Another suspense-packed page turner from Louise Jensen. 4/5 stars.
Thank you to HQ for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.
ONCE YOU’RE IN, THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LEAVE.
Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.
But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.
Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…
I’ve read and reviewed all of Louise’s previous books (The Sister, The Surrogate, The Gift and The Date) and I’m very pleased to say that in The Family she has produced yet another page-turner. In fact, trying to find something original to say has proved almost impossible as this book is more of her winning formula. Safe to say: if you have enjoyed all/any of her previous psychological thrillers, you should put The Family on your Christmas list!
The short chapters, which nearly all end on a mini cliffhanger, make The Family incredibly readable. With plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting, I expect many readers will race through to finish it in one sitting.
Unlike her previous books, this story focuses on the bond between a mother and daughter when subjected to extreme stress. I did feel for Laura and Tilly, particularly as they are in an awful situation at the start of the book and things only keep getting worse!
Towards the end I did start to feel there were perhaps one too many incredible coincidences or an over-reliance on destiny to explain everything. Also, while on the whole the three different narrators lead us on a clear path through the story, in the last few chapters the voice hopping did confuse me a little. Although I do acknowledge that could be a product of my addled brain!
Overall: Fans of Louise Jensen’s previous books will no doubt devour The Family with delight.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul