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The Quarry Girls

Killers hiding in plain sight. Small-town secrets. A girl who knows too much. From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things and Bloodline comes a nerve-twisting novel inspired by a shocking true crime.

Minnesota, 1977. For the teens of one close-knit community, summer means late-night swimming parties at the quarry, the county fair, and venturing into the tunnels beneath the city. But for two best friends, it’s not all fun and games.

Heather and Brenda have a secret. Something they saw in the dark. Something they can’t forget. They’ve decided to never tell a soul. But their vow is tested when their friend disappears—the second girl to vanish in a week. And yet the authorities are reluctant to investigate.

Heather is terrified that the missing girls are connected to what she and Brenda stumbled upon that night. Desperately searching for answers on her own, she learns that no one in her community is who they seem to be. Not the police, not the boys she met at the quarry, not even her parents. But she can’t stop digging because she knows those girls are in danger.

She also knows she’s next.

(The Quarry Girls initially included pages from Heather's diary, including her sketches of gag gift ads. While they never made it into the book, you can see them here. If you haven't yet read the book, they make a good companion piece while reading.)


These insightful, provocative book club questions for THE QUARRY GIRLS were created by Nicholle Thery-Williams and Marisa Gothie of Bookends and Friends Book Club! ✨

  1. In this book the year 1977 is a character. As society grappled with changes in gender roles and expectations how do we see this reflected in characters’ actions and reactions?

  2. The 1970s were a decade of coming to grips with the upheavals of the 1960s. With the aftermath of the Vietnam War and Watergate, the 1970s experienced a shift in trust and stability from the national government to local institutions. How was this reflected and how did this play out in the story?

  3. If this story was to take place today, what effect would our 24-hour news cycle and social media saturation have on the characters’ perceptions and actions?

  4. In this book one of the characters says, “Were they all hiding in plain sight, the monsters?” This has been a common theme in horror literature, challenging the notion that somehow “monsters” are different. In what ways do you think the character’s statement is supported or not supported in this story?

  5. In the winter months, our characters live cloistered, in their own homes with their own families and their own secrets. When the sun returns, drawing them back outside, they'll spend weekends at festivals living their lives in the open. How does this dichotomy affect our characters’ self-perceptions and views of others?’

  6. We often hear the question, “Am I my brothers’ keeper?” In this story, the characters ask that question by vacillating between observing what goes on and saying nothing. How does this orientation affect the bonds of community, where everyone knows but no one says?

  7. In this story, gender roles are narrowly defined. The actions of young women are seen as frivolous and those of older women as scandalous, while boys will be boys and men will be men. How does the narrator’s place in that system affect how we view their voice and credibility?

  8. How different would this story have been if it had been narrated in a male voice? How different would this story have been if the narrator had been a person in a position of authority or power?

  9. As the characters’ life stories opened up and revealed more of who they are and why they are that way, did you find your views and sympathies evolve along with them?

  10. What songs from the 1970s would you put on the soundtrack for this book? Who would you cast as the characters for this book? See less

"Lourey conveys the edgy, hungry, restlessness of teen girls with a touch of Megan Abbot, while steadily intensifying the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small 1977 Minnesota town where darkness snakes below the surface." —Loreth Anne White, Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Patient's Secret