Let me start by saying this is not a standalone! If you don’t read The Family Upstairs first…prepare to be lost. The Lamb siblings are back, this time adjusting to their reunion with each other and Lucy’s return to London. She and her oldest daughter, Libby Jones, are beginning to bond as they both are looking to create a new normal. However, when they locate Libby’s father and attempt to set up a visit with him in Botswana, he suddenly pulls up stakes and leaves. Henry gets a lead on where he might have gone and surreptitiously sets out to find him as he’s still obsessed with the man. Meanwhile, the human remains of Bridget Dunlop-Evers, known as Birdie, are discovered by a mudlarker on the shores of the Thames and DCI Samuel Owusu is doggedly determined to find out who killed her. Rachel Rimmer, Lucy’s ex-husband Michael Rimmer’s wife, gives us a view of the man from the time they first met until his death.
the heart of the story…
There’s so much backstory from the first book I had to read a summary (Googled it!) to remind myself of certain details. It all came flooding back quickly and I got so hooked I abandoned sleep to finish. There’s not a lot of drama, except as it relates to Henry and his relentless pursuit of Phin. We know what he’s capable of so it was beyond creepy. Lucy has also taken her children with her to chase behind Henry, fearing he’d do something rash. Rachel’s point of view was extremely compelling, especially after knowing her as a self assured modern woman who’s taken in by Michael’s veneer. I was so invested in what happened to her and couldn’t wait until the story would transition back to her. DCI Owusu is always in the background, his investigation creeping closer to the truth of what happened in that house of horrors where the children were raised.
I was in heaven listening to this full cast narration. Everyone delivered the performance I needed, especially Dominic Thorburn as Henry. He was that man, full of arrogance and a little bit of crazy. This was the best in audiobook listening experiences.
the bottom line…
I was satisfied with the ending in the first book but still had lots of unresolved issues that this story answered. It totally enthralled me as I worried for Phin, got caught up in Rachel’s unfolding drama and felt the tension brought on by DCI Owusu as he closed in on the Lambs. My expectations were high and this still managed to surpass them. I’m sparse on details for a reason and highly recommend the book in any format but the audio version is special. Jewell is an auto listen and remains so. It feels like we’ve seen the last of this family but there was a tiny little crack opened for possibly more. If so, I’m definitely in!
- Release Date: August 9, 2022
- Series: The Family Upstairs #2
- Narrators: Dominic Thorburn, Bea Holland, Hugh Quarshie, Josh Dylan, Thomas Judd & Eleanor Tomlinson
- Audio Length: 11 hours, 14 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)