The Family Bones: Elle Marr *Review*

Cover image of The Family Bones by Elle Marr is in the centre of an image of a reflective lake and blue-purple sky. Added text: A family retreat turns deadly within a matter of hours...

Genres: Murder Mystery, Thriller, Suspense | Release Date: 7 March 2023 | Standalone | Pages: 314 | Publisher: Thomas & Mercer | Review

“It doesn’t do to dwell on evil, Olivia.”

Elle Marr


A huge thank you goes to Wunderkind PR and the author for letting me review The Family Bones! This is a thriller in every sense of the word, and a murder mystery which just keeps adding more bodies to the tally. It’s a riveting read, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! So, without further ado…

Olivia Eriksen is from a *very* well-known family, but not for the right reasons. As a psychology student, Olivia’s determined to answer a burning question she has about her family legacy of psychopathy (aka antisocial personality disorder)… Is nature or nurture the reason for their mottled history? To find the answers, Olivia accepts an invite to a family reunion at a retreat owned by her uncle. But then her cousin is found dead in the lake, and a storm isolates the family from the rest of the world. Can anyone in this family be trusted? Will Olivia survive this reunion? And is there more to this family story than even she knew?

Cover image of The Family Bones by Elle Marr is to the bottom left of a dark nature retreat area - where woods meet the sea. Added text: Bodies are piling up, and no one can be trusted... Will Olivia survive this family reunion?
Once you start reading The Family Bones, you won’t want to stop until the very last page has been read!

Happiness Boost:

Elle Marr has interspersed this thriller with news articles and journal entries detailing the family’s past, as well as utilising a dual POV between Olivia and Birdie Tan (a true crimes podcaster). I really enjoyed this approach! It makes the narrative of The Family Bones so much more immersive, with a rising dread of what might come next. Who could look away from such a nail-biting tale?!

Portraying antisocial personality disorder is a very tricky business. But Elle writes with a deftness to the nuances that come with this condition, and I really admire that. In fact I actually learned a few things from Olivia’s perspective, which I hadn’t ever considered! It’s one thing to write a great thriller, but it’s even more impressive to write a great thriller that also *teaches* the reader a thing or two.

Within The Family Bones, Birdie is showing her young daughter how to stand up against racism. Not only that, Birdie also highlights with her podcast the desperate need to perform better searches for missing POC. Can we all try to be like Birdie, please? She quickly became my favourite character, even though I was fully invested in Olivia’s story! It’s certainly a happiness boost for me, to read of people like this. And I’m just saying it, we need more of them.


I couldn’t find a downside to this thriller. It was so well written, and I loved it.

Final Thoughts:

The Family Bones by Elle Marr is a captivating thriller, and the perfect weekend read for anyone wanting a contemporary murder mystery! It has been such a joy to find a new author to love, and I am definitely going to be reading more books by Elle Marr in the future. If you love the sound of this story from my review? Just click on any of the links below to pre-order your own copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can pre-order The Family Bones via these links:

Amazon | Booktopia | Fishpond

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