Cover Image: The Family at Number 13

The Family at Number 13

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This story is an insight into a complicated, damaged family’s lives. 
Connor moves into St Catherine’s Hill - a very affluent area and soon realises all is not what it seems. 
He lives next door to Mary and Andrew, who live at Number 13, and soon his life is made a misery. 
Connor is a psychiatrist and realises a patient he recently treated also lives in this close and as their last meeting didn’t end well, he is wary of what is going on. 
Events soon spiral out of control in St Catherine’s Hill and Connor is powerless to stop his life being ruined. 
Mary has many secrets and as the story develops we learn more and more about her troubled life. 
Some reviewers really didn’t like this book but I thought I’d give it a go, and I’m glad I did. 
This is a gripping story that has you trying to work out what is really going on with all the residents in this area, and in particular Mary. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Was this review helpful?
My first thought on beginning to read this one was that it's so different to the author's debut novel; my second thought was that it's even more addictive!

This is a story full of twists, secrets and lies. The revelations pop up when you least expect them - it's very cleverly written. I found myself sucked in to Mary's life .. perfect it may seem, but it's also a strange one. There is a brief insight into the end of the story at the beginning, and from time to time I pondered on this. It's an intricate part of the tale but certainly not all of it. There are a lot of threads to this book, all knitted and knotted together. Nothing is what it seems and if you try to work out what's going on as you read, you could end up totally confused. But it's so worth reading .. a real psychological thriller, definitely my favourite kind and S. D. Monaghan is on my radar for his next release.

The Family at No. 13 hooked me within the first few pages; there is a lot to understand and work out, and come the final page there are no loose ends which I always appreciate in any novel. This is, without a doubt, a five star read and one I'm happy to recommend.

My grateful thanks to publishers Bookouture for approving my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Don't know how I felt about this book really - at first it had the vibe of High Rise by JG Ballard ( or maybe that was just wishful thinking?) and then turned into a domestic thriller, with actually quite a good twist. But felt nothing for the characters but actually think that the author could have wanted it this way....
Was this review helpful?
dates read 4/18-4/19

Thank you Net Gallery and Bookouture for my opinion of The Family At Number 13 by S.D Monaghan.

How I felt about the book: I really didn't like it.
How did it make me feel: awful due to the animal cruelty.

I don't know how good this review is going to be because I totally skipped all the parts about the poor cat and the last chapter before part 2. The first part of part 2 I didn't read much either. I kept saying don't read this book. And stopped many times. How I ended up finishing it I don't know. I gave it 2 stars due to animal cruelty. I'm sorry I just couldn't. I don't recommend if you can't do animal cruelty.


#thefamilyatnumber13 #netgallery
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the Publisher, Bookouture for this review copy given in exchange for an honest review.  Also thank you to Noelle from Bookouture for organising the blog tour.

St Catherine’s Hill is an area which is filled with big luxurious homes.  Mary and her husband, Andrew live in one of them.  Their home has beautiful views and a huge well maintained garden.  To everyone else Mary’s life looks perfect, but behind closed doors her husband doesn’t talk to her, her sister constantly verbally abuses her and her teenage nephew is out of control.  One day, Mary begins to receive anonymous notes which threaten her and her family, and she has no idea who is sending them….

Connor isn’t your typical resident of St Catherine’s Hill.  He’s a therapist who needs to find somewhere new to live and is offered an ideal property in this exclusive neighbourhood at a price which is exactly catered for him.  Unfortunately he doesn’t realise, until he moves in, that one of his neighbours is a former client, and one that he would definitely rather keep on a therapist-client relationship.  He also finds that some of the other neighbours also have some issues which he would rather not get caught up in, but within the first day finds himself on the wrong side of neighbour Mary and her husband Andrew.

This book was a seriously dark and mysterious thriller.  St Catherine’s Hill is definitely an exclusive neighbourhood, but that doesn’t mean that the people that live there have perfect lives.  A lot of the families that live there have secrets, some more than others and they are all revealed slowly throughout the book.  For me, it’s a bit of a slow starter, but as the story moves on the pace picks up building up to an unexpected finale.  The story is told from Connor and Mary’s perspectives and moves between present and past times.  It does have some scenes which some may find disturbing, and there is an element of animal abuse (a warning for those who don’t like to read about that).

The books has lots of twists and turns to keep you interested until the very last page and the suspense built as it reaches the reveal is enough to chill you to the bones.  A scary storyline and creepy characters – what more could you ask for in a psychological thriller!  Would definitely recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for the copy in exchange for my honest review.

I couldn't follow this book at all. I think it's not bad, it's just me. I LOVED Mary's narrative from the first pages but the rest of narration felt dragging, flat and one dimensional and even unrelated to the rest of the book.

