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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Family Remains

ISBN: 978-1982178895

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: 08/09/2022

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell comes an intricate and affecting novel about twisted marriages, fractured families, and deadly obsessions in this standalone sequel to the “brilliantly chilling” (Ruth 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.

In this masterful standalone sequel to her haunting New York Times bestseller, The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell proves she is writing at the height of her powers with another jaw-dropping, intricate, and affecting novel about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love and uncover the truth.


“Spellbinding from the first page to the last, Lisa Jewell knows how to weave a tale that makes readers breathless. Perfectly plotted and paced, with so many shocking twists, The Family Remains is simply masterful.”

—SAMANTHA DOWNING, International bestselling author of For Your Own Good

“The Family Remains reminds me why I come to her books time and time again…because Lisa Jewell is a superb writer at the top of her game.”

—Karin Slaughter, New York Times and International bestselling author

“Lively…Jewell effectively keeps readers off balance all the way to the happy ending. Though this tale of child abuse and mayhem works as a standalone, those who haven't read The Family Upstairs will immediately want to rush out and do so.”

— Publishers Weekly

"Other authors are at a ten out of ten, for me, and Lisa is a solid hundred."

—GILLIAN McALLISTER, Sunday Times bestselling author of That Night

"[A] triumph."

—ERIN KELLY, Sunday Times bestselling author of Watch Her Fall

"Lisa Jewell is, simply, outstanding."

—ALEX MARWOOD, author of The Poison Garden

"Compelling, ingenious, breath-stopping. No one creates characters as complex, real and utterly human as Lisa Jewell."

—TAMAR COHEN, author of When She Was Bad

“[A]nother masterclass in thriller writing from the current queen of psychological suspense.”

—MARK EDWARDS, author of The House Guest

My Review

Lisa Jewell returns from (2019) The Family Upstairs with the highly anticipated follow-up sequel, THE FAMILY REMAINS; two siblings continue to deal with the fallout of their traumatic childhoods.

This installment provides the answers to the madness long ago. Jewell returns to the voice of Henry and the reunion with Phin (an enigma), among other burning questions. Henry takes center stage.

The quest for resolution and answers regarding events from decades prior. Juggling three different storylines—a lot is going on and to keep up with.

After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. The main focus is creepy Henry Lamb. After being reunited, Lucy Lamb lives with her brother, Henry, and wants to reconnect with her oldest daughter, Libby.

Lucy once married to Michael (Rachel Rimmer); and Lucy’s daughter, Libby Jones, whose escape from their childhood “house of horrors” was the focus of the previous book.

Henry’s obsessive search for Finn worries Lucy, who tracks Henry to Chicago, while Libby is intent on finding her biological father.

Libby locates her birth father, Phin Thomsen, who lived as a teenager with Lucy and Henry—all their parents were part of a cult led by Phin’s father and died together in a suicide pact.

They also found traces of Phin living in Botswana and planned a family reunion. But Lucy discovers he has hit the road as soon as he found out their intention. He cuts off all communication, prompting deep concern in Lucy, who knows of Henry’s dangerous obsession with Phin.

In the meantime, human remains have been found in the Thames and traced to the childhood home Libby inherited. They then are questioned by the police.

Jewell dives deep into the dark psyche of Henry Lamb, which is by far the most broken of the bunch. In addition, Rachel's story will keep you captivated in this suspenseful family drama and its twenty year old mystery with multiple twisty subplots.

A tragic tale of child abuse, emotional trauma, toxic families, deadly obsessions, blackmail, and murder—the lengths to protect the ones we love and uncover the truth.

When I think of Henry, I think of Joe Goldberg in YOU.

Jewell does a great job with the wrap-up and a master at designing complex characters and situations with a satisfying epilogue.

A must-read for anyone who enjoyed the first book and would recommend reading The Family Upstairs prior —to enhance your overall reading experience. Once again, Jewell is a master storyteller and a favorite author. Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

Thank you to #AtriaBooks and #NetGalley for an ARC to read, review, and enjoy.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4 Stars

Pub Date: Aug 9, 2022

About the Author

Photograph (c) Andrew Whitton

Lisa Jewell is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including The Family Upstairs and Then She Was Gone, as well as Invisible Girl and Watching You.

Her novels have sold over 10 million copies internationally, and her work has also been translated into twenty-nine languages. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK, on Instagram @LisaJewellUK, and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial. WEBSITE

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