Sunday, January 30, 2022

Bloodline by Jess Lourey


BLOODLINE is the third book I've read by Jess Lourey and I think it's her best yet. The other two books were coming-of-age stories that took place in a landscape of horror. In this book, the heroine is a full-grown adult woman who wants to have a family and a career as expectations for women are changing-- set against a landscape of suspicion and horror. After being mugged, Joan decides to retreat to her fiance, Deck's, hometown of Lilydale in Minnesota. An idealistic little town where the motto is "Come Home Forever." But if you're at all familiar with Lourey's works, they're basically all about fucked-up small towns in Minnesota and naturally, BLOODLINE is no exception. Come home forever, indeed.

Right away, something is off. There's a sort of narc culture in town. Everyone's in her business and watching her all the time. Her parents-in-law to be are kind of creepy. There's a secret society of sorts in town. They're weirdly obsessed with the town founders. And she can't help but feel like her fiance is hiding something from her. Something, you know... big.

This book was basically a list of all my fave tropes. I loved that it was set in the 60s, which gave it a fun retro bent. I liked the homage it paid to classic horror novels, like ROSEMARY'S BABY or, like, some of Stephen King's earlier works. I liked how the author wasn't afraid to go "there" and really deliver on that star finish of a horrific reveal. And I liked how the heroine was a reporter, which kind of made her Nancy Drew shenanigans a little more believable.

4 out of 5 stars

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