Cover Image: The Family at Number 13

The Family at Number 13

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Member Reviews

I love the psychological suspense books, and this sounded like a story I would love to read. The book has an interesting cast of characters, a good many of them rather unlikeable; however, it really adds to the story. I don't believe you are supposed to like everyone in this kind of book.

The author has definitely done a good job making this suspenseful.
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I was initially hooked reading this book, however I found that the story line was predictable, and I had anticipated the outcome. I was disappointed with the ending, however I had my suspicions that it would end in that way. 

I feel the book was not  a pshycological thriller which I was expecting, it was a decent family drama but the storyline was slightly unbelievable in parts. A good plot however at the start, and some of the twists were a surprise. Overall it kept me occupied for a few days.
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Thank you for letting me review this creepy tale! An exploration into modern themes mixed with the tension and closeness of people who live near each other. I really enjoyed it!
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Overall I feel this book is 4 stars. It is the ending that pulls it up to that. The neighbourhood that Connor moves into has a lot of secrets. Lives start to unravel and everything is revealed piece by piece. The ending brings everything together and is really well written.
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I sadly never managed to read this book. It hadn't dowloaded properly and now its been archieved. I will be looking to buy the book and read that way
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I know there's a lot of effort put in this book and it is quite clear as well. The blurb's fantastic but the writing just wasn't for me. I've read like 75 pages but I've zero clue about what's happened so far and I really tried but I can't read more.
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I had read a few reviews on this, but was glad to get an ARC for myself (thank you Net Galley!) to see for myself what it was all about.

This story was all over the place. At times it was a little hard to keep up with. There were a few twists that kept it interesting enough for me to finish. 

While it wasn't a favorite of mine, it was still a good story.
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Don’t waste your time.  As much as I tried to get into this book I just couldn’t.  Every single character in my opinion were self center, mean, and extremely confusing.  And the worst part of the book was animal cruelty.  I am sorry It was extremely hard to read it after that.
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The Family at Number 13 was a pretty interesting book. Broke into 3 parts my favorite part when it all came together. Though there was so much information on all the characters to get through, the psychological aspect of it is what kept me going. It was so interesting learning about this family from the view of the neighbors. The psychologist getting on the bad side of the wrong patient and the trouble that creates was a side I rather enjoyed and seemed possible. Learning the issues in this family, their dark secrets, and everything that happens once the doors close is always a thrilling story. S.D Monaghan has created a compelling story which was fun to read. I mean who doesn’t love hearing about family dysfunction. HAHA  We enjoyed this book and hope to read more from him.
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3☆ A Twisting Drama.

The Family at Number 13 is a twisting thriller.

This is a story about a flawed family with secrets hidden.
A husband and wife barely connecting and marriage hanging on by a thread.
A nephew with difficulties and aggression.

A new neighbour has moved in. But little does he know he is a pawn in a dangerous game with his ex client. 
You see he is a therapist and his client was getting too close. So he stops all contact ending the session in an agressive argument.

His client is aware he is about to be made homeless so he finds a way to get his estate agent to cut a deal drawing him in closer than he knows.
Moving into his new house manipulated by his client. He takes the deal unbeknown to him that his client lives behind him and he can see his every move.

I enjoyed this story but I found that it dragged in places and I got a little confused.
The therapy sessions were drawn out and at times didn't feel relevant to the plot.

The characters though were well thought out and deeply flawed. Each adding a vital part in this complex story. None of them was particularly likeable or relatable. But I think that was the point. You wasn't meant to like them.

Overall this was a good read but just wasn't for me. I didn't feel that it was necessarily a thriller it felt more like a drama. It lacked the suspense I crave from my thrillers.

I do believe that if you enjoy a thriller that has lots of stories entwined then you will enjoy this book.
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The family at number 13 is a book I had high hopes for and although it set off really well it went downhill from the second part and I found it all a little confusing.
The storyline is there it could have been so much better though and I feel a little sad for that. Mary is probably the main character in this and she looks to have it all, lovely house, time for herself, beautiful and a long marriage but the outside is not always reflective to the inside. I did feel for Mary at times although she has suffered a lot through her life she was at times a selfish character but I did like her and thats where it ends as I didn't like any of the other characters, maybe I was meant to feel like this but I'm not sure I liked it!!
This is not a typical thriller and is different to anything I have read before, I found it slow moving and at times it was too slow, I also didn't like the way all the characters were permanently analysing others as that did just get annoying but I did finish it and I did like the ending as I hadn't guessed it so its not all bad.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for this ARC I received in exchange for an honest review
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I really liked the premise of this book however I felt that the plot summary differed quite dramatically from the actual storyline.

