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Family Business  By  cover art

Family Business

By: Jonathan Sims
Narrated by: Jonathan Sims,Rachel Petladwala
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Publisher's Summary

Just another dead-end job.

Death. It's a dirty business.

When Diya Burman's best friend, Angie, dies unexpectedly, it feels like her own life is falling apart. Grief costs her friends, family and even her job. But that's ok, because now she's got a new job: working at Slough & Sons, a family firm that deals in cleaning up after the recently deceased. 

Old love letters. Porcelain dolls. Hoarded trinkets. Clearing away the remnants of other people's lives, Diya begins to see things. Horrible things. Things that get harder and harder to write off as merely her grieving imagination. All is not as it seems with the Slough family. Why won't they speak about their own recent loss? And who is the nondescript man who keeps turning up at their jobs?

It's a dirty old business, cleaning up after the dead, and if Diya's not careful, she might just end up getting buried under the family tree.

©2022 Jonathan Sims (P)2022 Gollancz

Critic Reviews

"Combines a creeping sense of unease with all-out gore... Nerve-jangling." (Guardian)

"A wonderfully creepy climax, hitting that perfect spot of uncanny horror." (Grimdark Magazine)

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What listeners say about Family Business

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting story

The premise here is so interesting, and I really like how it goes about creating the settings (all the different homes they clean and the people they once housed shown through possessions and order). The choice to have Jonny Sims play one character in contrast to Rachel Petladwala's performance as the rest is SUCH an excellent way to set him apart as unnerving and concerning before we even know why. This book is also one of the only ones (maybe only the second) to include a queerplatonic relationship which runs central to the story though it is past, which makes me very happy to see as an aromantic person.

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Took a while…,

Long lead up to the meat of the story. I honestly did not pay attention to the story u til there were about three hours let. It was okay.

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An excellent chilling tale

This was a fantastic dark psychological thriller. I loved the nods to several fears.

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Absolutely Delightful

I thoroughly appreciate Johnathan Sims’ particular style of storytelling. The growing unease and horror of the narrative is greatly enhanced by the quality of the narrator.

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A Great Improvement

Over the previous book, I think this is a much more satisfying read. hearing Sims' voice was a nice touch as well. The voice over is done extremely well, and the story feels more focused and intimate than that of the previous book. Without the comparison, I still think Family Business is a successful, thoughtful, and tense read for horror fans.

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came for the story was astounded by performance

It's legitimately one of the best and most gripping horror stories I've had the privilege to read. it is a haunting and captivating portrait of grief while still being an edge-of- your-seat thriller. If you enjoy audio books or listening to stories at all, I would highly recommend the audio version of this book because the performance is spectacular. Rachel"s reading of the story is incredible, and the author's feature bits will send a chill up your spine.

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Excellent!

A masterclass of existential dread and eldritch horror. Mr. Sims delivers another excellent story in his second book. The characters are charming and compelling. They mystery is expertly constructed. I look forward to the next one.

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Delicious, if you like quiet gloom.

First, I cannot emphasis how refreshing it is to find LGBT protagonists in stories where the focus is not on a manufactured sense of novelty and queerness (whether presented in the positive or the negative.) This is one of the very few stories out there that allows a cast of marginalised people be the heroes of a struggle any ordinary people in an extraordinary world could face. This, of course, in the book goes much deeper than just the cast's LGBT identities, and spans from the primary focus group to those around them, who are all in their own ways people society often... forgets.

Delightful October experience, with lovingly crafted characters you can't dislike and who bring their own warmth and colour into what could otherwise be a very bleak world. I don't know who I wouldn't recommend this book to.

Bonus points for the calming presence of a domestic feline!

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Excellent narration for a riveting story

Ohh, I loved this book. I loved the slow build of dread, and how all the elements tied together perfectly at the end. This guy can write. I thoroughly enjoyed every tense, unsettling moment.

The themes of the book — grief, being forgotten — actually took me off guard. This was supposed to be a horror story about a spooky cleaning business, and it is that, but also has so much heart and humanity, and I grew attached to the characters and their struggles. I am sad to have reached the end of it.

I highly recommend the audio version, because both narrators are exceptional. Rachel Petladwala is flawless throughout, and Jonathan Sims gave such a fantastic performance that I can recall in my bones the words he said and how he said them.

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Sims Strikes Back

I’ve been following Sims’ work since the beginning of The Magnus Archives and I have to say — having read his other novel, Thirteen Storeys — that he has done it again. A bold proclamation to be sure, but as a lifelong horror fan I think it’s safe to say.
Sims does a great job of weaving mythology and narrative, prose and dialogue. His characters, par for the course, feel real and not simply one-note write offs.
Family Business is a slow burn, but one with a creeping sensation that stays with you after putting down the headphones or book if you managed to get one.
10/10.

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  • Sonny Ross
  • 10-22-22

Brilliant

Sims has such a knack for detail and pacing it makes this book impossible to put down. Excellent story and narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-22

Excellent Story, Compelling Narrator

Like Sims previous work, this was a consistently captivating novel, written in distinctive style with both plot and characters that more than lived up to expectations. The narrators performance was excellent also, illustrating the main character's personality well through tone and pacing. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a story with both conventional horror aspects and Sims own brand of chilling storytelling.

1 person found this helpful