**Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader’s copy of The Family Upstairs from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell is an adult mystery thriller set in London. It is about a young woman named Libby who comes into an unexpected inheritance and an unexpected family history. The book is set to be published on November 5th. I gave it five stars on Goodreads.
Here is the summary from Goodreads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and Watching You comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.
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.
In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.
The Family Upstairs was an interesting read, and I was definitely intrigued by the concept. That’s really enjoy thrillers, and as Lisa Jewell was a name I recognized but hadn’t read anything by, I decided to request it. I was super excited when the request came through as approved.
Getting into it however was a bit jarring. The initial point of view is Libby’s and it’s in present tense, which for some reason threw me through a loop. It took a bit to get into it, but once I was in, I was in. It helped that Libby’s point of view wasn’t the only one. It’s mixed up with the point of view of who you quickly figure out are supposed to be her siblings. Each character has such a distinct and interesting voice that I found myself wanting to know more and wanting to find out how things had all played out.
The story was well developed as well. I liked how the author slowly revealed information. There was always just a tidbit here or there that added pieces to the puzzle while also showing that there was far more to the picture than you might have ever expected before. The slow feed of information kept me on the hook as it gradually satisfied my curiosity while also not giving me quite enough to fully satiate my need for knowledge.
Henry’s point of view section was particularly intriguing to me. I have never read a character quite like him. He was disturbing and twisted and super unreliable. And I loved it. I found myself devouring the book trying to get to his next section so that I could learn more about his perspective, and more of what he was telling me. Libby and the other point of view sometimes felt more like a vehicle for the story that Henry was pulling together. The final chapter is in his point of view and it is a killer. I loved it.
All in all, I highly recommend this book. It’s well constructed and well written. There are all the twists you’d want in a mystery and the payoff is great.
Make sure you check it out when it comes out on November 5th.