One major example is that on the plot summary it states that one of the key themes are mysterious, anonymous letters however Mary only receives a few and the person sending them is a bit of an anti-climax.

I also think there should be more trigger warnings at the start due to the animal cruelty and rape themes throughout. There were a lot of themes but not much depth to any of them, it was as if the author tried to think of shocking ideas and threw them all in together. At the end there was a sense that the author was trying to show why the characters all acted like they did but I don’t think this was well thought through enough and the fact that Connor’s character was a psychologist was just bizarre in the way he behaved.

I often found myself thinking perhaps I should give up as I lost interest half way through due to the long winded passages and chapters.

The final part of the book was good and I am glad I did read it to the end however there wasn’t that much suspense, rather confusion and I just wanted to finish it to see if it finally made sense or how the author would conclude rather a lot of messy plotlines and too many themes.
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Colon is being evicted from his home/office. The company he rents from has other ideas for the building. Pressed for time, he decided to take a rental brochure from one of his patients. Ex-wife patient,  really because this patient was wanting a friend.  The sessions were becoming uncomfortably, so, Colon suggested another therapist. What happens next, and why it happens is a creative story of psychological drama. What extent families will go, to hide secrets.
5 Stars
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3.75 Dysfunctional Stars 🌟🌟🌟.75

Well, this is the week of unlikable characters.... another book filled with people I would not want to spend the day with or probably even an hour with, but somehow I found them quite compelling... and what I have learned this week from this book and another I read that was slightly similar... is if you cannot afford to live in a house and they are happy to give it to you... something is wrong! So yes if things are too good to be true, they probably are....

Connor needs to find a new place to live, and quickly.... so when a lovely bungalow in an elite neighborhood becomes available, he cannot believe how lucky he is to have snapped it up.... Connor is a therapist and intends on seeing his patients in the perfect office in his new home.... and everything is perfect until his first patient arrives and the neighbor kid starts jumping on his trampoline and creating quite the ruckus, causing that session to end prematurely.... turns out the neighbor kid is a teenager with some serious issues, most of them loud.... also turns out that one of his ex patients with a grudge is now one of his new neighbors... coincidence?

Everyone in this book was a serious hot mess.... they all needed some serious therapy and not from Connor.... not even sure how I would classify this book, perhaps as a family drama with a few twists... admittedly it took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did I was hooked.... really wanted to figure out what made these people tick.... and why was everyone so hostile towards one another....

I do recognize this book will not be for everybody... there is a very dark undercurrent to it.... it really shows the ugly side of humanity, and the consequences of that.... if you are looking for an uplifting feel good book, this is not your book... but if you are in the mood for a compelling read with some pretty gritty characters, I’d recommend....

*** thank you too Bookouture and Net Galley for a copy of this book ***

PS: this really has nothing to do with the book, but it was something that bothered me for some unknown reason... The author referred to a few things as being North American, such as a North American facial expression.... I live about two hours away from the border between the US and Mexico, and I can tell you they’re probably very few facial expressions we share.... I almost felt as though Mexico was forgot to be part of North America.... when some of these statements were made.... but this could just be because I am someone in America who lives close to Mexico and knows there is a pretty big difference..... no biggie it was just something I noticed and really have never heard before....🇺🇸🇲🇽🇨🇦
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The Family at Number 13 was a pretty interesting book. Broke into 3 parts my favorite part when it all came together. Though there was so much information on all the characters to get through, the psychological aspect of it is what kept me going. It was so interesting learning about this family from the view of the neighbors. The psychologist getting on the bad side of the wrong patient and the trouble that creates was a side I rather enjoyed and seemed possible. Learning the issues in this family, their dark secrets, and everything that happens once the doors close is always a thrilling story. S.D Monaghan has created a compelling story which was fun to read. I mean who doesn't love hearing about family dysfunction. HAHA  We enjoyed this book and hope to read more from him.
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This is a tricky wee review to write as the need to avoid spoilers is at a premium...such is the way with twisty and unpredictable stories. What also makes it tricky is that there are several characters in the book who get to take the lead narrative and I didn't warm to any of them very much.  But that's not a complaint, it is what drives the story onward.

As the story begins to hit its stride we meet Connor. He is a psychiatrist and is not having the best of days, he has just tried to move on one of his patients having reached a point where he felt he could no longer offer the support the patient needed.  Unfortunately the patient is not happy with Connor's decision and the suggestion to end their sessions ends badly. The patient is a rich and influential man his threats to ruin Connor for abandoning him do not make Connor feel any better about his decision.

