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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  8,117 ratings  ·  626 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published January 1st 2021 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,117 ratings  ·  626 reviews

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Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Bloodline by Jess Lourey

The Stepford Wives and Rosemary's Baby get mixed in with Leave to Beaver channeling The Twilight Zone. I approached this story with excitement because I enjoyed Lourey's Unspeakable Things so very much. I did like the idea of this story but the main character, Joan Harken, torpedoes it for me.

The year is 1968 and after Joan's mother's death, meeting the love of her life, getting pregnant, and being mugged, all in quick succession, Joan and her fiancé move to Deck's home
Michael David
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
December Prime First Reads Pick.

The year is 1968, and Joan is a journalist. After a terrifying mugging incident, she agrees with her boyfriend, Deck (the father of her unborn child), to move back to his hometown of Lilydale, Minnesota.

The town is like nothing she has ever seen. Everyone is so friendly, so interested in what she is doing at all times, so sinister. So perfect...TOO perfect.

Joan gets a job at the Lilydale Gazette after hearing a story about a young boy going missing from the com
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 ⭐️ Rounded up for this entertaining tale from the PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR GENRE

As the book opens, the nation was in Chaos.

In DC, marines guarded the Capitol steps with machine guns while buildings were being torched.
Festering tension fueled by black poverty and racism exploded to the surface.

No, it isn’t sometime in late 2020, or Jan. 6, 2021.
( It was just weird timing for my read of THIS book)

The year was 1968.

Dr. Martin Luther King had just been murdered in Memphis, where he had traveled to
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This book was damn near unputdownable for me.

It's a very quick read and though it's set in the late-sixties, the dialogue felt modern. I really enjoyed Joan - her thoughts were fun and quirky. I loved the occasional references to her "modern" avocado kitchen appliances, and her "racy" Mia Farrow pixie cut.

Though I had an inkling of where the story was going, and was ultimately proven mostly correct, it was gripping. There was most certainly an essence of Rosemary's Baby, with maybe a side o
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Yessssssssss! I found a winner after my last terrible waltzes with so many thrillers ended up with disappointment and frustration!

This is smart!
This is batshit crazy!
This is exciting!

This is my favorite kind of nail biter, eyes popper, jaw dropper, soul shaker, blood freezer
I loved it! I loved it! I loved it!
Full definition: Rosemary’s Baby meets Wayward Pines, Stepford Wives with Handmaid’s Tale vines!

It’s riveting, surprising and deliciously twisty! Most of them are not foreseea
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: I'm sitting on one leg as I grip Deck's hand, perched in the Chevelle's passenger seat, hurtling toward my new home, a place I've never been. My cat is curled on my lap, and with my free hand I'm caressing the itchy stab wounds through my pantyhose. Leftovers from the mugging. They're angry red scabs, halfway to healed. They hadn't been deep, and if not for them, and for Deck's reaction, the mugging would have already faded into the shadows of my mind. Why dwell on what you can't change ...more
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Amazon Prime First Read - December

Mill Street, Lilydale welcomes Joan Harken and fiancé Deck with open arms. Joan is anxious to fit in with Deck’s family and friends as she had a childhood spent on the move. It soon becomes obvious Lilydale is not the place Joan hopes it will be.

The timeframe for this novel is really good in 1968 with the Vietnam War and the draft in the background, MLK and Bobby Kennedy’s assassinations and the men being firmly in charge - well, certainly in this town which fe
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
Bloodline by Jess Lourey is one of the creepiest books I have read in a very long time and I loved every word of it. Rosemary’s Baby is a prime example of what I consider creepy. Joan Harken, a journalist, leaves the big city for a move with her boyfriend to his Minnesota childhood home in the country. Lilydale is like a picture postcard and is everyone’s dream of life in a small town. But not all is as it seems and Joan soon notices that someone is always watching her. The friendly neighbours a ...more
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
Remember Dean Koontz's earlier novels from the 1970's and 80's? Or John Saul's, The God Project? Well, Bloodline felt like it was written in that time period, but set in the 1960's. It was all a bit dated. I liked it but I think it's one I would've really loved back in my late teens/early twenties.

1968 – Reporter Joan Harkin has always been a city girl. But when she is mugged at knifepoint it's the final straw. Her fiancé Deck has been trying to convince her to move to his hometown ever since sh
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
3.5 “Rosemary’s Baby” tribute stars

There’s something to be said for being surprised when you read a book! I went into this one completely blind and it was quite the ride!

