Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Family Reunion" by Carol Smith

The matriarch of the Annesley clan, who has practically been in hiding for decades, unexpectedly sends a letter to her many grandchildren in regards to her will. A group of the grandchildren, led by Clemency Cartwright, decide to visit her in France personally. They are seemingly unconcerned that various other family members across the globe have been murdered, or that the murderer might drop by for a visit as well....

Seriously, what was with all the incest in this book? It was crazy. It was gross. There is a romantic happily-ever-after for two characters who are second cousins.

I'll start with the character of Dominic Carlisle. He's the second cousin of the six grandchildren who visit their grandmother. Five of them are women. He's been hired by oldest grandchild Harry, for reasons that are never made explicitly clear, to spy on the women. He sleeps with one of them, hits on and kisses another two, and hits on yet another.

What the fuck is up with this guy? He knows he's related by blood to these women and actively pursues every single one of them! He's sick!

The women are no better. Although he treats them like dirt, they keep coming back for more. Even when they find out they're related to him, they keep coming back for more.

On top of that, the matriarch's own marriage was to her first cousin, so all these characters are the product of an incestuous relationship.

Gross, gross, gross.

By the end, it's not made properly clear why the killer was offing various members of the family, or why he should target those people in particular. (I'm still at a loss to understand why minor character Pandora was among the victims). As you might expect, the killer's motive and past included more incest.

It was a stupid, vague book and all the consensual incest just turned my stomach.

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