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"Originally published in Sweden in 2018 by Forum as En helt vanlig familj"--Copyright page.

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Dec 13, 2019

A pretty good read

I don't read a lot of legal/courtroom stories and even less so-called Scandi-Noir type books but, for some reason, the blurb caught me and drew me in and, overall, I was pretty satisfied with "A Nearly Normal Family".

The book centres around a seemingly perfect family (they are anything but!) and is separated into three sections each told from the perspective of a family member following the arrest of the daughter for the murder of a man; each of these sections provided insight into each of the characters and a different take on the situation they find themselves in. What it also did was make this a slow burner with the tension mounting gradually towards the great ending which I found very satisfying.

I did have a couple of problems with this book though; one being that I couldn't connect with any of the main characters and struggled to empathise with any of them, the other being that I think there were times when things seem to have got lost in translation which made the story not flow quite as well as I was expecting.

Overall though a pretty good read and definitely worth the time I invested in reading it.

Thanks go to the good people of Pan Macmillan via NetGalley for my copy in return for an unbiased review.


Jul 11, 2019

A superbly crafted read

'Lying is an art that few people have fully mastered'

A Nearly Normal Family is a superbly crafted book. The plot is split into thirds - we start in the perspective of the pastor father Adam, then onto rebellious daughter Stella and finally lawyer mother Ulrika. Each perspective is completely different and compelling in their own way. This is also a lovely way of pacing the story as you get a lot of time to really get to know each character but then also get the twist of seeing the same events from a different perspective which keeps it fresh and exciting. I really enjoyed the plot and felt that the ending went in a direction I was not expecting at all which was nice.

I did feel like there were sometimes I questioned a character's actions or felt they were a little out of keeping with the rest of the novel. Although this is a translated text I didn't feel that it lacked depth from this as some reviewers have pointed out - I found it an engaging and gripping read.

Overall A Nearly Normal Family is a well crafted thriller with a good twist. Thank you to NetGalley & Pan Macmillan for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Jun 6, 2019

Suspenseful Legal Thriller

A psychological thriller, a legal drama, a family drama - this book is everything! It's all about the characters. Told from the point of view of three different unreliable narrators, not only do the characters not know who to trust, but you don't know who to trust either! How far would you go to defend your child? (My mom would totally throw me to the wolves if she thought I was guilty.) The characters each take the reader through one of three phase of the trial from their own point of view with their own struggles and opinions. It starts off a bit slow, but keep going! You'll totally be hooked in the last two thirds!

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