In this sequel to The Family Upstairs, two women are faced with complicated mysteries that are linked to a cold case that left three people dead in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.
Lisa Jewell is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including The Family Upstairs and Then She Was Gone, as well as Invisible Girl and Watching You. Her novels have sold over 10 million copies internationally, and her work has also been translated into twenty-nine languages. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK, on Instagram @LisaJewellUK, and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.
Jewell doesn't usually do sequels, but fans will be very glad she made an exception this time. In 2019's The Family Upstairs, she used multiple time lines and a large cast of characters to tell a dark, twisted story. Now, the house in London's Chelsea that was the scene of so much tragedy has been sold, and the new owners have made a frightening discovery: human remains. The police launch an investigation, and soon the characters from Upstairs are once again the focus of attention. Interestingly, (and rather daringly), Jewell finds a clever way to incorporate backstory here, providing a different experience for those who have read the previous book and those who have not. Yes, there's plenty of standard backstory, assuring that newcomers will be on firm footing, but there are also events in Remains that will come across to new readers as plot twists, while those familiar with Upstairs will see them as re-creations or continuations of events in that book. For both kinds of readers, though, the novel delivers surprises and thrills. Intense reading from a master of the domestic thriller. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.
In this sequel to The Family Upstairs (2019), two siblings continue to deal with the fallout of their traumatic childhoods. Lucy Lamb is living with her brother, Henry, after the two have been reunited, and she's focused on reconnecting with her eldest daughter, Libby, and building a more stable life for her younger kids. But when Libby locates her birth father, Phin Thomsen, who lived as a teenager with Lucy and Henry-all their parents were part of a cult led by Phin's father and died together in a suicide pact-the family begins making plans to go visit him in Botswana until word comes that Phin has taken a leave of absence from his job. After tracing Phin to Chicago, Henry leaves abruptly to go find him and cuts off all communication, prompting deep concern in Lucy, who knows of Henry's dangerous obsession with Phin (which goes so deep that Henry has fashioned himself to look like Phin). Meanwhile, human remains have been found in the Thames and traced to the childhood home Libby inherited, which leaves all three wanted for police questioning when it is determined the victim lived with Henry, Lucy, and Libby in their childhood home and was murdered. Separately, an unrelated character named Rachel Rimmer remembers her disastrous marriage when she is contacted about her abusive husband's murder. In this latest thriller, Jewell dives back into the psyche of Henry Lamb, one of her most unsettling characters. She attempts to weave together four narratives but takes too long to develop connections among the disparate stories (especially Rachel's), which means the novel is weighted down with unrelated murder victims and minor characters, both of which detract from the suspense of Henry's pursuit of Phin. An unevenly paced thriller that fails to match its predecessor's level of intensity. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Groggy with sleep, Rachel peered at the screen of her phone. A French number. The phone slipped from her hand onto the floor and she grabbed it up again, staring at the number with wide eyes, adrenaline charging through her even though it was barely seven in the morning.
Finally she pressed reply. She drew in her breath. "Hello?"
"Bonjour, good morning. This is Detective Avril Loubet from the Police Municipale in Nice. Is this Mrs. Rachel Rimmer?"
"Yes," she replied. "Speaking."
"Mrs. Rimmer. I am afraid I am calling you with some very distressing news. Please, tell me. Are you alone?"
"Yes. Yes, I am."
"Is there anyone you can ask to be with you now?"
"My father. He lives close. But please. Just tell me."
"Well, I am afraid to say that this morning the body of your husband, Michael Rimmer, was discovered by his housekeeper in the basement of his house in Antibes."
Rachel made a sound, a hard intake of breath with a whoosh, like a steam train. "Oh," she said. "No!"
"I'm so sorry. But yes. And he appears to have been murdered, with a stab wound, several days ago. He has been dead at least since the weekend."
Rachel sat up straight and moved the phone to her other ear. "Is it-Do you know why? Or who?"
"The crime scene officers are in attendance. We will uncover every piece of evidence we can. But it seems that Mr. Rimmer had not been operating his security cameras and his back door was unlocked. I am very sorry, I don't have anything more definite to share with you at this point, Mrs. Rimmer. Very sorry indeed."
Rachel turned off her phone and let it drop onto her lap.
She stared blankly for a moment toward the window, where the summer sun was leaking through the edges of the blind. She sighed heavily. Then she pulled her sleep mask down, turned onto her side, and went back to sleep.