Published: October 25th, 2022
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Literary Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Thank you to John Marrs for sending me this early copy of the book to review.
In this chilling novel from bestselling author John Marrs, a young couple’s house hides terrible secrets―and not all of them are confined to the past.
Mia and Finn are busy turning a derelict house into their dream home when Mia unexpectedly falls pregnant. But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a chilling message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC. Following the clue up into the eaves, the couple make a gruesome discovery: their dream home was once a house of horrors.
In the wake of their traumatic discovery, the baby arrives and Mia can’t shake her fixation with the monstrous crimes that happened right above them. Haunted by the terrible things she saw and desperate to find answers, her obsession pulls her ever further from her husband.
Secrecy shrouds the mystery of the attic, but when shards of a dark truth start to emerge, Mia realises the danger is terrifyingly present. She is prepared to do anything to protect her family―but is it already too late?
“You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God.”Ted Bundy
When a book opens with a quote from a notorious, sadistic serial killer you know it’s going to be a wild ride. From the first page I had shivers down my spine and was on the edge of my seat, full of anticipation at the promise of such a chilling tale.
Mia and Finn’s new house is a dilapidated two-storey detached Victorian house on an ordinary street. It’s a house you’d never really notice but for the young couple this house is a promise of a better future. But what they don’t yet know is that it is also a place harbouring dark secrets. Secrets that the person who is quietly watching them knows. The truth finally begins to emerge after the couple make a gruesome attic in the attic that haunts Mia and leaves her desperate to uncover the truth of what happened in the house. But someone else will do anything to keep it from being uncovered. The only question is, which of them will succeed?
“He isn’t the first to be caught in their web and he won’t be the last. Most of them beg for mercy but they are all wasting their time. There will be no change of heart because there never is. No one under this roof believes in compassion. Empathy is an alien emotion here. “
OMG! What the f#@% did I just read?! Deliciously dark, marvellously menacing and totally twisted, I am slightly terrified of John Marrs after reading this; though I would love to peek inside his mind to know how he came up with what is his darkest book yet. I’ve been a big fan of Marrs’ books since I first read The One upon its release in 2017, and with every book he just gets better. He truly is the king of the twisted psychological thriller. Everything about his books makes my thriller-loving heart sing as he holds me hostage, my heart pounding as I read with baited breath as he drops clues like breadcrumbs to build the suspense. Every time you think all the twists have been revealed and you have it all figured out he will pull the rug from under you and turn the world upside down. It’s a never-ending maze of secrets, lies and murder. Twist after twist that makes your jaw drop and your head spin. And I can’t get enough of it.
This story makes even the most messed-up and crazy family you know seem sane. By giving each of them a voice we are able to really get inside their minds and discover who they are. I felt most drawn to Mia, my heart going out to her in particular after the events at the end of part one. I also really enjoyed the play on the traditional awful mother-in-law trope. Debbie is detestable for so many reasons and I admit I was team Mia from the start.
But it is the mystery narrator who I felt was most powerfully written. Though they are clearly a killer with a warped moral code, they are utterly fascinating. Through flashbacks to their childhood we learn that they are a creation of their horrific experiences, my heart breaking for what they endured and witnessed. Writing a one-dimensional villain is easy, but it takes true talent such as that possessed by Marrs to craft such a mesmerising yet chilling portrayal of a disturbed individual who is both repulsive yet sympathetic.
“To some, I’m a saviour, but to others, I’m a monster. I know what my work has been about, all the souls I’ve saved from torment. It’s part of the bargain that I can never share my role with the world. There’d be no hope of them understanding. Blinkered as they are, I could only be a monster. “
But who was our mysterious villain? I enjoyed trying to piece the clues together to work out the answer but the clever red herrings left by the author led me to also suspect the innocent at times. Even when I’d guessed correctly I discovered there were yet more crazy antics to come as this person toyed with their victims further and prolonged their torment with glee. When and how would it end? I had no idea. But I don’t think I could have guessed what was in store even with infinite opportunities.
Keep It In The Family is my new favourite John Marrs book. And I think it will be yours too after you read this dark, sinister and mind-blowing tale. Just buckle yourself in and enjoy the ride.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. His books include No1 bestseller and Netflix series The One, The Passengers, award winning What Lies Between Us and The Good Samaritan.
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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles ☺️ Emma xxx