I will try this author one more time. Not sure, maybe it was just this particular story that didn't work for me.
Was this review helpful?
for my personal taste this was a little rushed and a little crude. the only redeeming quality  it had that it had a FEEL of  The Haunting in Connecticut  to it. it feels a little overused trope of the unruly teen and the mom who is kind of clueless and has no sense of self and direct direction in life. I can never really normally describe a thriller without giving away spoilers. so ill keep to that and say that for those who can easily follow the line of threads its a pretty average read. not lukewarm a tad bit better than that but not yet quite good either. 3.5/5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Whether or not to abandon a book one is not enjoying, mid-way through, is always a dilemma: on the one hand, too many books, too little time, versus the angst of not finding out the answer and worrying you’ll miss out on a good read. In this case, I am glad I persisted. At 50%, I was loathing all the characters in this book, and the main interest was in which one of them ended up dead in a driveway - because they all deserve to. By about 75%, everything speeds up and the plot starts making sense, and I liked the ending a lot.

I didn’t immediately click that this was set in Dublin. Being originally from England, and reading more British crime fiction than anything else, I made the erroneous assumption that this was an English book, despite the obvious Irish names. This makes a big difference to the narrative as England and Ireland are as different as Britain and the USA, in terms of character psychology. Religion saturates everything there (disclaimer, I have only ever spent one afternoon in Ireland, for a wedding, a long time ago, and a long weekend in Northern Ireland. Everything else I know is from books.) I find the consequent triad of guilt, secrecy and hypocrisy that permeate every book about Irish catholic families so stressful, that it makes it hard to read about.

This is told from two POVs, Mary, rich frustrated desperate housewife, married to thuggish hard man Andrew, in the first person present, and Connor, ambitious psychologist, and narcissistic prick, who has just moved in next door, in the traditional third person past. Connor has to move out of the home and office that he runs his business from in a hurry, and thinks his troubles are over when he is offered a bungalow on a posh street for a bargain rent - the only catches being he has to sign immediately and hand over a years rent in advance. You would think alarm bells would’ve rung, but, blinded by desperation, and the temptation of a lifestyle otherwise beyond his reach, he takes the deal, only to rapidly discover that he has been set up by a vengeful client, in retaliation for Connor ending their therapeutic relationship. 

The main problem turns out to be Mary’s nephew, Finbar, teenage psychopath, whose daily screaming, trampolining and relentless ball-kicking are tormenting the normally genteel neighbourhood - and Connor has to see clients right next door. Warning, there is a horrible scene of animal cruelty, but fortunately Connor stops it, setting off a chain of events with neighbourly relations deteriorating rapidly. I don’t want to say more as this book is better without spoilers. We know from the start that Connor is going to find a body, but the mystery is who, why, and who the killer is. The identity of the victim was strung out for far too long in my opinion. The reveal of the killer was clever and unexpected, and the twists are rapid and a bit too plot-convenient after this, but they do allow a satisfying ending, of sorts.

As others have commented, the chapters in this are far too long, and even more annoyingly, so are the paragraphs. This could easily be fixed with better editing, and hopefully will be before publication. It’s well written, without the language getting in the way of the suspense. Overall, this was a tense claustrophobic psychological suspense thriller, without a single likeable character, which made it harder to read than it should’ve been, for a relatively short book. 

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Initially this book hooked me and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen. Then there were a bunch of scenes that seemed to drag on too long which caused me to lose interest. There were a few cringe-worthy scenes as well.  I ended up forcing myself to finish it by reading one to two chapters a night.  I did enjoy how the book ended though and how everything came together. 

*This book has some triggers (rape) in it.
Was this review helpful?
A good psychological thriller based around two main characters with some other interesting ones in the mix.  I did find it a little wordy but glad I read this as it was a good story which i enjoyed..  Lots of secrets with a murder thrown in.  A good conclusion to how we got there.
Was this review helpful?
From the outside, the St. Catherine’s Hill neighborhood is filled with large beautiful homes, it appears to be a nice, quiet family neighborhood, but behind the doors of these homes is something strange going on here. And one new tenant finds himself in the middle of a situation that has both excessive drama and deadly consequences.

The Family at Number 13 centers around Connor, a therapist and Mary, one the neighbors with her drama filled family. Connor recently had to move from his long time home and practice, he believes that he has found the perfect place too. This starts with a bang! Connor is seen standing over a dead body. So many questions are raised right from the start. Who is this person? Did Connor really kill him?

Connor recently had a patient that he was seeing for quite a while, but had to refer him to another therapist, he was too buddy, buddy and wanted to be more that therapist-client. There was serious transference going on, so Connor did the right thing by referring him to someone else, but it didn’t go over very well with Zachery, the client. The thing is, the nice all most to good to be true deal on the rental, comes with Zachary being one his neighbors. Can you say, Problem?!

Mary lives next door, her home is filled with drama. A husband who doesn’t pay attention to her, but he does take the time to spend with the nephew Finn, who lives with them. Finn who doesn’t can’t go to school because of behavoioral issues due to his ODD. One sister who is some sort of rehab, and another sister Brona, who happens to be Connor’s crazed patients, girlfriend. Wow, was this one dysfunctional family, but they sure were some interesting characters.

