ARC Review: A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards *Stephanie’s Review*


A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards was a new to me author book. After reading it, having a hard time putting it down, and absolutely loving it, it certainly won’t be my last! I loved this book. It really hit all of my requirements: great characters, great storyline with lots of twists, fast pacing, and a surprising ending that I gasped at.

Ryan is a true crime cold case podcaster. Between seasons her older sister reaches out to her and begs for her help. Ryan’s nieces are with Ryan and Wendy’s parents. She can’t make it home because of reasons and Ryan needs to pack up and take care of the girls until Wendy can make it back. Oh and would Ryan be a good little sister and use her resources to help clear up those reasons? Find out what really happened?

Truly Ryan does an AMAZING job of just rolling with it. She seems very chill for someone who is grasping at straws trying to help her sister under considerably mysterious circumstances. I can in fact tell you that if it had been me, my poor sister would have been screwed. I am no good unless I feel like I know what’s going on. I would have been a walking zombie keeping myself up with all the possibilities. I really admired that in Ryan. She was able to do SO much while caring for her nieces.

The secondary characters are just as great. Teo was totally worth the tease. I think that Richards did an amazing slow build second chance here. There was a bananas backstory to these two and really for most of the book it could have gone either way. I also really enjoyed Sophie’s character. A character that I had a lot of inter struggle with is Ryan’s mother. She definitely seems to dote on Wendy considerably more than Ryan. She also just seems really stiff and the exact opposite of Ryan.

Richards kept the suspense cranked high. If you’ve followed my reviews here on Once Upon a Chapter for any length of time then you know I love a mystery so much more when I am actually surprised (in a good way) at the end. It doesn’t always mean that the villain has to be a surprise but I like being kept on my toes. Richards nails that. Once I felt like I *might* have a grasp on what’s going on, Richards’s pulls not only the rug but the entire damn living room carpet out from under me! I honestly can’t tell you how much I enjoyed A Family of Strangers! I would love to read more books involving this cast of characters! Hello cold case detective duo with a podcast platform! Sign. Me. Up.

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