Our main character, Joan Harken, is an aspiring journalist in Minneapolis. Finding herself pregnant and surviving a mugging, she agrees to move to her boyfriend’s small hometown in rural Minnesota. At first the town seems idyllic, but things are not all as they appear in Lilydale.

Soon we aren’t sure if Joan is paranoid or if peo
BLOODLINE by Jess Lourey is a psychological thriller that grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let go. Her excellent writing and exquisite story line captured my attention immediately. The author’s note tells the story that inspired this novel.

When a pregnant Joan Harken is mugged on her way home, she agrees to move to from Minneapolis to her fiancé’s small hometown two and a half hours northwest. Deck Schmidt tells her Lilydale is peaceful, friendly, and everyone knows everyone and loo
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
December Kindle First
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
I’m not sure what box you would put this book in. I didn’t think it was, strictly speaking, horror - but it certainly had a creepy vibe. It’s 1968 and 28 year old Joan Harken is working as a ‘soft’ journalist on a Minneapolis paper when, in short order, she misses out on a promotion, her mother dies, she gets mugged in the street, and injured, and she learns she is pregnant. So when boyfriend Deck suggests a move to his hometown of Lilydale, a few hours drive away, she thinks - why not? Deck say ...more
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I should know better than to pick up a new Jess Lourey book, thinking I’ll just peek at the first few pages and get then back to the book I was reading. Six hours later, it’s three in the morning and I’m racing through the last few chapters, unable to sleep until I know how it all ends. Set in an idyllic small town rooted in family history and horrific secrets, Bloodline is Pleasantville meets Rosemary’s Baby. A deeply unsettling, darkly unnerving, and utterly compelling novel, this book chilled ...more
Dec 30, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elle by: Carrie | Boston Book Fanatic
Author of the hugely successful Unspeakable Things almost one year ago today, Jess Lourey is back with an enticing follow-up, Bloodline! This is the January MBC & SSBC pick, so I am ~doubley~ excited to start reading!!! ...more
This book reminded me a lot of Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives. There were too many similarities for me to overlook including the main character getting a haircut just like Mia Farrow. This would appeal to readers who haven't read the aforementioned books or seen the movies. I did enjoy the ending which was definitely creepy and satisfying.

Thank you Netgalley & Thomas & Mercer for an e-galley.
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, thriller, amazon
The Sixties Flip Side.

Joan has had enough of the city. After being mugged, she agrees to move with her boyfriend to his home town to finish her pregnancy and begin life as a family.

At first glance, the town of Lilydale is about as perfect as the name but there are cracks in the veneer. Joan doesn’t feel like she fits in with the watchful residents creating a stifling atmosphere. If she feels like everyone is in her business, it’s because they are!

The sixties time period coordinated appropriately
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
You've read it all before. The naive woman, brought to a new and idyllic town, full of hope for the future. Slowly she realizes that something is "off" in the new community. It's a little too perfect - on the surface, anyway. Whether it is The Stepford Wives, The Night Strangers or now, Bloodline, you've read it before, written better, and you don't need to read it again. ...more
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to come closer to pub day, but wow, amazing!
Samantha Gonsalves
I picked up Bloodline owing to the fantastic reviews it received so far! The creepy cover also played a part in that decision. Bloodline by Jess Lourey starts with a dark & creepy chapter that hooks you right in. While reading I found myself wondering if this book would go in the direction that many books before have gone. It didn't and I'm so so glad about that. I'm tired of reading about naive pregnant women racing towards something that is disconcerting. Jess Lourey successfully builds a chil ...more
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
What's the big deal about New Years? I drop the ball all the time! 😁 You know who didn't drop the ball? Jess Lourey, that's who! Y'all probably remember me raving over Unspeakable Things. It was my first read of 2020 and crazy enough, Bloodline is my last. Lourey, you've sandwiched all my reads this year and I wouldn't have it any other way!
A creepy, suspenseful novel based on true events? Um, ALL THE YES PLEASE. We are delivered a paranoid atmosphere of a small town that is focused singularly o
Well hello Jess Lourey, how is Bloodline my first book by you?! This is the question I have been asking myself because WOW. I had an ecopy but when I saw it was a KU title and I could get the audio for $1.99, that's just what I did, and it was totally worth it. Whitney Dykhouse narrates Bloodline and I LOVED her as Joan. I was completely addicted to the audiobook and I would highly recommend it.

