I know this is the 2nd review this week for a book by this author, but she is one of my favourites. So it’s okay… This one is another book from my isolation eBook haul! I bought what I thought was enough eBooks to take me to the end of lockdown until I could get to an open book store, but I feel like I might get through them before that happens… so I might have to do another very soon. Just to keep me sane! So today’s book is The Family by Louise Jensen.
The Family is a psychological thriller that was published in September 2019 under the publisher HQ. It is available in both kindle/eBook format and also physical paper back. Louise Jensen is an author well known for creating thrillers as shown in other works such as the surrogate, the date and the sister. Here is the synopsis for The Family, taken from the books Goodreads page:
The new psychological thriller from master storyteller, Louise Jensen, will leave you breathless.
Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.
But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.
Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…
So in The Family, we follow the story of a mother and daughter who are caught in the grief of losing a husband and a father. In the aftermath of his death life becomes difficult for Laura and Tilly. Bills aren’t getting paid, they have lost family and friends and Laura has had to give up her flower shop. The life insurance won’t pay out until they know the reason for her late husbands death and the inquest is months away. Caring now, only about the safety of Tilly, Laura struggles to know what to do for the best. It isn’t until an unlikely friend offers help from a community that lives on a local farm that Laura starts to feel hope. but is everything as it seems on this farm? Is everyone as nice and as happy as what they tell you? Are they really safe here? Laura needs to find out. To save her daughter and herself.
I’m not going to lie, I loved this book. There were so many different faucets to it. Every time you think you’ve found every surprise and every confession, something else is uncovered. It was creepy and full of suspense. I genuinely couldn’t predict anything that was happening. It all just jumped out of nowhere and the people you thought were bad were good and visa versa. It really messed with your head and what you thought you knew. It really earned it’s stripes as a psychological thriller, it really does mess with your head.
I thought the characters were so well developed too. You got to read from a lot of different perspectives. You got to experience their internal grief and guilt which made you wonder if they were guilty and what kind of secrets they were hiding. The way Jensen used these perspectives to make you prejudge and assume is incredible. For example the character Alex, I basically got a feel from him through what were told from Laura and Tilly’s perspectives and then we get a few from his and it seems to cement that decision I made but I got it all wrong. I just assumed where his guilt lied and when everything twisted in the opposite direction than what I was expecting it really took me off guard.
This book was slower paced from what I am used to from thrillers and Jensen’s past books that I’ve read but with all the twists and turns it still really pulled me in and caught my attention. Overall, I really enjoyed this read. I think it was different and well put together. It definitely took you on a bit of a rollercoaster and managed to carry on surprising you. I’d definitely recommend and will be reading more Louise Jensen books in the future!
Star Rating /5