Book Review: The Family Remains (The Family Upstairs #2) by Lisa Jewell

“Their secrets can’t stay buried forever.”

A follow-up to The Family Upstairs and released in 2022, The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell follows DCI Samuel Owusu who, early one morning, is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery on the shore of the Thames. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.

Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer.

After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present.

As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.


I wasn’t a huge fan of The Family Upstairs. I seem to find Lisa Jewell very hit-and-miss, and it was sadly one that I thought was quite average and that it could have been made a lot darker.

So I wasn’t particularly interested in this sequel, but I decided to give it a go anyway.

Fans of the first book are sure to love this follow-up. I really enjoyed how each story was told separately and the way that they all came together at different periods of time, and it answered all of the questions that I previously had.

But unfortunately, I didn’t care for any of the characters so I really couldn’t engage with the story very well. However, I did listen to this on audiobook which I really enjoyed, and I loved the host of voice cast playing the different characters.

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