Then comes the murdering itself. If you do read the book, then please just suspend your disbelief and how on earth she got away with it all (don’t even get me started on the frogs!!) But that aside, I did guilty enjoy learning of the next inventive way Grace had imagined to brutally murder the next person on her list.
First off, I do think this is such a uniquely brilliant perspective to have in a crime novel. I think by now we’re quite used to the unhinged female protagonist, but I love that this is narrated by (depending on how you look at it) the villain of the story. And that brings me on to the other fascinating part of this – who is the real villain?
8.3Unique, Funny, Dark

This darkly gripping thriller is the story of Grace Benard and how she killed several members of her family. Abandoned by her father when her mother fell pregnant, she has never had a relationship with him. Then her mother dies when she’s a teenager and that’s when Grace decides that not only did her mother deserve better, but that she’s going to make her father – and his family by extension – pay for what he did. Talking to us from her prison cell, Grace walks the reader through each of the murders, how they were planned, and then how they were executed. But given where she’s writing from, it soon becomes apparent that things can’t always go that smoothly…

“Men often laugh with surprise when they find women funny, as though it’s a skill we’re not expected to possess.” 

Title: How to Kill Your Family
Author: Bella Mackie
Type: Fiction
Published: 2021
Pages: 355
TW: Violence, Death, Abandonment, Xenophobia

With a protagonist unlike any I’ve read, a hilarious and somewhat disturbing narrative, and an ending you probably won’t forget in a hurry, this had all the ingredients for a truly great thriller. It wasn’t perfect but I enjoyed it nevertheless and think Mackie has all the makings for a truly great thriller writer.

Review overview



Certainly at the beginning I was taken in by Grace’s story and was rooting for her (murder and all!!) the whole way. However as the book progresses and we learn more about Grace, her opinions on people and things, and her questionable relationship to those around her, I think it becomes apparent that she is quite a lot more unlikeable that first anticipated. Yes I don’t doubt she was hurting, but perhaps murdering quite that many people was a little unnecessary?

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