The story is told in dual POV’s from Connor and Mary, a little back forth from the past and the present as well. I think this was a bonus, it gives us some the events that lead up Connor’s standing over a dead body. As the story unfolds there are so many secrets that this neighborhood has that come boiling to the surface, and for Mary’s family especially. More so, how Connor got himself in the middle of all this chaos. He’s a smart man, a therapist, how does not keep himself out of this turmoil, he should see the signs or something! Anyway… With all the little side stories of each of the family members, and the neighbors it did get a little confusing at times, but in the end, it did all come together. Now I will say, that a few of the characters weren’t very likable, but they played their parts, and did them well. So, that I didn’t mind at all, it just comes with the story sometimes. You have t have the “good” and “bad” guys in there somewhere.

With everything that was going on with players in this domestic thriller, I knew at some point a big twist would be placed in there somewhere, it was a pretty good one too. I was on the right track to figuring it all out, but the twist threw it a little off. So, overall, this turned out to be a great psychological thriller with some family suspenseful moments in it too. I think fans of thrillers will enjoy it!
Was this review helpful?
Incredible ! I was hooked from the very beginning!! So many twist and turns that you couldn’t believe it! The family at number 13 is one of my new favorite books that I will be recommending to everyone !! The writer knows how to pull you into each scene as if you were a fly on the wall watching it play out!
Was this review helpful?
The family at number 13, started off quite well, very fast paced and I got into it very quickly, the narrative between two of the main characters, Connor and Mary went back and forth and this change of perspective worked very well. The plot was a bit far fetched in places, there was the manipulation of Connor to make him rent a house he could barely afford and then pay 1 year up front, it was a little bizarre.  The family have a secret which I won't spoil for you but I felt an undue amount to blame was placed on Mary for this where there was probably someone more obvious to blame, this didn't happen.  These were vital structural elements that allowed the story to take place, so failed to give any reality to it.  The twist was actually very well played, I had to go back to check    I hadn't missed something! Overall it was unfortunately a little bit of a let down but it probably wouldn't put me off trying another of S D Monaghan's novels.
Was this review helpful?
I felt uncomfortable reading this book which only shows the writer has done their job properly. A good pychological twisted story.
Was this review helpful?
Mary loves in an exclusive area of Dublin with her husband, Andrew, and her nephew Finbar.
Connor is a disenchanted therapist to the wealthy.
Mary and Andrew don't speak to one another unless it's necessary. Finbar is a seventeen year old juvenile delinquent
Someone starts sending Mary anonymous hate letters and immediately she suspects their newest neighbour Connor
By dipping from past to present day finally Mary's secrets are revealed but at what cost.
Was this review helpful?
The core of all families is an ugly thing – rotten with the disappointments, the disgust.

TW: animal, child abuse (this is what I’m sensitive about, so I thought I’d include the trigger warning for anyone who’s also bothered by it).

I am quite surprised by all the bad reviews this book has been getting. I definitely had some issues with it, but all in all I really enjoyed the ride and I would give it a full 4 stars!

This book would have benefited (I think) from another round of editing. Not because of grammatical errors but because there was so much jammed into it, so much information, so many stories, so much drama. I think it should have been a little bit longer because the length it’s currently at meant it had to condense a lot of the info. 

But saying that, I thought TFAN13 was really well-done, explored the psyche of different characters that were frighteningly accurate, and dealt with issues I hadn’t seen in thrillers before. It was very compelling, I was eager to turn the page, and I really enjoyed the story. The editing problem didn’t bother me enough to take more than a star off the rating. I don’t regret reading this at all.

Would I read the author again? Yes, and I’ve already added his other book to my Goodreads TBR. I’ll probably pick it up soon, as I’m excited to see what else he has written.

Would recommend for: fans of domestic noir! If you like Shari Lapena’s books, you might enjoy this. If you enjoyed this book, I would also recommend The Girl Before by JP Delaney.
Was this review helpful?
I’m not really sure what to say about this book. On one hand I read it in two evenings and was compelled forwards to find out what happened, so that’s the mark of a good book right? Well, maybe...
The story is so unrealistic and melodramatic that it’s hard to take it seriously. From the very first page it is loaded with ‘there’s more to this person/story than meets the eye’ and it got predictable. Not one character is played straight: every single character is hiding something from their past, lying and manipulating the truth and having finished the final page you still aren’t exactly sure if any of them have told the truth or if the whole lot of them need locking up. 
I know fiction is just that, fiction and you have to suspend disbelief but the author doesn’t make that easy. Had there been a few (or even one) normal character, with no skeletons and no secrets it would have worked better and had there been more chapters like the scene where Mary and Finbarr visit the park it would have been better; but in my opinion it was stifling. Drama should ebb and flow and yet every chapter brought a fresh bombardment of secrets and lies. 
The one thing I did like was how Mary’s *past experience* wasn’t fully explained to us until much later. That, I didn’t see coming and it felt believable and emotional. 
All in all I think if someone asked me about this book I’d tell them it was worth a read as unrealistic escapism, something to read on the beach.
Was this review helpful?
The Family at  Number 13.was a totally gripping psychological thriller, the characters in the story were very intriguing, I was totally hooked
Was this review helpful?
This book wasn’t really my thing. It skipped around a lot, and at times it was complicated to follow. I really did want to like it. I just couldn’t get into it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own
Was this review helpful?
This Book was super and full of surprises and secrets
I would like to say thank you to Netgalley for the ARC
Was this review helpful?