Review – Bloodline by Jess Lourey

Posted February 23, 2021 by Carole in Audiobook, Book Reviews / 12 Comments

Bloodline by Jess Lourey
Narrated by Whitney Dykhouse
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: January 1, 2021
Date Read: February 19, 2021
Length: 9 hours and 38 minutes
Source: Purchased

Perfect town. Perfect homes. Perfect families. It’s enough to drive some women mad…

In a tale inspired by real events, pregnant journalist Joan Harken is cautiously excited to follow her fiancé back to his Minnesota hometown. After spending a childhood on the move and chasing the screams and swirls of news-rich city life, she’s eager to settle down. Lilydale’s motto, “Come Home Forever,” couldn’t be more inviting.

And yet, something is off in the picture-perfect village.

The friendliness borders on intrusive. Joan can’t shake the feeling that every move she makes is being tracked. An archaic organization still seems to hold the town in thrall. So does the sinister secret of a little boy who vanished decades ago. And unless Joan is imagining things, a frighteningly familiar figure from her past is on watch in the shadows.

Her fiancé tells her she’s being paranoid. He might be right. Then again, she might have moved to the deadliest small town on earth.

My Review

I liked this audiobook but I didn’t love it.  I downloaded this book as a Kindle First Reads pick and decided to add the audio on for just a couple of bucks.  The book sounded rather promising and it seemed to everywhere online so I thought it would be a safe bet.  I found it to be a rather quick listen and the story did hold my attention quite well.  

Joan is a reporter hoping to advance her career.  She is expecting a child with her boyfriend, Deck.  After she is mugged in the city, they decide to move to Deck’s hometown of Lilydale.  When they arrive, she learns that Deck has told everyone that they are married.   This story is set in the 1960s but the residents of Lilydale are more opinionated and controlling than you would expect in any era.  Things start getting creepy quite quickly and Joan feels like she is constantly being watched by everyone living in the town.  A boy that disappeared from the town 20 years earlier and it appears that he might be back.  Joan has just started writing for the local newspaper and is thrilled to get the story.  As she looks into the events in the town, she quickly realized that the issues in town might be bigger than she ever imagined.  
I can’t say that I really liked many of the characters in this book.  Joan did some things, especially at the beginning of the book, that made her very difficult to fully embrace.  The story is told from Joan’s point of view but I wasn’t sure if I should completely believe everything we learned from her.  The only character that I completely liked and trusted didn’t show up until later in the book and played a rather small role.  I think that the story would have been much more powerful if I liked Joan enough to actually care what happened to her.  
Whitney Dykhouse did a fabulous job with the narration.  I thought that her voice worked perfectly for this story.  She did a great job with all of the character voices and I liked the fact that she was able to add emotion into the reading.  I thought that her voice was very pleasant and easy to listen to for hours at a time.  I believe that her narration added to my enjoyment of the story.
I think that a lot of readers might enjoy this one more than I did.  I liked the story even though I did have a few issues with it.  I wouldn’t hesitate to try other books by Jess Lourey in the future.
**I buddy read this book with Anne @ Books of My Heart.
About the Author

Jess Lourey is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things, The Catalain Book of Secrets, the Salem’s Cipher thrillers, and the Mira James mysteries, among many other works, including young adult, short stories, and nonfiction. An Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty Award nominee, Jess is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology and a leader of writing retreats. She is also a recipient of The Loft’s Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter. Check out her TEDx Talk for the inspiration behind her first published novel. When she’s not leading writing workshops, reading, or spending time with her friends and family, you can find her working on her next story

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

12 responses to “Review – Bloodline by Jess Lourey

  1. It sure didn't sound like this book did it for you. So sorry to hear that, but I can understand. The not connecting with characters is definitely a deterrent for me as well. I hope you'll enjoy your next read!