I am from Minnesota but haven't spent any time in Lilydale, and frankly after reading this book I'm no
Genre: Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Female
3.75 Stars

After an unsavory experience in the city, Joan Harken was ready to get away from it all. Moving to her fiancé’s hometown in the idyllic small town of Lilydale seemed like a perfect decision. But behind the gleaming veneer of utopia, laid a dark secret that Joan determined to uncover. She must figure it all out before it’s too late.

This book had an interesting premise with the small-town secrets and the time period. Howev
Elle's Book Blog
My Rating: 3 Stars
Genre Crime | Mystery

BLOODLINE is an interesting read. It’s supposedly based on a true story but also injects a bit of horror and mystery (although I personally didn’t find this a horror novel). Did I like it? I did. Much more towards the end than the beginning. However, it DID feel like a rip-off of Rosemary’s Baby. I read Rosemary’s Baby a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely. One would think that if I loved that book then this would be a total winner for me. Unfortunatel
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed the book and was totally absorbed in the story, I couldn't help but think:

"I've read this before. Ah, yes, Ira Levin wrote this book back in the 1960s. I enjoyed ROSEMARY'S BABY, too. It's a favorite book and one of my all-time top 10 movies."

And I would have been okay with Jess Lourey's take on what's obviously Ira Levin's story if she had used her acknowledgments to acknowledge how Rosemary's Baby influenced her. Alas, although the author thanked many, many people, she failed t
Bloodline by Jess Lourey is a cross genre thrill ride that will you leave gasping for air at the end.

Based in part on actual events, Joan Harken finds herself pregnant and living in a the small town in which her boyfriend was raised. Lilydale, MN seems too good to be true: a welcoming committee with food greeting them, a home already waiting for them to move into, and no crime at all.... except that one incident of a missing child 20 years ago. Other than that incident it's all just so perfect.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Menacing. Unsettling. Dark. Disturbing. Gripping. Sinister. Those are the first few words that came to mind when I finished Bloodline. This one is SO good y’all and I really can’t say too much about the plot without spoiling anything, but if you like fresh thrillers that will creep you out this is a must. If you’re still not convinced look at this tag line. 👇🏻

“Perfect town. Perfect homes. Perfect families. It’s enough to drive some women mad…” I mean 😮😮😮

How about the fact that @scaredstraightre
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Chose this as my Amazon FirstReads pick for December.
This was a decent book, kind of a mix of horror/thriller with a small mystery mixed in. One decent twist, but the rest I felt was a tad over-dramatic and has been done before in a much better way.

I thought that for all of her street smarts and the way Joan was raised she was very naive and too accepting of the situation she found herself enmeshed in. I get that the times and mores were totally different in the 1960s, so I let that slide much
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome book. First, it takes place in the late 60s but the writing style is totally contemporary and accessible, yet also very accurate to the time. (It’s a major pet peeve of mine when a period book tries too hard to emulate the speech of the era and ends up sounding stilted.) Second, Rosemary’s Baby is one of my favorite books of all time. This book, set in the same era, does a lovely job of tipping its hat to Rosemary’s Baby (even explicitly, a number of times) but never rips it o ...more
4.25 ★

At 28 years old, Joan Harken is a journalist trying to earn her byline. When asked to relocate with her fiancé to his hometown, Joan believes she will be able to put down roots in the quaint town of Lilydale. However, when Joan starts to feel like she is always being monitored and the town’s secrets start to emerge, she must do her part to protect herself and her unborn baby.

“You have to understand how a small town works. We’re family here. You don’t keep secrets from family.”

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Goodreads Librari...: Missing Book Cover 3 18 May 14, 2020 04:24AM  
Jess Lourey is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things, The Catalain Book of Secrets, the Salem’s Cipher thrillers, and more. She is also a professor of creative writing. Discover more at

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Jess Lourey writes about secrets.

She is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of nonfiction, YA adventure, magical realism, and crime fiction. She's a tenured professor of writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, a TEDx presenter (check out her TEDx Talk to discover the surprising inspiration behind MAY DAY, her first published

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