Tuesday 29 November 2022

FAMILY BUSINESS by Jonathan Sims



When Diya Burman's best friend Angie dies, it feels like her own life is falling apart. Wanting a fresh start, she joins Slough & Sons - a family firm that cleans up after the recently deceased.

Old love letters. Porcelain dolls. Broken 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 strange man that keeps turning up at their jobs?

If Diya's not careful, she might just end up getting buried under the family tree. . .

This book caught my eye because the concept sounded intriguing, and the cover is so creepy.

Diya recently lost her best friend/roommate and is having a hard time getting over the loss. So when she gets a new job with a clean-up crew, she's not sure if it's a good idea to be surrounded by so much death. Or if it's just what she needs to get over her grief. The job introduces her to new people, keeps her mind focused and physically active. But the unexpected visions are even harder to deal with than the forgotten they're cleaning after...

Fantastic story, with the right amount of interesting characters, a real sense of disorientation, and a slow burn that crescendos in the most horrifying way.

Right from the start, I knew this was going to be a book that would drag me in and not let go. I was invested as soon as Diya starts her first day at a family cleaning business. There's definitely something strange going on with the man running this gig. As well as how and why Diya got this job in the first place, when she's clearly not qualified.

As she becomes more familiar with the work and the effect it's having on her, things start unraveling in the creepiest of ways. There are some really freaky scenes that got under my skin. Some of that imagery is so damn creepy. And I loved every minute of it!

Family Business is an addictive psychological horror story that takes the reader on a seriously strange ride, and leads to a very satisfying, but gruesome, conclusion. The sense of dread builds gradually, until there's no escaping the disturbing truth.

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy.

Family Business, November 2022, ISBN 9781473228788, Gollancz

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