In this thrilling sequel to The Family Upstairs from Lisa Jewell, nothing’s as it seems and everything is connected.
Good to know
Second in series
Why I love it
Author, The Husbands
I consider myself something of a thriller connoisseur and it’s my firm belief that you’d be hard pressed to chisel out a Mount Rushmore of thriller writers that doesn’t include Lisa Jewell. With The Family Remains, a sequel to her novel The Family Upstairs, Jewell crafts a story that’s equal parts multi-generational drama and intricately-plotted mystery.
When the mummified body of Birdie Dunlop-Evers washes up on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu opens an investigation into a thirty-year-old cold case that will uncover buried connections and personal histories that span years and even continents. In London, Rachel Gold has just embarked on a whirlwind romance with a wealthy, older man that will change the course of her life. Henry Lamb crosses the Atlantic to track Phineas, a guy who doesn’t want to be found and the unwilling object of a cruel teenage obsession. His sister, Lucy, has gone from rags to riches in the blink of an eye. Now on the cusp of finally buying a home for herself and her children, Lucy hightails it to America to hunt down Henry before he catches up to Phineas.
At the center is a large house where unspeakable things occurred decades earlier, a house where Birdie was apparently murdered. But someone moved her body in the last year, just before the house was sold. The question is who.
As a suspense lover, I’ll admit that one of the common criticisms of the genre is that characters are sometimes rendered a tad thin, but Jewell approaches her thrillers as true character studies. Come for the twists, the chilling whodunits, and the jaw-dropping reveals, absolutely, but it’s the finely tuned insight into human psychology and relationships that stick with me.
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.