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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

From the No.1 best-selling author of Then She Was Gone.

Shortlisted for the Audible Sounds of Crime Award 2020.

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They’ve been dead for several days.

Who has been looking after the baby?

And where did they go?

Two entangled families.

A house with the darkest of secrets.

A compulsive new thriller from Lisa Jewell.

©2019 Lisa Jewell (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"I swear I didn’t breathe the whole time.... Gripping, pacy, brilliantly twisty." (Clare Mackintosh)

"Creepy, intricate and utterly immersive...." (Guardian)

"A twisty and engrossing story of betrayal and redemption." (Ian Rankin)

What listeners say about The Family Upstairs

Average Customer Ratings
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Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant! A perfect book during this period of confinement... I just couldn’t put it down.

2 people found this helpful

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Tantalising but truly very sad

It was a gripping book but a few times I had to fast forward because I did not want to feel the misery of the caracters. I also expected another twist at the end but also feared it as it might have been sinister.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

"The weakness of men."

Firstly, the narration: three people are listed here, reading the chapters appropriate to their character as the point of view switches between Henry, nicely performed by Dominic Thorburn, Libby and Lucy read by Tamaryn Payne and Bea Holland. Unfortunately, the credits do not say who read which part. Not that it matters as both were good, clear and maintained an interest and were so similar in sound that I didn't realise that there was more than one female narrator. There were a couple of pronunciations but little of consequence and the male/ female voice variation helped provide a textural interest.

The actual story was, however, disappointing. It started well with the mystery of three dead, one woman and two men, found on the kitchen floor of a house in Cheney Walk, a very select and expensive street by the Thames in London. Two of the bodies were identified as husband and wife, the owners, but the third victim was unknown. It was an apparent suicide pact. But there was also the complication of a live baby on the floor above, well fed and cared for, secure in a cot. Although believed to be the dead couple's child, who had cared for her in the time between the deaths and the discovery of the bodies? Twenty four years later, that same baby who had been given for adoption, was surprised when she inherited the house and set out to find out more about her birth parents. This story, which moves back and forth in time and between protagonists, reveals all. Not so much a who-dun-it? mystery but a who are you?

Interesting enough to carry this reader to the end, just, by virtue of the good narration, but it dragged especially towards the end and despite the final resolutions, did not have the anticipated feel good factor but instead just rather shabby sad and unlikely.
So five stars for the readers and, being generous, three for the convoluted tale itself.

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Great listen!

Great story from start to finish, so many twists! narration was easy listen to. would definitely recommend!

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Very disappointing

I will start on a positive note and say that the narration for this book was pretty good, and I like chapters giving the perspective of different characters. I was really into this book, waiting for the dramatic twist at the end, but it never came. To make matters worse the ending was, in my opinion, totally unbelievable. When reading fiction you always have to allow for some literary licence, but in this case its like the author ran out of steam and just threw an ending together. I feel like I wasted a good weekend on this book.

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Not impressive but good enough

What I liked the most about this book is that it made me feel good inside (considering) and I needed that at the moment.

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Could see the twists coming

Overall an engaging and very enjoyable audio book. Very well read by the actors, and I think the experience was better on audio because of their talent. I was looking forward to some great twists, as promised in other reviews, but I could see them coming from a mile off.
This was my first but I will be definitely reading/ listening to more of this author.

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Excellent writing,

Beautiful story about the struggles of the children and the most amazing ending. The actors are Supreme

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Really enjoyed it!

I rarely write a review, but I really enjoyed this book. I was hooked until the last moment, and had plot twists I didnt see coming. Excellent narrating by all narrators. Definetly recommend!

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Disappointing

Audible has been recommending that I listen to this book for ages, and I’m really disappointed. Plot was flimsy and unlikely and I found it difficult to warm to any of the characters. Nevertheless I did finish this book, and I think it could make a nice ‘beach’ listen.

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  • I'm all ears
  • 08-12-19

Brilliant!! Thoroughly enjoyed!

This was a brilliant listen, I was a bit dubious at first, but stuck to it and I am really glad that I did.

Great story, great twists, kept me guessing all the way through and great narration.

Wish there were more audible books like this.

