A Killer in the Family by Gytha Lodge [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: A Killer in the Family

Author: Gytha Lodge

Publisher: Random House

Publish Date: August 8, 2023

Genre: Police Procedural

Series: DCI Jonah Sheens #5

My Rating: 4/5

A Killer in the Family by Gytha Lodge


A woman uploads her DNA online, searching for her father—but the man who contacts her is Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens. From the acclaimed author of Little Sister, this endlessly twisty crime novel asks: What might a family do to protect or expose a serial killer in its midst?

When the police found the first body, left on a bonfire in the forest, they worried it had the hallmarks of a serial killer.

Now, as they find the second, they know for sure.

Panic about the “Bonfire Killer” quickly spreads through the  sedate suburban area of Southampton. Women are urged not to travel alone at night, and constant vigilance is encouraged among the local residents. But single mom Aisling Cooley has a lot to distract her: two beloved teenage sons and a quest to find her long-lost father, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a teenager.

After much debate, she decides to upload her DNA to an ancestry website. When she gets a match she is filled with an anxious excitement that her questions about her father’s disappearance from her life might finally be answered.

But to her horror, it’s not her father who’s found her. It’s a detective.

And they say her DNA is a close match for the Bonfire Killer. . . .

A Killer in the Family by Gytha Lodge


A woman uploads her DNA to an ancestry website in the hopes of locating her father. It’s not her father who contacts her though, it’s a detective looking for a killer.

A Killer in the Family is the fifth book in the DCI Jonah Sheens series, but it can be read as a standalone. This series has some gripping mysteries, and I suggest reading the other books.

This book uses multiple points of view – the detectives working the case, the woman with a DNA match to the killer, the killer, and a victim. The characters are interesting and the mystery is intriguing.

A Killer in the Family is dark, tense, and twisty. Recommended for fans of British police procedurals.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the DCI Jonah Sheens series:
  1. She Lies in Wait
  2. Watching from the Dark
  3. Lie Beside Me
  4. Little Sister
  5. A Killer in the Family

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