2022 Reviews · contemporary fiction · crime · mystery · new release · suspense · thriller

New Release Book Review: The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Title: The Family Remains

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published: July 5th 2022

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Pages: 448

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 3.5 stars


**Loved THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS? Find out what happened next …**

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 …




Lisa Jewell is a million copy bestselling author. Jewell released the domestic thriller The Family Upstairs to great acclaim in 2019. Now fans can rejoice as the popular British author has released a sequel to The Family Upstairs. The Family Remains is an intriguing, knotted and complex suspense novel. Fans of Jewell’s contemporary mystery work will flock to The Family Remains.

The Family Remains opens in June 2019. The River Thames stirs up old secrets and a long-standing crime mystery when human remains are discovered. On the case is DCI Owusu, who promptly sends the bones off to be screened for key forensic detail. When the results come back, it is revealed that the remains belong to a young woman who was brutally killed many years ago. When an investigation is launched, a strange clue is linked to this young woman’s murder. A bag of rare seeds from a tree leads the crime investigation to the wealthy suburb of Chelsea and a mansion. Tracing back to three decades ago, a terrible triple murder occurred at this wealthy property. With four deaths linked to this same address, it is up to the present-day investigation team to finally close this dark chapter at 16 Cheyne Walk.

Lisa Jewell is pretty much one of my guaranteed auto-buy or request authors. When an offer was extended to me by Penguin Books Australia to review Lisa Jewell’s latest release, I snapped it up immediately. I was really excited to read this one as I love a good domestic thriller and Jewell is a star in this genre. It wasn’t until I started reading this one that I realised it was a sequel to The Family Upstairs. A check over my reading records and crowded TBR shelves revealed that I hadn’t read this 2019 release. So, I went quite blind into The Family Remains with no previous backstory or character orientation.

Lisa Jewell does have her new readers to this story in mind and she makes sure that one of her key narrators offers a recap of the history and the characters featured in this overarching story. There is also a very helpful cast list the opening of the book. I still felt as though I was missing just one vital piece to the final puzzle, so I will aim to pick up The Family Upstairs as soon as a I can. Overall, Jewell was produced a well written and highly consuming thriller, with a strong line of suspense. I enjoyed the past to present link ups, the twists, speculation, investigative ground work and the short chapter format. The central mystery surrounding the discovery of the bag of bones kept me interested and on edge. I also appreciated Jewell’s use of multiple character perspectives and timeframes, which is utilised over the course of this novel’s descent.

All in all, Jewell has displayed her inherent ability to draw her readers into the convoluted lives of her character set in The Family Remains. The back cover of this novel pre-warns the reader, be prepared to be hooked as soon as you pick up The Family Remains, which is very true!

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell was published on 5th July 2022 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Family Remains, Lisa Jewell, visit here.

*Thanks extended to Penguin Books Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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