Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication date: September 19, 2023
Genres: Debut, Fiction, Mystery
Somehow this ended up being a week of true crime fiction and nonfiction so I’ll carry the theme through to the end with Murder in the Family, a novel about the making of a Netflix documentary about an unsolved murder. The producer is the stepson of the murder victim, who was his wealthy mother’s second, much younger husband. And the plot picks up speed from there.
Caroline Holland’s husband, Luke, was found brutally beaten to death in the backyard of the Holland’s expansive London estate. The crime is never solved so 20 years later, Caroline’s son, Guy, decides to document the family’s renewed search for answers. It’s actually less about familial love and more about Guy’s hope it will launch his career. Caroline is already gripped by Alzheimer’s and no longer even remembers her 2nd husband and neither of his sisters want to be involved. With the family’s considerable wealth he and his experienced co-producer are able assemble a team of experts to go over all the evidence, episode by episode hopefully ending with a suspect, but more so great ratings. Some are new faces in forensics, but several on the team were part of the original investigation.
If you’re an Agatha Christie fan (who isn’t?) or enjoy traditional murder mysteries the setup in Murder in the Family will feel pleasantly familiar. There are false identities in the beginning (to the point I was on the edge of annoyed), missed clues, hidden motivations and relationships, but by the midpoint the plot settled into the Poirot style of assembling strangers in a room to pinpoint a killer. The book is written in interview style which keeps the pace fast and gives events a feeling of immediacy. All of this, plus fun snark caused by fighting amongst the international team of experts made for fast, fun reading.
This post contains affiliate links to Bookshop.org and Amazon.com which means if you click on a link and make a purchase of any kind, I get a small commission (at no cost to you).