Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter #review

Book cover of Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter

Title: Murder in the Family
Cara Hunter
Publisher: HarperCollins UK



It was a case that gripped the nation. In December 2003, Luke Ryder, the stepfather of acclaimed filmmaker Guy Howard (then aged 10), was found dead in the garden of their suburban family home.

Luke Ryder’s murder has never been solved. Guy Howard’s mother and two half-sisters were in the house at the time of the murder–but all swear they saw nothing. Despite a high-profile police investigation and endless media attention, no suspect was ever charged.

But some murder cases are simply too big to forget…

Now comes the sensational new Netflix series Infamous, dedicated to investigating–and perhaps cracking–this famous cold case. The production team will re-examine testimony, re-interview witnesses, and once again scour the evidence. The family will speak. The key players will be reunited–on camera. The truth will come out.

Are you ready to see it?

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My review:

I’m a huge fan of Cara Hunter’s work, so there was so question over whether I’d read her newest release, but when I saw it was about a fictional ‘true crime reality show’, told through transcripts, emails/ text messages, news reports, voicemail messages and more, I was even more excited to read it – and what a brilliant first standalone novel it is!

In Murder in the Family, we’re observing a team of investigators are filming for a reality TV show, trying to solve a cold case where Luke Ryder, the husband of a wealthy socialite, was murdered and discovered by his stepdaughters at their London mansion. The producer of the show is Luke’s stepson, Guy, who ‘”just wants to find the truth, whatever that may be”, making the emotion al stakes all the higher…

I love the way the mystery unravels through the variety of formats – mainly the script of the TV show as it’s filmed. We’re finding things out at the same time as the investigative team but also seeing the way the production team hold back certain discoveries until the ‘right time’ to make the biggest impact – an interesting reminder that television is, when it comes down to it, all about entertainment! And there are plenty of reveals – some big, some shocking, but all satisfying!

The plot is skillfully plotted out and, despite some dramatic moments, none of it felt unrealistic or ridiculous. I also enjoyed how certain characters’ text messages and emails dropped hints about hidden secrets, keeping us guessing throughout.

For me, Murder in the Family ticks off everything I love in a gripping crime novel – it’s hugely readable, a gripping storyline, has characters that are intriguing (if not always honest/ likeable!) and the mixed formats and ‘mediums’ adds an extra layer of fun to the reading experience. I loved every page and hope Cara Hunter releases more books like this!

My rating: 5/5



    • Me too! So well done and very gripping! cara just answered on Twitter to say she’d like to do another book like this so fingers crossed she does!

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