But things start to look up for Connor - an unexpected opportunity to relocate to a new property in a seemingly idyllic neighbourhood almost seems too good to be true.  He can move his  practice to one of the rooms in the large house and work from home - saving on office rent and making his workplace more appealing for prospective clients. It should possibly not come as too much of a surprise to learn that the move does not work out well for Connor and soon he finds he has made a terrible decision.

The interaction between the majority of characters in The Family At Number 13 will treat readers to a series of fractious encounters. Tensions run high throughout and if you enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing what the author will throw at us next then this is the perfect read for you. I was kept on my toes keeping up with some of the twists and turns in this story.

Not one for the cozy crime readers - lots of unpleasantness going on in The Family At Number 13. A dark thriller indeed.
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Just when you think you've read about every possible messed up family, along comes S.D. Monaghan's The Family at No. 13 that features one of the most dysfunctional families you've ever met in fiction.

At first, I really enjoyed the premise. The book starts with Connor, a psychologist who is in dire need of a new office and place to live because of the constant noise and disruption from a rotating stream of Airbnbers. Connor is presented with an opportunity to move into a fancy cottage in a posh neighborhood, but the opportunity comes at a cost: his former patient and client, Zachary, has made the offer. Normally Connor wouldn't cross that kind of line, but he's desperate. So desperate that Connor moves into the cottage despite having a falling out with Zachary.

From the minute Connor signs the contract, he knows he made a poor decision. There are bizarre noises erupting from his neighbor's house that disrupt the peace of his counseling sessions. A neighbor storms over and threatens Connor for no reason. Zachary shows up and tells Connor he's going to make his life a living hell. What the heck has Connor gotten himself into?!

I kept turning the pages of this book because I wanted to know what the heck was going on in this neighborhood. I admit I struggled with the dialogue in this book; sometimes it was hard for me to figure out who was talking because the dialogue was strained. I would also categorize this as more of a soap opera than psychological thriller.

Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley, and SD Monaghan for an advanced reader copy of The Family at Number 13.
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I was so disappointed with this book. After reading the blurb I thought it sounded exciting and thrilling, but it turned out to be dull and really hard to read.

Mary has a perfect life with her husband, Andrew. She is caring for her nephew, Finn and they live in a beautiful house in an exclusive area. She seems like she has it all. And then the hate mail starts....

I wish this book had been better, it had the beginnings of a great storyline and could have been amazing. Instead I had to fight my way through to the end...hoping it would pick up. It didn't happen! It all just seems confused and messy without any real resolution.

Thanks for the early copy @netgally in exchange for an open and honest review.
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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.
***
Blurb:

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.
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When Connor moves house, he finds himself living next door to the family at number 13.  Soon, he will regret this rash decision and find himself caught up in a sticky web of family secrets. Because his neighbours may look like they have it all but behind closed doors things are very different. Somehow, Connor finds himself right in the middle of something he wishes he’d never been a part of.

The first part of the story admittedly left me a little confused along the way. There seemed to be a lot of sort of cryptic information being thrown my way that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. But there is something immensely compelling about the author’s writing that urged me to keep on reading. Luckily for me, it all did begin to make sense at some point. I’d like to assume that was the author’s intention and not that I’m just slow on the uptake. 😉

This isn’t your typical psychological thriller. In fact, I rather struggle with calling it that at all. Suspenseful, yes. Maybe more drama than thriller? I don’t know. It’s quite deep and incredibly character driven. As such, the pace is rather on the slow side. Sure, there are some twists but they feel like natural events and aren’t intended to dazzle you. Not that that’s a bad thing, mind you.

For the most part, we find ourselves digging deep into the complicated dynamics of Mary’s family at number 13. Something amongst the many skeletons in the cupboards causes a major event which the book starts off with, but the who or the why remains a mystery. (Looks like I’m doing the cryptic thing myself now. Sorry.) One I was utterly unable to figure out at all and almost made my jaw hit the floor when it was finally revealed. There are a ton of heartbreaking secrets and certain characters’ attitudes have affected people over the years and the resentment runs deep. The past can have a huge effect on someone and if not dealt with properly, will always come back to haunt you.

Pretty much all the characters are unlikeable, flawed and damaged. I found myself unable to connect to any of them. However, once you get to know them better, it’s obvious why they act the way they do. Minor exception : Finn. Obviously a troubled seventeen year old with some issues but also someone who has no filter whatsoever and made me chuckle with his often immensely inappropriate remarks.

Normally, I prefer stories to be faster paced and with a bit more “oomph” to them. Nevertheless, this is a cleverly written and gripping plot and I enjoyed figuring out the pieces of this damaged family puzzle.
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