Extract: The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell
But what happened next? Find out in Lisa’s sequel, The Family Remains.
London. Early morning, June 2019: on the foreshore of the river Thames, a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones. DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene and quickly sends the bag for forensic examination. The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.
Also inside the bag is a trail of clues, in particular the seeds of a rare tree which lead DCI Owusu back to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen, and a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.
The clues point forward too to a brother and sister in Chicago searching for the only person who can make sense of their pasts.
Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. A family whose secrets can’t stay buried for ever…
Read on for the first chapter of the follow-up to The Family Upstairs – The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell.
The Family Remains
A phone-call from a French number. Rachel assumed it was Michael. Groggy with sleep, she peered at the screen and then let the phone drop back onto her bedside table. What? she thought. What do you want? It’s not even seven in the morning. Leave me alone. Please, just leave me alone.
A moment later she heard the chirrup of a notification. She opened her eyes and peered at the screen again. A voicemail. She decided to leave it. She couldn’t deal with Michael, not yet. She had not heard from him for over two weeks and the silence had been both liberating and terrifying.
Half an hour later, Rachel’s alarm went off.
She picked up her phone and sleepily dialled up 1571.
‘Mrs Rimmer. It is me, Joy. Please call me now. Please. It is something bad.’
Rachel sat up, pulling her pillows into place behind her back, and called back the number.
‘Bonjour, residence de Michael Rimmer?’
‘Joy. Hello. It’s me. Rachel. What’s going on?’
‘Mr Rimmer. Oh my goodness. Mr Rimmer, he is passed away. He is dead. I am so sorry, Mrs Rimmer. I am so, so sorry.’
Rachel threw back her duvet and jumped from her bed. ‘What?’
‘Mr Rimmer. He is dead. I find him. Just now. The police, they are coming. I find him. Down. In the cellar. For five days he was not here and I thought he was away. Maybe come to London. Maybe with his son. For five days I have been here to clean and all that time, Mr Rimmer, he was down, down there …’
Joy began to sob.
‘Joy. Please. Please stop crying and tell me what’s happened.’
‘I told you already. He was here. All along. He was dead. Someone killed him, Mrs Rimmer. Someone killed him.’
At first Rachel felt a kind of numb delight. Then a blast of pure adrenaline which made her head spin and her heart pump and had her dancing in circles around her bedroom like a sugar-rushing toddler.
Michael was dead.
It was over.
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