41 people found this helpful

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  • Podenco Fan
  • 08-31-19

Well written but depressing themes not for me

I have to say this was not my favourite Lisa Jewell thriller and of the past few, for me "Then She Was Gone" and "Watching You" were just so much more enjoyable. However I am still giving 5 stars as it was a very well written and tightly woven story with lots of plot twists and interesting backstories.
I just did not like any of the characters or themes and found it all quite depressing.
The narration was very good apart from a few mispronunciations including ennui and some other commonly used words which was jarring.
I also thought the two South African mentions were going to lead to another twist in the ending but unless there will be a sequel it then just seemed like a strange coincidence - don't worry that is not in anyway a spoiler just it could have been an interesting extra element to the ending but wasn't. Odd.
Even had I known the themes I would have still pre-ordered this book based on having so much enjoyed "Then She Was Gone" and "Watching You" but was just a bit bleak for me, which made it seem like it dragged, probably as I just was not enjoying the themes, only the mystery and suspense. Or perhaps, unlike other Lisa Jewell books, it seemed overlong as there was not one likeable character in the whole book so I found myself not really caring that much what happened to them, only to solve the intricately plotted puzzle of just what did happen.

26 people found this helpful

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  • None
  • 08-14-19

A real stunner what a read !

I love the more recent novels by Lisa Jewell and this was an absolute triumph. Her recent novels manage to develop great characters with real depth and combine with really unusual psychological thrilling storylines. This book was so different from the usual thrillers and all of the characters were great. I loved the way the story unfolded from three different perspectives and I enjoyed all three narrators. I simply have nothing negative to say about this book apart from it kept me awake at night as I could not stop listening until it was finished.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Ann D
  • 08-19-19

A bit flat & disheartening

I notice that many reviewers love this book and I usually enjoy books by Lisa Jewell, so my experience with this one may be unusual. I persevered until chapter 20, but, although it’s very well written, I found it flat, and a bit miserable. I will return it.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-19

So much more than I expected

I really enjoyed this book, a perfectly addictive summer listen, and a story that there was so much more to than I had expected. It reminded me of a Kate Morton novel, only darker.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Bastet Pybus
  • 08-11-19

Her best yet!

Totally gripping and brilliantly read. It feels like her writing has gone to another level with this novel: it’s more complex and subtle, and thoroughly
good read.

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sophie Walker
  • 05-06-20

Brilliant Thriller

This is the first Lisa Jewell book I've listened to or read, but am so glad I did. Couldn't stop listening and became invested in the fortunes of the lead characters. Had some great little twists. Really recommend!

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gadgeteria
  • 09-03-19

Am I Missing Something?

Having eaten up Lisa Jewell’s books in the past, I was really looking forward to this one. But somehow ‘The Family Upstairs’ just didn’t connect with me. The first part felt a little drawn out with lots of different characters..As the story evolved, I enjoyed it more but overall.. it felt too wordy and tired me rather than enlivened my reading senses

19 people found this helpful

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  • Linda they are for friends for Christmas
  • 11-09-19

slow and a bit boring

struggled to finish very slow and a bit boring but will try again sometime soon

8 people found this helpful

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  • claire davies
  • 08-12-19

Lisa Jewell you never fail to impress me!!!!

I have been a fan of Lisa Jewell for many years and have read all of her books, this book does not disappoint!!!!! The story is so good as always and the characters well... Lisa Jewell has a way of breathing life it to characters like no other authors can do!!!! It was simply fantastic and the only thing that’s made me sad about this book is that it has finished and I have to wait another year for this fabulous authors next book.....fingers crossed.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-19

Best book I’ve read in a long time!

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a literally masterpiece but it is exactly the kind of book I was looking for! Full of mystery, well described characters and interesting story line. I completely recommend this book. I couldn’t stop listening to it. The author did a fantastic job and tied up all the loose ends nicely, and the narrators were superb. Perfect for a rainy weekend inside.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Elisha
  • 09-05-21

Gripping story

I really loved this book, it had me gripped form the get go! I would highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jemma Pollari
  • 03-02-20

Well-written and gripping

An engaging mystery that draws you in with the clever writing and excellent performance of the narrators. The twists and turns of the story come to a satisfying ending.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Gardner
  • 08-12-19

Nothing is never as it seems...

Imagine having complete strangers come to stay just for a few days, in your home, who slowly & surely destroy all you know, love & believe in...

Definitely worth every moment spent in this story....

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MRS ANGELA M FOUHY
  • 04-30-22

Less than I expected

Not bad. But not brilliant. I kept waiting for the unexpected. And it never came

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-24-21

thrilling mystery

I loved it so very much, almost always on the edge of my seat. I will say it is a very emotionally heavy book definitely not for the light-hearted reader. Amazingly written, the author definitely has talent!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lucy from Australia
  • 08-15-22

One of my favourite reads

The diverse characters, the way the story was structured and also narrated, I really enjoyed it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leslie
  • 08-12-22

great story

I enjoyed this novel.. narration was exceptionally good. characters were believable and likeable .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-09-22

What a remarkable story!

Love every parts of this book, and the narrators are spot on with the emotions! Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Blossominoz
  • 08-08-22

Kind of dark

An unusual story. A triumph of good over evil. Many twists and turns you don't see coming. A satisfactory ending. Enjoyed the narration.