‘The Family Tree’ – Steph Mullin

Sending off your DNA and learning you were adopted would be a shock for anyone. But when you’re contacted by the FBI because your DNA matches someone in their files…that would haunt you.

Liz is our main character here, and when she gets this news she is – understandably – reeling. She wants answers about her family and, of course, we want to know what the connection is.

What Liz gets told is that her DNA is a match for the person they think is the Tri-State killer, a person of interest for over forty years. He takes pairs of young women, keeps them for nine months and then kills them. According to the FBI the results hint strongly at a link between Liz’s family and this person.

Getting to know someone you’ve only just met is tough at the best of times. Knowing you were adopted because your mother was a drug addict makes it harder to ask questions. When you suspect your kindly new uncle might be responsible for over twenty murders…what do you do?

There were moments in this that were genuinely terrifying. Reading about the girls taken leant a chilling personal element to the story…and I was ready for all manner of bizarre occurrences to allow this to play out.

What I wasn’t remotely prepared for was the ending! Talk about a surprise. That creeping ominous sense that this was not over had the hairs on the back of my neck prickling…

I’m hugely grateful to NetGalley for granting me access to this before publication.