Excellent. Creeped Me RIGHT Out.
5 out of 5 stars
I wish I could say that I’ve never been happier to not be in Lilydale, but the town of Litani, Minnesota isn’t much better. It actually might be worse. (Context: the first two books I read by Lourey, Unspeakable Things and Bloodline took place in Lilydale, Minnesota. Thankfully, the same eeriness and unsettled feelings are here in full display – just as they were in the first two books.
In all three of the books that I’ve read by Lourey, I’ve had this feeling of being skeeved out – and I’ve had to call it out each time because there aren’t a lot of books that give me this feeling. So much so that I had to look it up to make sure I was using it properly the first two times. Even if I’m not, I’m stuck with it now.
In Litani, kids are playing a “game”. I was pretty sure I knew what that stood for early on and I was unhappily correct. That doesn’t take away from the mystery and intrigue that this book has though. Quite the opposite, it ended up causing a sense of urgency. I wanted to know what was going on and even more – I needed to know who the heck was hurting these kids.
I think another thing that all three of the Lourey books I’ve read had going for them was the setting (rural Minnesota) along with the time (mid-80’s). Lourey talks about it a little bit at the end of this book (if I remember correctly) – talking about the news playing lots of stories about missing kids and basically starting the whole Gabby Patito/podcast era of True Crime/unsolved crimes fad WAY before it became popular recently. The 80’s setting ramps a lot of things up – including not being able to track people with cell phones. It also was an era where kids just went out to play (I know, I was one of them). It’s that familiarity and the rural settings that take Lourey’s books from being good to great. They all jump off of the page.
I thought that Cassandra Morris did a nice job narrating this one. The point of view was interesting, being from a young girl’s POV. But I think that Morris did a great job becoming her without falling into the voice tropes that she could have. Her performance elevates an already great book.
The Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things and Bloodline explores the darkness at the heart of the rural Midwest in a novel inspired by a chilling true crime.
In the summer of ’84, fourteen-year-old Frankie Jubilee is shuttled off to Litani, Minnesota, to live with her estranged mother, a county prosecutor she barely knows. From the start, Frankie senses something uneasy going on in the small town. The locals whisper about The Game, and her mother warns her to stay out of the woods and away from adults.
When a bullying gang of girls invites Frankie to The Game, she accepts, determined to find out what’s really going on in Litani. She’s not the only one becoming paranoid. Hysteria burns through the community. Dark secrets emerge. And Frankie fears that, even in the bright light of day, she might be living among monsters.
Litani by Jess Lourey
Narrator: Cassandra Morris
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
Published by Brilliance Audio Genres: Mystery
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Also by this author: Unspeakable Things, Bloodline, Catch Her In A Lie