Saturday 12 June 2021

Book Review: The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry

The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry book cover

AD* | The DNA results are back. And there’s a serial killer in her family tree...

Liz Catalano is shocked when an ancestry kit reveals she’s adopted. But she could never have imagined connecting with her unknown family would plunge her into an FBI investigation of a notorious serial killer…

The Tri-State Killer has been abducting pairs of women for forty years, leaving no clues behind – only bodies.

Can Liz figure out who the killer in her new family is? And can she save his newest victims before it’s too late?

The Family Tree has a great premise - who wouldn't be hooked by such an intriguing idea?

Sadly, though, I struggled to gel with this book. I loved the concept and the originality of the storyline, but I'm sorry to say that it just didn't live up to my initial hopes. 

The pacing throughout the story felt strange. The start was exciting, with Liz uncovering the secret of her adoption and her connection to the shadowy serial killer. The ending was tense with a shocking twist. However, between these two points, not much happened at all. The middle part of the book felt very uninspired and aside from the flashbacks to the killer's previous victims, it just wasn't very exciting to read. 

I also found it difficult to engage with a lot of the characters. Liz made several questionable, frustrating decisions. Her cousin was over-the-top and the rest of her adoptive family sadly fell flat. The suspects were the most interesting characters - partly due to the question of the killer's identity, but also due to the fact that they seemed much more fleshed out and three-dimensional than the other characters.

Although the case reaches its end, a number of loose threads were left unresolved at the end of the book. I struggle with unresolved plot points and a lot was left hanging by the time I reached the last page of The Family Tree. I wonder if a sequel is on the cards?

I really wanted to love this book, but sadly it just wasn't for me.

Rating: 2 stars

The Family Tree is available to buy now. 

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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