Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing a copy for review.
I honestly don’t know what I just read. I’m at loss for words. I’ve grown to love thrillers over the past 1.5 years. Some thrillers were amazing and blew me away. Others were interesting but only okay in my opinion, just like S. D. Monaghan’s debut novel The Accident. But The Family at No. 13, his second novel, falls under a different category altogether.
The most perfect lives can hide the darkest secrets…
Mary has everything. Beautiful and rich, she lives on an exclusive street in the heart of the city, in a house with gorgeous views and an immaculately maintained garden. Her life looks perfect.
But behind closed doors, the truth is very different. Her husband Andrew barely speaks to her, spending his days down in the basement alone. Her teenage nephew is full of rage, lashing out with no warning. Her carefully constructed life is beginning to fall apart.
And then someone starts sending Mary anonymous notes, threatening her and her family…
Everyone has secrets. But is someone at number 13 hiding something that could put the whole family in danger?
First of all, the idea of this novel was interesting enough or I wouldn’t have picked it up. But what Monaghan made out of this idea was simply bad and utterly confusing.
Although it seemed that the blurb promised an alternating POV between Mary and Andrew, what the reader got was an alternating POV between Mary and her new neighbor Connor. So why was Andrew mentioned in the blurb and why was his name highlighted there when he only played a secondary character at best? Besides those two, Monaghan introduced four more characters: three adults, including Andrew, and Mary’s seventeen-year-old nephew. The dynamic they all had going on was terrible. Everyone resented the other and everyone blamed each other for their mistakes. There was no love lost between either of the characters.
Besides them hating each other, all of them were crazy and had major personal issues to deal with. It was not really pleasant to read about. I go as far as to say that I didn’t care for either of those characters and this rarely happens to me.
I didn’t only not care for the characters, I also didn’t care about the story. The beginning was intriguing but I quickly lost interest. The characters were mostly talking about mundane and dull things which made me skip parts of their monologues and conversations. Another thing they did in their conversations was yell at each other – constantly. I still can’t fathom how much hate and dislike was conveyed through this novel. I also lost count of how many times someone dropped the f-bomb.
The secrets that were revealed throughout the story were brilliantly plotted either. Some of them were quite shocking but they didn’t made me gasp or hold my breath.
To me, The Family at No. 13 was not a thriller, it was merley a poorly written drama with no suspense or build-up whatsoever which is why I can only give it a 1 star rating.
I’m pretty sure that this novel was the last one I read by this author.
If you still want to try this one out, you can purchase the e-book as well as the paperback with the links below.