cover image The Family Remains

The Family Remains

Lisa Jewell. Atria, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-9821-7889-5

Bestseller Jewell’s lively sequel to 2019’s The Family Upstairs juggles three different story lines that eventually overlap. In 2019, Det. Insp. Samuel Owusu investigates skeletal remains in a black trash bag that have washed up on the bank of the Thames. In 2016, 30-ish Rachel Gold, a London-based jewelry designer, meets Michael Rimmer, with whom she has a whirlwind romance that ends with Michael’s murder in Antibes in 2018. The third plot strand focuses on creepy Henry Lamb; Henry’s sister, Lucy Lamb, who was once married to Michael; and Lucy’s daughter, Libby Jones, whose escape from their childhood “house of horrors” was the centerpiece of the previous book. Henry’s obsessive search for Finn Thomsen, a companion from his terrifying and traumatic youth, worries Lucy, who tracks Henry to Chicago, while Libby is intent on finding her biological father. By rapidly jumping around in time, Jewell effectively keeps readers off balance all the way to the happy ending. Though this tale of child abuse and mayhem works as a standalone, those who haven’t read The Family Upstairs will immediately want to rush out and do so. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Aug.)