Cover Image: The Ties That Bind

The Ties That Bind

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Member Reviews

The Tempest family .. a rather large family ...and friends have gathered together for Cassie's 18th birthday. And as in most families, there are secrets and deception, and fear.

Jess is sharing an apartment with another girl, but it isn't exactly working out. The roommate has friends over at all hours. Making a quick trip to the apartment, she arrives to find the door open and a man on the floor ..covered in blood. She hears footsteps and afraid to be discovered, she hides in the closet. Although she can't see, she can hear .. two people, some banging around, and the sound of dragging. When they leave and Jess feels it's safe to come out, she finds the dead man's body is gone.

Family friend Jenny Barlow has been keeping a devastating secrets for years ... it is about to be exposed?

What couples are having marital problems .. what couples are having financial problems. Why hasn't someone been told that she's adopted?

When a dead body is found on the beach, there are several of the family who wonder if this was a message to them? Are any of them in danger? Did someone in the family kill?

Family dynamics is at the heart of this story. Throw in fear, grief, deception, secrets, love and hate and it's a book that's hard to put down. Several characters are slowly introduced; it was only later that I could see all the connections. The author did a great job in keeping the confusion at a minimum. There are a few red herrings that will hold your attention and lead to an unexpected conclusion.

Many thanks to the author / Canongate Books / Severn House Publishers / Netgalley for the digital copy of this engrossing story. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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A promising storyline which was developed and interweaved between the characters well. However, there were parts of the story which by the end of the book, seemed superfluous to the main plot, meaning I was left feeling unsure why they had been included. There were also a lot of characters in the book, which was confusing at times, especially as the story chopped and changed between scenes so frequently. Unfortunately, by the end of the book, I was left feeling disappointed as the story was wrapped up and finished so quickly after being drawn out and developed throughout the book. I am sure others would enjoy but overall, I was left feeling disappointed.
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This wandered a bit too much for a relatively short novel,  There are too many characters, I didn't understand the logic in not immediately backing out of the apartment and calling the police when you find a body, and well, it wasn't clear what was meant to be the point- the family tensions or the murder.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  A rare pass from me.
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Not a bad read but I did find the number of characters confusing and got rather lost. The list at the beginning of the book was helpful but rather distracting to have to keep referring back to it. This book did have everything thrown at it bar the kitchen sink and I felt it was somewhat overdone. Given the vast number of characters I couldn't really connect with anyone and this reduced my enjoyment sadly. My thoughts did tend to wander
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I found it quite difficult to identify the numerous characters that peopled this book.  Yes, I know that it  did provide a list of characters but there were to many to remember and I didn’t want to keep referring back – so that is my fault.  That said, as I slowly got into the narrative it became clearer.

We are introduced to many of the characters at Cassie Tempest’s 18 birthday party and it is our first indication that not all is well with this merry ensemble; we discover that there is some sort of rivalries, jealousies and family secrets which will of course need to be unveiled.  Add to this a dead body – murder!

The most positive thing I can say about this is that it was an acceptable read – not challenging, not exciting; well-written but the characters were a tiny bit lacking.  However, there is an audience for this safe, somewhat old-fashioned kind of novel that is not full of horror and dare I say it, sometimes that is very refreshing.

Thank you to the author,  publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
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Thank you Canongate Books and Severn House Publishing for the eARC.
I really enjoyed this book and the family names at the beginning helped quite a bit, because there are a lot of characters to follow.
The Tempest family's Cassie is enjoying her 18th birthday party, but that can't be said for all of the attendees.  There are tensions swirling comprising resentment, jealousy. and family secrets.
Adopted and surrogate children, murder, heartbreak and a possible suicide are some of the stumble blocks the families face, which sounds dire, but I couldn't stop reading, it's a real page turner of a book!  I love Anthea Fraser; I always know I'm in for some wonderful hours when I start one of her books.  Highly recommended!
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