How To Kill Your Family – Bella Mackie

‘Funny and furious and strangely uplifting. Grace is a bitter and beguiling anti-hero with a keen eye for social analysis – even in her most grisly deeds, you never stop rooting for her’ PANDORA SYKES

I have killed several people (some brutally, others calmly) and yet I currently languish in jail for a murder I did not commit.

When I think about what I actually did, I feel somewhat sad that nobody will ever know about the complex operation that I undertook. Getting away with it is highly preferable, of course, but perhaps when I’m long gone, someone will open an old safe and find this confession. The public would reel. After all, almost nobody else in the world can possibly understand how someone, by the tender age of 28, can have calmly killed six members of her family. And then happily got on with the rest of her life, never to regret a thing.

When Grace Bernard discovers her absentee millionaire father has rejected her dying mother’s pleas for help, she vows revenge, and sets about to kill every member of his family. Readers have a front row seat as Grace picks off the family one by one – and the result is as and gruesome as it is entertaining in this wickedly dark romp about class, family, love… and murder.

But then Grace is imprisoned for a murder she didn’t commit.

Outrageously funny, compulsive and subversive, perfect for fans of Killing Eve and My Sister, the Serial Killer.

Book Information: Print Length: 360 pages. Publisher: The Borough Press. Publication Date: 22 July 2021

Bella Mackie

Bella Mackie is a former journalist who previously worked for The Guardian and Vice News. She writes a twice monthly Vogue Column. Her first book, Jog On, was a memoir about mental health and running. It was a number two best seller (just underneath Michelle Obama, which is a hallowed spot). Since then she’s written an accompanying journal to encourage others to try exercise more for their minds than their bodies.

Her first foray into fiction was with my book “How To Kill Your Family,” which came out in July 2021 and also ended up in the number two bestseller spot.

She lives in London and spend a lot of time wrangling my large stupid dog.

My Review:

I kept seeing reviews and mentions of this book on my online book club, so despite having over 1000 unread books on my kindle as a sufferer of FOMO, I bought the book and started reading it on holiday last week.

Grace Bernard is currently in jail for a murder she didn’t commit which is ironic as she has killed 7 other people. This particular murder is sloppy and definitely not her style, because Grace is first and foremost a serial killer with an ingenious approach to killing her victims in ways which are inventive, original and more importantly always look like a tragic accident.

Grace is the narrator of Bella Mackie’s debut novel and having been brought up by a single mother after a short lived affair with a charming, wealthy and very married man, Grace’s childhood was difficult. Living hand-to-mouth in a small bedsit, her mother tried to give Grace everything she needed with the exception of a father, who didn’t want anything to do with her.

After her mother’s death at an early age Grace believes that her biological father and his family should be held accountable for her situation and starts to plot to kill them off one-by-one. The story has a dual time-frame, “present” Grace in a small cell recounting her past and writing her auto-biography and “past” Grace reliving her childhood and the intricate plotting of each of her kills.

This is a very amusing and dark story which kept me entertained throughout. Each of the kills are clever and well thought out and I particularly loved Grace’s sarcastic narrative and amusing observational humour which brought this psychopathic serial killer to life. I don’t normally feel sympathy for murderers, but for Grace I have made an exception.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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