Book Review: Keep It In The Family by John Marrs

Mia and Finn are busy turning a derelict house into their dream home when Mia unexpectedly falls pregnant. But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a chilling message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC. Following the clue up into the eaves, the couple make a gruesome discovery: their dream home was once a house of horrors.

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. Haunted by the terrible things she saw and desperate to find answers, her obsession pulls her ever further from her husband.

Secrecy shrouds the mystery of the attic, but when shards of a dark truth start to emerge, Mia realises the danger is terrifyingly present. She is prepared to do anything to protect her family – but is it already too late?


I went through a serious John Marrs phase at one point and then forgot about him. Shame on me because Keep It In The Family is probably the best book I read so far this year.

It had everything I wanted. A intriguing plot. Twists and turns galore. Likeable characters. Horrible characters. I just love a book that keeps me guessing and I couldn’t put it down.

Let’s go into more detail. This is definitely a dark book. Be prepared for that. In fact, it could be a bit triggering for some readers. While I wouldn’t say the descriptions are very graphic, I don’t think they need to be to be upsetting. The author does such a great job of building an atmosphere and getting into the heads of the characters that he doesn’t need to resort to shock value to get the reader turning the pages.

I found the twists in the story great. While I admit that I saw one or two of them coming, there were others that caught me off guard. I love when that happens in a book. It’s nice to be surprised but it’s also nice to have enough clues to help you figure out the outcome yourself. Without these clues, sometimes the ending can be too unbelievable.

Finally, I found the characters interesting. Although I can’t honestly say they had amazing character development, they certainly don’t end as the people you perceive them to be in the beginning. Besides what happens with the main plot, I like how they all have their flaws. Characters in the grey area always make for a better book.

Want to check Keep It In The Family out? Pick up a copy here.


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