The Family at Number 13 by S.D. Monaghan

There was some great mystery buried in this book, under some unnecessary rabble that made finishing this book quite an ordeal.

The Family at Number 13 by S.D. Monaghan

Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Published: 27th April, 2018
Series: N/A
Rating: 2

The most perfect lives can hide the darkest secrets…
Mary has everything. Beautiful and rich, she lives on an exclusive street in the heart of the city, in a house with gorgeous views and an immaculately maintained garden. Her life looks perfect.
But behind closed doors the truth is very different. Her husband Andrew barely speaks to her, spending his days down in the basement alone. Her teenage nephew is full of rage, lashing out with no warning. Her carefully constructed life is beginning to fall apart.
And then someone starts sending Mary anonymous notes, threatening her and her family…
Everyone has secrets. But is someone at number 13 hiding something that could put the whole family in danger?

There was absolutely no need or reason for this book to stretch over three hundred pages. Filled with unnecessary, and irritating conversations it got on my nerves pretty quickly. Such a shame, because the mystery was not bad! Not bad at all! I mean, there’s someone dying on the first page!

Mary and Andrew are livin’ da life in St. Cathrine’s Hill, some fancy neighbourhood, surrounded by fancy neighbours. This is where not-so-fancy Connor ends up somehow, after needing a new place for his therapy practice, and to live. The first half a day goes swimmingly, until the teenage boy next door creates such a commotion that Connor wonders why he’s not locked up somewhere.

Mary’s life is one many would envy. But someone just slipped a nasty letter through her door, informing her the neighbourhood is not happy with how things are handled at number 13. She straight away deducts that it can be only Connor, the dude who lives there for exactly half a day. If jumping to conclusions were an olympic sport, Mary would sure be gold medalist. This theme continues for most part of the book, and even Andrew seems to be on board which is frankly mind boggling. It sounded stupid coming from Mary, but after dear hubby joins, it gets downright ridiculous. I often wondered if both of them might be a bit deranged.

I couldn’t particularly warm up to any of the characters, apart from maybe Finn, Mary’s nephew, who seems to suffer from some vague sort of mental illness – characterized with violent outbursts -, and yet is the most observant of them all. The fact. That. They. All. Talk. Like. This, also doesn’t help. I mean, could you fucking not?

Also, how many pages can you possibly fill with a conversation about who attacked a cat, and why said cat is not present any more? I tell you. Three! Yes, I get it, Mary is obnoxious and maybe a bit thick, but it was quite clear after about half a page, thank you. Later on however she exhibits a certain level of cunningness that made me wonder if she’s still the same person we got to meet in the beginning.

Brona and Zachary, who live across Connor, also have the tendency to waffle, and say shit like “I think I just had a money-gasm“.

Apart from the brief encounter with animal torture there’s also mention of child abuse and some violence that might not sit well with everyone.

I received my copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Definitely sounds like something that would irritate me… a lot! It’s really annoying when a book has a good premise but somehow doesn’t deliver it. Great review, I had a good chuckle reading it this morning. 😊
    PS. How glorious is this bank holiday weekend? ☀️☀️☀️ Hope you are soaking up in the sun. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We have been sorting out the front of our house. Concreting edging before patio chippings get delivered. Lots of fun as I have never done any brick work. 😊🙈 Managed to squeeze some climbing in Cheddar yesterday as well. Loving this weather ☀️, bet Richmond was lovely yesterday! 😊👌

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I didn’t over the weekend as got put off by those long queues – patience is not my strong attribute! 😉 – but will do on a quieter day as I know how great those ice creams are. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your review, Norrie and totally understand all the issues that you raised about this book. Now that you mention it, I really have no idea why the characters were certain that Connor who had just moved in, was behind the letters. It makes no sense at all haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha love the review, I ‘almost’ wish you more reads like this to keep me entertained :-). I think I wouldn’t like the short stock sentences either, the writing in a novel is perhaps even more of a turn of than people jumping to conclusions (we wouldn’t want to get to the right one too soon now would we?). Plus I’d feel better about myself when I was right then from the start :-). Wonderful review, really!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the warning about animal torture. I find I can take a lot in reading books but that’s something I just can’t (and a lot of people don’t even mention in reviews) so appreciate the heads up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my God! I read a novel a little while back where the author loved to write like that too. I think it was in The Court of Broken Knives. It was filled with super short sentences/words that it just seemed like it was ruining the flow for me. Absolutely awesome review, Norrie! Thanks for sharing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I read his first book (the title eludes me) and felt exactly like this! Could have been applied to the other book. And something happened to a cat that annoyed me to no end.

    Liked by 1 person

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