The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

I’m so delighted to be part of the blog tour today for this gripping book. Thanks so much to The Write Reads and Penguin Random House Ireland for the invitation to be part of the tour and the advance copy of the book.

Book Info

Genre: Adult Thriller

Length: 448 Pages

Publishing: 21st July 2022



LONDON. Early morning, June 2019: on the foreshore of the river Thames, a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones.

DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene and quickly sends the bag for forensic examination. The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.

Also inside the bag is a trail of clues, in particular the seeds of a rare tree which lead DCI Owusu back to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen, and a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.

The clues point forward too to a brother and sister in Chicago searching for the only person who can make sense of their pasts.

Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. A family whose secrets can’t stay buried for ever …

My Review

I decided to read the first book in this series, The Family Upstairs, before reading this one. It’s perfectly fine to read this book as a standalone, but it really enhances the reading experience if you’ve read the first, as you are totally immersed in the back stories of the characters.

What a journey I feel that I’ve been on with this book and its prequel! I read them both, one after the other and I was just totally engrossed in the lives of the characters. I almost needed to decompress and come back to real life after being so caught up in it all.

In this book there is a shocking discovery made of human bones in the Thames, and suddenly it all comes flooding back, all the events that the characters had thought were over and done with.

It’s told from multiple perspectives, and there is also a dual timeline. The voices of each character are so distinct that there’s no confusion and it flows beautifully between the chapters.

Having read the previous book, I found it particularly fascinating to see how the characters had developed, and knowing their back stories gave me greater insight into them. Henry, for example, is a complex and sometimes dark character, but knowing what he went through in his childhood helped me to understand him better.

I found myself totally hooked by this book. Each short chapter leaves you wanting to know more, it reels you in and then leaves you hanging while you get the next character’s perspective, or a snippet from the past.

Superbly crafted, addictive, dark and disturbing, this book is impossible to put down. Cancel everything and just read late into the night with this one. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves a thrilling and gripping read. If you can, read the first book also, you won’t regret it, but either way this book is a triumph of a psychological thriller from one of the best.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

LISA JEWELL was born in London in 1968.

Her first novel, Ralph’s Party, was the best- selling debut novel of 1999. Since then she has written another eighteen novels, most recently a number of dark psychological thrillers, including The Girls, Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs (all of which were Richard & Judy Book Club picks).

Lisa is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestselling author who has been published worldwide in over twenty-five languages. She lives in north London with her husband, two teenage daughters, one cat, one guinea pig and the best dog in the world.

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