Cover Image: A Killer in the Family

A Killer in the Family

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This procedural focuses on genetic genealogy, such a popular topic in both fiction and nonfiction right now for its complications, legal challenges, and the potential for case solving. It has some shocking reveals and twists, and a nice balance of investigative work with character development for both the family that finds itself embroiled in the case and the team of investigators, advancing storylines for the series. While this is part of a series, I have only read the first book in the series years ago, and this one works fine as a standalone.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Random House and NetGalley! This was a mystery surrounding a single mom who uploads her DNA to a site and finds out she is related to a serial killer hating her town. This book was a little slow for me, taking about a quarter of it to pick up speed. The twist was very easy to see early on, leaving me not too excited to finish the book. The detectives were also not very good making it almost unbearable to watch their investigation.
Was this review helpful?
This book will appeal to some. I have a difficult time with books that area slow to start and this one was. I hung on and finished it. I liked the plot. It was different and the characters were appealing but I would have liked to have been clued in a little sooner on the rest of the story. Thanks to #NetGalley#A KillerintheFamily for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this thriller. There was a lot of potential and I enjoyed the read. It had a unique plot line to it and I was super excited for it, but I'm just not a fan of slow burn so this wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
I liked this! A solid thriller with a great twist. I found the character development to be strong, and enjoyed how it kept my attention the whole way through.
Was this review helpful?
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed all the twists and turns and turns in this book! I never really knew what was coming and love guessing who the murderer is! I didn’t realize initially when I started this book that it was the fifth in the series but it read well as a standalone and I didn’t feel like I was missing any information. It was suspenseful and at tines heartbreaking but I felt it wrapped up perfectly! if you like mysteries and police procedurals, be sure to check this book out!
Was this review helpful?
I'm not sure why I didn't love this one. It has everything in it that I enjoy, a serial killer, DNA evidence, etc...I didn't really connect with the characters, and the part I struggled with the most was covering up for your child. In a small incident, absolutely. Something major like this? Nope.
Was this review helpful?
A Chilling Tale of Secrets and Betrayal

In Gytha Lodge's gripping novel, A Killer in the Family, we are drawn into a tangled web of secrets and lies that threatens to tear a family apart. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a remote forest, Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens is called in to investigate. As he delves into the victim's life, he uncovers a trail of deceit and betrayal that leads him to suspect a member of her own family.

Aisling Cooley, a single mother and game developer, is haunted by the disappearance of her father, who abandoned her and her mother years ago. Desperate for answers, she uploads her DNA to an ancestry website, hoping to find him. But instead, she receives a call from Detective Sheens, who informs her that her DNA matches a sample found at the crime scene.

Aisling's two sons, 17-year-old Liam and 15-year-old Sean, are also caught in the whirlwind of suspicion. Liam is a troubled young man with a history of violence, while Sean is a quiet and introverted teenager. As Detective Sheens investigates further, he begins to question the loyalty of everyone in the Cooley family.

A Gripping Mystery with Twists and Turns

Lodge masterfully weaves together the perspectives of Aisling, her sons, and Detective Sheens, creating a suspenseful and multilayered narrative. We are kept guessing until the very end, as Lodge skillfully drops clues and red herrings along the way. The novel is full of unexpected twists and turns, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.

A Compelling Exploration of Family Dynamics

At its core, A Killer in the Family is a story about family dynamics and the secrets that can fester within them. Lodge delves into the complex relationships between parents and children, siblings, and spouses, revealing the darkness that can lurk beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary lives.

A Must-Read for Fans of Psychological Thrillers

With its well-developed characters, intricate plot, and suspenseful atmosphere, A Killer in the Family is a must-read for fans of psychological thrillers. Lodge's masterful storytelling will keep you hooked from the very first page until the shocking conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
Aisling Cooley is desperate to find her father, who disappeared years before, and she decides to send a DNA sample to an ancestry site, hoping that her father had done the same. Aisling did get a match, but it wasn’t to her father. It was to the Bonfire Killer, someone who had the residents of Southampton terrified, after two murders where the women’s bodies were set on fire. Based on the DNA results, Aisling is convinced her father has become a serial killer, and is hopeful for the first time in years that Dara Cooley is still alive somewhere. 

