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Review: The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Title: The Family Remains

Author: Lisa Jewell
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)UK

SummaryRuth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs.

Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.

Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer.

After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present.

As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.

Review: Even though I brought 5 books on my holiday I bought this one in the Dubai airport. For me, buying a book in an airport bookshop is almost a ritual; I really like it. And, it's Lisa Jewell, I figured it would be good.

I had a difficult time getting into this book. I think that's partly because I kept reading in small time chunks so I didn't get into the flow. In addition, there was a lot of back and forth with different timelines and character sets that felt disjointed (again, perhaps because I read in little bits).

I also didn't really like most of the characters and that makes it difficult to love a book. However, as I neared the end of the book, characters and storylines started to converge and come together (as they are wont to do) and that was done really well.

So, while this book didn't totally work for me, I wonder how much of it was my disjointed reading. It turns out this is a sequel to The Family Upstairs, which I have not read. Maybe that would have also helped?

Challenges for which this counts: none

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