, a book of her drawings of plants with faces, when she’s rescued by Crane, an older teen who becomes her friend. Frankie slowly discovers that her mother is working to take down a ring of pedophiles preying on local children, an organization at least partially based in the trailer park where Crane lives. At the same time, Frankie begins to learn about her parents’ pasts, especially that of her father, who forever blamed himself for the drowning of his younger brother. With only a stray kitten to comfort her, she does her best to investigate past and present crimes while trying to escape becoming a victim of The Game.
Several real-life cases provide the impetus for a tale of horror, grit, and, ultimately, hope.