The Family Remains - Lisa Jewell

Reading Challenge Category: Recommended by a friend

Official Blurb:

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 Thoughts:

Having just devoured ‘The Family Upstairs’, I was thrilled to delve back into the lives of the intriguing characters once again. The Family Remains takes us on another journey through their intricate lives, but I must admit that I missed the perspective of Libby, who was such a driving force in the previous instalment.
Returning to this familiar world was a delight in itself, as Jewell has created a cast of characters that I could happily inhabit forever. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that this book was not entirely necessary to conclude the story. The absence of new reveals and surprises left me longing for the heart-pounding thrills that made the first book so gripping.
That being said, I did find solace in Rachel and Michael's story, which offered a welcome diversion. Their narrative provided an enjoyable interlude, even though its inclusion seemed somewhat superfluous. Its true purpose only emerged towards the end, where a slight twist was introduced. Unfortunately, it was a twist that I had already anticipated, thus diluting its impact.
Although I did find pleasure in immersing myself in The Family Remains, it paled in comparison to the gripping intensity of its predecessor. While I would still recommend reading it for the sake of closure, I must confess that it falls short of its predecessor's compelling allure. It served more as an indulgence, allowing readers to once again be in the company of these beloved characters rather than delivering a fresh and gripping narrative.
In conclusion, The Family Remains may not have lived up to the high expectations set by The Family Upstairs, but it still holds a certain charm. For fans of the series, it offers a chance to revisit familiar faces and tie up loose ends. However, if you're seeking the same level of excitement and intrigue, I would recommend tempering your expectations.

The Family Remains
by Lisa Jewell
Date Started
9th June 2023
Date Finished
11th June 2023