Title: The Family Remains (The Family Upstairs #2)
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: General Fiction/ Mystery & Thriller
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
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.
I’d like to thank NetGalley and Century for approving me for an ARC of this book.
After reading and enjoying The Family Upstairs I decided to jump straight into the highly anticipated sequel. I was interested to see where Libby, Lucy and Henry’s journey went to next and wanted to know if they would ever find Phin.
I would say The Family Remains is a slow burn character study of Henry and how his mind operates. He is a complex character and you can hardly blame the way he is after the childhood he endured in the house. The whole book seems to be at a simmering point throughout and I kept waiting for something big and twisted to happen but for me the punch wasn’t really there.
Running alongside Henry’s story was Rachel Rimmer, the current wife of Michael who also happens to be Lucy’s ex. Through a series of flashbacks we are told her story and how she came to be Michael’s wife. I found this part of the story more intriguing and could feel the sinister, twisted side of Michael was always hiding in the shadow waiting to pounce. I was keen to see how her treated Rachel compared to Lucy and how both women would handle the fall out of the events from the previous book.
Whilst this claims to be a standalone I would recommend reading the first one beforehand to fully understand the family and what Lucy and Henry went through. There are quite a few characters from the first book that pop up too so it’s handy to have some background knowledge of them.
There were aspects of this story that I really enjoyed but I didn’t feel it was to the same standard that I’ve come to expect with Lisa Jewell. Have you read this one? Let me know in the comments what you thought!