Title: The Family Upstairs
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Pages: 349
Book Source: NetGalley

“Be careful who you let in.
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Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.
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She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.
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Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

This was a nice thriller, dare I say a happy thriller? Sure, horrible things happened, but there are happy endings for most of the living characters. Families are united, people don’t have to worry about money, and a trip of a lifetime closes out the book. Sounds pretty sweet to me. Sure the trip might not end well for someone, but eh, that’s for another book.

The book flowed well, even with the changes between three different people. Lisa Jewell does a good job building the characters quickly, so you get a good feel for them. Her descriptions of the scenes and architecture of the house are well written. Just enough, but not so much that I became bored and started skimming.

So why did I give it a three instead of five stars? Because, for me, it wasn’t thrilling. The tension never ratcheted up very high, maybe medium at best. Although many people die in The Family Upstairs, only one death had me thinking, “Daaang!” But even that death was more, “Way to go!” then, “Oh, the horror!”

I wouldn’t say don’t read The Family Upstairs, but maybe put if off a bit and read some of the books on your TBR pile that you’re really excited about.

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