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Review: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

3/5 stars

Ernie Cunningham is from a family of seemingly self-professed killers. The story begins three years ago, when Ernie's brother Michael calls him in the middle of the night to help him dispose of a body. Ernie goes along with Michael but soon after turns him into the police, and is shunned by his infamous criminal family for the betrayal. Now, however, the whole family is invited to a snowy resort in the mountains - the whole family, including Michael, newly released from prison.

And then a dead body is found out in the snow. Everyone claims not to know the man, and the one sole policemen to come is inexperienced and ill equipped to deal with the multitude of eccentric, and possibly lying, family members present. Ernie decides to investigate on his own, and everyone is a suspect - including, of course, Michael, Ernie's wife (who left him for Michael while Michael was imprisoned), the step-sister addict lawyer, the sketchy step-father, the cold mother, and more. As more bodies pile up, the list of suspects narrows... but there are still a lot of characters to throw suspicion on (and to keep straight).

The mystery itself is on the complicated side. There were numerous twists that kept it interesting, bust also sometimes didn't make a whole lot of sense (or made sense but I didn't fully understand how Ernie arrived at the revelation). In the end the final reveal was overly intricate and convoluted, and involved so many back-and-forths between the many characters, that it didn't feel very satisfying.

The narrator also breaks the 4th wall frequently, which I found distracting. It struck me as pretentious instead of clever and edgy. Overall, it was an ok read with way too many characters (stick to a smaller amount, and develop them better!). Apparently this is being developed into an HBO series, and I think it has the potential to be better than to book. Obviously not a guarantee, but I imagine they'll simplify the plot/number of characters and make it a more concise story, which will be to its benefit.

This book is also, apparently, the first in a series... I don't think I'll continue on, but I do recommend Every in My Family... if you're looking for a sort of cozy, elaborate murder mystery with fun characters!


UP NEXT: The Inheritance Games series, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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