This book just fascinated me! Gytha Lodge has illustrated so many ways your DNA can be somewhere you are not, and I never considered any of them. I liked Aisling, with her very modern occupation, and felt it would make sense for her to consider a modern technique for finding Dara. Her deep love for her sons was evident in everything she did, even though she had not been honest with them about her early life. I really enjoyed this journey through Southampton and was surprised by both the killer and the family.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 Stars  

The characters were intriguing and the premise was exciting. Although I had not read any of the other books in the DCI Jonah Sheens series, I did not feel lost. It would be nice to read the others for more background on the characters, but the author provides enough details so that each book can be read as a standalone. Police crime dramas are not my favorite genre, but I still enjoyed this one. The plot got a little convoluted towards the end and the police work was questionable at times. However, if you are a fan of the series and police procedural mysteries, then you will definitely like this book!

Thank you, NetGalley for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Fast paced and entertaining. A recommended purchase for collections where crime and thrillers are popular.
Was this review helpful?
DNF this title. I gave it two different tries and I just cannot get into it. The first time I felt there were too many people to follow along. The second time I followed a bit better but I’m 20% in and it just is not holding my attention. To see I still had so much left (over 7 hours) of book, I just felt it was time to give it up. I think there is potential and definitely some hidden pasts that you want to uncover and find how everything is connected, but for me I have to pass.
Was this review helpful?
This book was fantastic I can’t recommend it enough. All the twists and turns the author takes you on is amazing. And then ending was AMAZING
Was this review helpful?
I have been a big fan of the DCI Sheens books and was excited to catch up with one of my favorite detectives again. Even better, in today's society of uploading DNA, etc., this plotline is truly fascinating. As always, DCI Sheens doesn't disappoint. Another great book to add to the list!
Was this review helpful?
Women are being murdered and left on a fiery funeral pyre. There are no leads, but the murderer got sloppy and left his DNA. In a radical new policing method, the DNA is run alongside a genealogy website, finding the family of the murderer. Will this work or will the police be left in the dark with another unsolved crime.

Even though this was the fifth in a series, I didn’t really feel I needed the back stories. It was easy to keep up with the story. The story elements stayed focused and the twists were a  bit twisty. While some of the twist elements were predictable, some were not. The ending perfectly sets up the next book. All of this still makes A Killer in the Family a worthwhile read.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this for the most part. It just seems to be a bit slow in places. 
The story itself is entertaining and it has some suspenseful areas. But just couldn’t keep me captivated as I would have liked.
Was this review helpful?
I've been really enjoying this series and I have to say this was the best in the lot!
I am a bit pissed with the ending, what kind of copper procedural ends on a cliffhanger???
This had a beautiful pace and I loved that it centered more on Juliette and Ben; they have been my favourites throughout the series.
Well fleshed out story with vibrant characters. Highly recommend!
While this is book 5 in a series, any of them can be read as stand alone's since each book is a separate case.
Much love to NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group doe my ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This twisted psychological thriller kept me reading into the night.
The story started when the main character, Aisling Cooley (a game developer with 2 teenage sons) uploaded her DNA in order to find her father who disappeared about 30 years ago because he couldn't deal with the guilt anymore. Soon afterwards she is visited by 2 detectives who traced the blood at a crime scene to her, indicating a match to either her father or son.  
This police procedural is well developed as the police delve into potential suspects of the "Bonfire Killer" who builds a pyre and uses kerosene to burn his victims. The author methodically developed the background stories for each suspect, and draws a logical link between the victims and the perp. 
I thought that I figured out who the killer was (but I was wrong). I thought that the hunt for the killer and the resolution were well described with a lot of twists and turns (and a few red herrings), which brought the story to a heart pounding climax.  I liked the way the author brought out secrets from the past and linked the present day relationships to the characters pasts.  
I didn't see the need for several of the secondary story lines or their tie-in to the main story.  Several characters were introduced but I didn't see their relation to the mystery.  The ending was a cliffhanger that I felt was unnecessary.  
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Random House and am leaving this review voluntarily.  The opinions expressed are entirely my own and I highly recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
This started off promising and I was hooked from the beginning. However, the book eventually lost it’s way and I had trouble finishing it. There were so many red herrings and twists that it was a bit overdone. The writing was good, as usual for the author. But the execution and pacing were off for me in this one.
Was this review helpful?
I was able to read about 17% of the way through this book before I realized that this book isn’t for me. The book itself isn’t bad it’s just more of a slow paced thriller while I prefer to read more fast paced reads. It didn’t capture my attention like I had hoped so that doesn’t mean the book was bad, it just wasn’t for me. The main character’s didn’t have anything captivating or unique to me that made it stand out. I was able to read a few other books and finish them. Usually I try to pick up books I can’t get into right away after a book or two or even a chapter at a time because some books need to be slowly read to enjoy. I just couldn’t with this one. While I didn’t enjoy it it doesn’t mean you won’t.
Was this review helpful?