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The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey: FAQs + Books Like It

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

In my opinion, the best psychological thrillers have you second-guessing everything you think you know up until the very last minute. It will feel like I'm racing against the narrator trying to figure it out before they do. A great example of this is Jess Lourey's book, The Quarry Girls. (Kindle | Paperback)


Not only was it a great thriller and mystery book, but it wrapped up with some hard truths and difficult warnings. Take this quote from the ending of The Quarry Girls as an example: "Men in packs can do terrible things, things they wouldn't have the hate to do alone. You'll recognize those men, the ones inclined to their dark side, because they'll expect you to carry their load. They'll smother your anger will their pain, they'll make you doubt yourself, and they'll tell you they love you the whole time. Some it big, but most do it in quiet steps."


Whether this is a book you're thinking of reading or currently reading, here are the answers to the most prominent questions I had prior to and while reading it. Also, if you are looking for another book like The Quarry Girls to read next, I've recommended five similar ones below as well. (Warning: This article contains spoilers)

The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey

What is The Quarry Girls About?

The book The Quarry Girls is about three girls who disappear within the span of a week from a small town in Minnesota in 1977. As events unfold, their friend Heather Cash attempts to uncover the truth about their disappearances. She's brushed off by the men in charge of the investigation, primarily her father, the district attorney, and his friend, the sheriff, as they claim the girls simply ran away. However, when bodies begin to appear at the local quarry, the men in charge can't deny what Heather's been saying all along - it's murder.


Who Narrates The Quarry Girls?

The Quarry Girls is a dual POV. It is narrated by two local Pantown girls, Heather Cash, who is the daughter of the district attorney, and Elizabeth (Beth) McCain, one of the girls who disappeared.


How Long Does It Take to Read The Quarry Girls?

It will take the average reader approximately 5 hours and 50 minutes to read The Quarry Girls, according to How Long to Read.


What Happened to Heather's Ear in The Quarry Girls?

Heather's mother, Connie Cash, suffers from Manic Depressive Illness. During one of her episodes, she sets Heather's ear on fire. By the time her father could extinguish the fire, Heather's ear was destroyed.


Who Dies in The Quarry Girls?

In The Quarry Girls, four people die including Maureen, Brenda, Theodore (Ed) Godo, and Ricky.


Who Is the Killer in The Quarry Girls?

There turns out to be multiple killers in The Quarry Girls. Ed and Ricky are responsible for Maureen's murder, while Ricky and Anton (Ant) are responsible for Brenda's. Also, while she didn't die, Ed is responsible for kidnapping Elizabeth (Beth).


Also, as the girls (Heather, June, and Beth) make their escape, Ed is killed by Beth, and Ricky is killed by Heather.


How Does The Quarry Girls End?

Heather, June, and Beth all escape the cabin they are being held in by Ed, Ricky, and Anton. Ed and Ricky are killed in the process, but Anton survives and is later arrested.


Heather then reports her father, Gary Cash, and Sheriff Jerome Nillson to Agent Gulliver Ryan for exploiting underage girls. While the sheriff is sent to jail, her father makes a plea deal and is disbarred.


On a more positive note, Heather's mother significantly improves in the aftermath, divorces her husband, and offers for her ex-best friend and Maureen's mother, Gloria Hansen, to move in with the three Cash women. Also, Heather and Claude begin dating, while Beth, June, and Heather become close friends.


5 Books Like The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey

While I wouldn't say this book was particularly enjoyable (it is about kidnapped and murdered teenage girls, after all), it was interesting and thought-provoking. If that's something you'd be interested in experiencing again, I'd recommend these five books like The Quarry Girls.


A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

1. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

"Monsters don't hide in the woods; they aren't shadows in the trees or invisible things lurking in darkened corners. No, the real monsters move in plain sight." You might think this quote could be taken right out of the pages of The Quarry Girls, but it's not, it's a quote from Stacy Willingham's book, A Flicker in the Dark. These two books are similar in that both are about the mysterious disappearance of multiple young girls from a small town. However, what makes A Flicker in the Dark different and quite interesting, is that it's told from the point-of-view of the daughter whose father was convicted of those kidnappings, and suspected murders.


Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

2. Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

With multiple missing women and a small town, Local Woman Missing is like The Quarry Girls in some ways but different in others. If you read the description, you'll see what I mean; "Shelby is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold. Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find...."


Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

3. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Unlike The Quarry Girls which is told from the perspective of the missing girl's best friend, Then She Was Gone is told from the mother of the missing girl's perspective. It starts when Laurel Mack's perfect daughter, Ellie, vanishes. 10 years later, she begins seriously dating a man with children of his own and is haunted by questions like, "Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?"


Finding Grace by K.L. Slater

4. Finding Grace by K.L. Slater

While this psychological thriller by K.L. Slater might not be about multiple missing girls, the one that it is about one reminds me of June and how Heather tried to protect her in The Quarry Girls. In Finding Grace, a nine-year-old girl goes missing after being allowed to walk home from a friend's house down the road. As their search for Grace begins, her parents are forced to confront and disclose all the dark secrets they've been keeping from one another.


We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

5. We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

Like The Quarry Girls, Julia Heabearlin's book, We Are All the Same in the Dark, is about the disappearance of young girls from a small town. The difference though is that the girls in this book disappear years apart from one another. Despite that, the town is convinced that the same man is responsible for both disappearances. While they're ready to send him to jail, one police officer has different suspicions and is hellbent to track down the evidence to back them.

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