How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie #review

Hardback copy of How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

Title: How to Kill Your Family
Bella Mackie
Publisher: The Borough Press


I have killed several people (some brutally, others calmly) and yet I currently languish in jail for a murder I did not commit.

When I think about what I actually did, I feel somewhat sad that nobody will ever know about the complex operation that I undertook. Getting away with it is highly preferable, of course, but perhaps when I’m long gone, someone will open an old safe and find this confession. The public would reel. After all, almost nobody else in the world can possibly understand how someone, by the tender age of 28, can have calmly killed six members of her family. And then happily got on with the rest of her life, never to regret a thing.

When Grace Bernard discovers her absentee millionaire father has rejected her dying mother’s pleas for help, she vows revenge, and sets about to kill every member of his family. Readers have a front row seat as Grace picks off the family one by one – and the result is as and gruesome as it is entertaining in this wickedly dark romp about class, family, love… and murder.

But then Grace is imprisoned for a murder she didn’t commit.

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My review:

I’ve heard so much about How to Kill Your Family and, having now read it, I can see why there’s such a buzz about it.

The main character, Grace, is brilliant. She’s not necessarily a likeable character, and I wouldn’t want to be friends with her myself… but her scathing comments are hugely entertaining. I loved reading about her plans to kill her father’s family off, one by one, to punish him for abandoning her mother (and her) and being, quite frankly, a pretty terrible person. It’s always fun to read about a female character who is dark, shocking and doesn’t play by the rules. We know that what she’s doing is awful and she is, ultimately, a character it would be very easy to hate – but we can’t help but feel like we’re behind her, especially as some of the people she’s killing do *whispers* kind of deserve it!

The story flicks backwards and forwards in time, a technique I often enjoy in a book. We start the novel with Grace in prison, so we know she’s been charged, but then find out she’s in prison for a murder she didn’t commit – even though she’s killed plenty of other people in her time. We then go back in time to find out how Gracie planned all the murders she did commit, and how she ended up in prison. It’s all told through Gracie’s funny but shocking voice – this is what makes the novel so entertaining.

The plot has some fun surprises and, though some of it could perhaps be trimmed down a tiny bit, I hugely enjoyed How to Kill Your Family. I’ll definitely be looking out for future releases from Bella Mackie.

My rating: 4/5


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