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Keep It in the Family

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She is prepared to do anything to protect her family―but will the previous tenants stop her from discovering their secret? Darkly disturbing and with twists that just keep on coming, this is John Marrs at his best, bringing you a family very much at their worst. My daughter picked this out of her box of them for me, and I read most of it while waiting to collect her from school. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author.

I’ve always desired to practice mindfulness properly, framing the moment with complete concentration. It’s a reminder of how evil walks among us and how the scariest things are those that can happen in real life, not in horror films. I enjoyed trying to piece the clues together to work out the answer but the clever red herrings left by the author led me to also suspect the innocent at times.William Darling" was first published in Shark and Chips and Other Stories (Puffin 1992), “You Don’t Look Very Poorly” was first published in The Puffin Book of Funny Stories, ed. Writing a one-dimensional villain is easy, but it takes true talent such as that possessed by Marrs to craft such a mesmerising yet chilling portrayal of a disturbed individual who is both repulsive yet sympathetic. From Finn to Mia and Dave to Debbie each person is so complex, realistic and mesmerising that I almost felt tainted by reading about them, by their subtleties and by their actions, however evil or innocent they may be. Following the clue up into the eaves, the couple make a gruesome discovery: their home was once a real-life murder house, with the evidence still concealed within the four walls. It’s a house you’d never really notice but for the young couple this house is a promise of a better future.

I could’ve given this book a higher rating but I docked some points for the fact it was more difficult to read than it should’ve been. Keep It in the Family is the type of story that allows you to form theories, opinions and impressions in relation to the events this tale.

Every time you think all the twists have been revealed and you have it all figured out he will pull the rug from under you and turn the world upside down. In the wake of their traumatic discovery, the baby arrives and Mia can’t shake her fixation with the monstrous crimes that happened right above them. Minna gets sick and wishes her mum was a better nurse; when the tables are turned, who is the better nurse and patient? In this thrilling novel from bestselling author John Marrs, a young couple’s house hides terrible secrets—and not all of them are confined to the past.

But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a shocking message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC . From a dramatic prologue right through to the jaw dropping finale, Keep It In The Family is a fast paced, twisty and disturbing read that I found myself unable to put down. I won’t say too much more on this aspect other than Marrs has devised a great bunch of shady characters, I couldn’t work them out until it was too late. Mia is particularly disturbed by the dark history of her home and she is compelled to find out more about the past.

Finance is provided by PayPal Credit (a trading name of PayPal UK Ltd, Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, United Kingdom, TW9 1EH). A note reads “This was the first of what turned out to be several stories about Minna and her unusual family”. I really needed that epilogue, it did give the story some final grounding, complete with a shocking final twist!

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