Family Business – Jonathan Sims

Published By: Orion
Pages: 336
Released On: 13/10/2022



When Diya Burman’s best friend Angie dies, it feels like her own life is falling apart. Wanting a fresh start, she joins Slough & Sons – a family firm that cleans up after the recently deceased.

Old love letters. Porcelain dolls. Broken trinkets. Clearing away the remnants of other people’s lives, Diya begins to see things. Horrible things. Things that get harder and harder to write off as merely her grieving imagination. All is not as it seems with the Slough family. Why won’t they speak about their own recent loss? And who is the strange man that keeps turning up at their jobs?

If Diya’s not careful, she might just end up getting buried under the family tree. . 


**Contains Minor Thematic Spoilers**

Thanks to NetGalley and Orion for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I thought this was ‘just’ going to be an entertaining book about a bereavement cleaning service, about one young woman’s journey with her grief. I thought it might be a bit gruesome too. But it’s much more than that. It has a mystical, supernatural element to it, it explores how magic and fantasy can be scary and dangerous and not trifled with.

I wasn’t completely enamoured with our main protagonist at first – don’t ask me why, there was nothing amiss with her, I just didn’t gel with her. But I soon became to enjoy her relationships between her and her colleagues, they were real foils of each other and made for such subtle but excellent scenes.

Considering the supernatural event to it, it all felt so real that I would imagine even the biggest magic sceptics amongst us would be hard pressed to deny it.

As someone who has been well acquainted with death and grief, I enjoyed the exploration of death and grief and a look at how we all deal with it in our own ways, and they may seem wrong to some people, but as long as it’s right for that person then it doesn’t matter.

It’s thrilling, I don’t mean that in a fast-paced, all guns blazing within the first couple of pages, no. It’s quieter than that. It grabs your hand and whispers “come with me” and you have no choice but to follow.

It’s a thriller, a fantasy, a horror, a science fiction; it flows really well and you’ll finish it before you know it. It’s scary but not hide-behind-your-sofa terrifying, vivid but not gory, amusing but not comedic, it’s the perfect balance of everything to give you an entertaining read.

It reads so well, so smoothly. It’s a first class piece of storytelling. It’s my first book by Jonathan Sims but it definitely won’t be my last.

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