The Family Remains – Lisa Jewell

Published By: Century
Pages: 448
Released On: 21/07/2022

London. June 2019, early morning: on the foreshore of the River Thames a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones.

DI Samuel Owusu 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 are the seeds of a rare tree which lead DI Owusu to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen while a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.

Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. And a family whose secret history is darker than anyone can imagine.


It took me a few chapters to get into this one. I think if I’d had read it immediately after the first one, it would have been easier to get into, but I needed a break after that one to wrap my head round it.

I felt the first book was very plot heavy but this one, for me, is more focussed on the characters. It doesn’t get straight into the action like the first one did, this is more building on what the first one provided.

There’s a lot of going back in time and flashbacks and flash forwards, which you have to get your head round, but it does make things from the first book much clearer.

It hasn’t quite got the same thrilling, suspense the first one did. It’s got an entirely differently tone.

I do wonder whether a sequel was necessary. I really thought the first book was exceptional (my first Lisa Jewell) book) but I never thought it was unfinished, I never thought a second one was needed.

It wasn’t a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, it was a very good book. It has Lisa’s excellent character creation, plot writing and general storytelling. By about half way it was starting to get back to what I was expecting given the first book. I will definitely be looking out for her others, maybe make myself a little Lisa Jewell shelf.

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