NETGALLEY BOOK REVIEW: How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie


4/5 stars

There has to be some scientific explanation for why people go gaga for serial killers, and especially female serial killers. They can keep tabloids in business. They can help extremely glam actresses win Oscars. And holy hell, do they sell books.

How to Kill Your Family falls into a somewhat familiar premise, at least if you had to read An Inspector Calls at some point in your education (sorry to any British readers still nursing the trauma of GCSE English): Grace Bernard, the daughter of a Frenchwoman who moved to London to pursue modelling dreams, finds out that her absent father is in fact Simon Artemis, a media and fashion mogul who has worked hard to ensure his affair was kept under wraps, and her mother recieved no financial support for their child. When Grace’s mother dies of cancer, penniless, she vows to take her revenge–on the entire Artemis clan, who she feels have all wronged her in their own particular way.

Think of this as Fleabag meets Final Destination–Grace is a spunky narrator enacting her murder plan while droning through a boring marketing job and musing on London life and class divides. The frame story is her telling her story while serving time in prison for what she insists is the one murder she didn’t actually commit. As the details unravel, this story becomes all the more unhinged and all the more gleefully dark. If you can, I highly recommend the audiobook version, as the narrator Charly Clive did a stunning job bringing Grace to life. If this isn’t optioned for a film/TV adaptation soon, I just might riot!

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Audio for the review copy. HOW TO KILL YOUR FAMILY is out in the UK now.

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