Keep It In The Family by John Marrs #bookreview @AmazonPub @FMcMAssociates

In this chilling novel from bestselling author John Marrs, a young couple’s house hides terrible secrets—and not all of them are confined to the past.

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’ve long been a fan of John Marrs and his books but have to start my review by saying that Keep It In The Family is, in my opinion, his best book so far! For me it contained every single element I desire in my psychological thrillers, delivering a shocking and gripping read from start to finish.

Married couple Finn and Mia have just bought a “money pit” house at auction and are preparing to make it their forever family home. Everything seems to be going well for them apart from Mia struggling to get on with her in-laws and the fact that their family home is unlikely to be filled with babies and children due to their problems conceiving. But an exploration of a long hidden attic room sets in motion a nightmare that they may never recover from…

There are several points of view used to tell this compelling storyline. Both Mia and Finn plus Finns parents, Debbie and Dave, deliver their thoughts and actions before and after the horrific discovery in the attic. But there’s also an unknown narrator and it’s their story that shocked me the most as it moves backwards in time-a plot device that works brilliantly alongside the other POVs. And there were so many themes within the narrative that grabbed me and made this my dream read! Nature versus nurture is a huge interest of mine alongside attachment theory so I was enthralled by these rather unlikeable and untrustworthy characters. So this made Keep It In The Family “car crash” fiction at its very best and it’s hard to tear your eyes away from each page even though you know something very VERY bad is going to happen…

I find family life, especially that of others, absolutely fascinating as I love picking apart the family dynamics and dysfunctional relationships! Keep It In The Family pushed the boundaries of what I was comfortable with at times but as it made good with its promise of unpredictable and shockingly good twists and turns, it became a book I really wanted to put down but physically couldn’t!

Highly recommended-one of the best books I’ve read this year and one of the most unforgettable too!

John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. His books include No1 bestseller and Netflix series The One, The Passengers, award winning What Lies Between Us and The Good Samaritan. Follow him at, on Twitter @johnmarrs1, on Instagram and on Facebook at


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.