The Family Remains, Lisa Jewell

The Family Remains opening lines: ‘Jason Mott?’ ‘Yes. Here. That’s me.’ I stare down at the young man who stands below me ankle-deep in the mud of the banks of the Thames.

The Family Remains

My blurb:

Changing your name cannot change your past. And when that past appears in the form of a bag of bones, many lives are going to be impacted. No-one can hide from the facts of what really took place in Chelsea close to three decades ago. And DI Samuel Owusu will not stop looking for the truth, no matter where it takes him.

The Family Remains
LONDON. Early morning, June 2019: on the foreshore of the river Thames, a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones.
DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene and quickly sends the bag for forensic examination. The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.
Also inside the bag is a trail of clues, in particular the seeds of a rare tree which lead DCI Owusu back to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen, and a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.
The clues point forward too to a brother and sister in Chicago searching for the only person who can make sense of their pasts.
Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. A family whose secrets can’t stay buried for ever…
My verdict:

Lisa Jewell has delivered another great read that I can highly recommend. It would help to read the novel where this story starts, but it is not vital.

Read an extract:


June 2019


‘Jason Mott?’

‘Yes. Here. That’s me.’

I stare down at the young man who stands below me ankle-deep in the mud of the banks of the Thames. He has sandy hair that hangs in curtains on either side of a soft, freckled face. He’s wearing knee-high rubber boots and a khaki gilet with multiple pockets and is surrounded by a circle of gawping people. I go to him, trying to keep my shoes away from the mud.

‘Good morning,’ I say. ‘I’m DI Samuel Owusu. This is Saffron Brown from our forensics team.’ I see Jason Mott trying very hard not to look as if he is excited to be in the presence of two real-life detectives – and failing. ‘I hear you have found something. Maybe you could explain?’


Publishing information:
ISBN 9781529125801
Format Trade Paperback
Published September 2022

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this novel to review.

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