Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Be careful who you let in.
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.
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.
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.
The Family Upstairs is a disappointment to say the least.
The novel features three points of view making the story confusing and difficult to follow at times. Had the story been told from only Libby’s point of view, the story would have been much more enjoyable and could have been labelled a thriller/mystery rather than flirt with the family drama line.
What exacerbates the confusing points of view is the slow and inconsistent pace. Some chapters are slow and seemingly directionless that I had to put the book down, while others are interesting and kept me turning the pages. However, the interesting chapters are too short so when things get exciting, the chapter abruptly ends and forces readers to switch to a boring perspective.
I would label The Family Upstairs more of a contemporary drama rather than a thriller or mystery. While there are some spooky moments, they’re used sparingly and strategically rather than a constant element of the story.
Overall, The Family Upstairs was a disappointing read that doesn’t pay off the time spent reading.
***I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review