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Summary

The number one Sunday Times best seller

They say you can’t choose your family. But you can kill them. 

Meet Grace Bernard.

Daughter, sister, serial killer....

Grace has lost everything.

And she will stop at nothing to get revenge.

How to Kill Your Family was number one in the Sunday Times paperback chart on 26/04/2022

©2021 Bella Mackie (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Funny and furious and strangely uplifting. Grace is a bitter and beguiling anti-hero with a keen eye for social analysis - even in her most grisly deeds, you never stop rooting for her." (Pandora Sykes)

"Addictive.... Grace Bernard is one of the most intriguing and bewitching protagonists I've read in years." (Emma Gannon) 

"Hilarious and dark." (Elle

What listeners say about How to Kill Your Family

Average customer ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This should come with Fatphobia Trigger Warning.

Constantly referring to fat characters as disgusting and unworthy. Or rather: worthy victims. Disappointing.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not keen on the ending!

Well performed and for the majority of the book I was enthralled by the plot. Didn't love the ending though unfortunately, don't want to give away too much but the intro of the Harry character was both predictable and disappointing imo, which was a shame as I really liked the rest of it. Still worth a listen though, especially if you like the style of "Jog on" - blunt, honest and thought provoking!

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Really let down at end

Was 5 star absolutely brilliant until the other person/other narrator. The last two hours just become stupid and unbelievable.

Real let down at the end!!

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Worst ending! So frustrating

The books cover says 'funny' but I didn't laugh once. There is zero laughs in here, it's just a book about a millennial who seeks revenge. Grace telling her story was good and gripping, but when it switched to a secret brother I really found it annoying and poorly written. His character was pointless and a total waste of what could have been a much more gripping ending. Really unbelievable once he entered the scene and the narrator of the brother didn't work at all. Finished feeling hard done by and very frustrated by the entire book.

Would not recommend at all!

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

So much potential and ultimately so disappointing

The Narrator was appalling, regularly using incorrect emphasis on words, and you could hear her breath or swallow at odd times.

The story started well, built up into a great idea, not very believable, however, that was still fun.
Then it just fizzled out.
The 'reveal' was very obvious, and could have been better and then it ended.
It was as though the author suddenly reached her word count and handed it in.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, slightly off narration

I loved this book. I found myself rooting for the main character despite her being super unlikeable. I quite liked the ending, although it did feel a bit rushed. I wish it had turned out differently!

Paul Panting's narration was fantastic. Charly Clive was good except she took pauses in strange places and rushed through in others - I found myself slowing down the book in order to allow for emphasis between what I imagine are separate paragraphs as it was so annoying. It is a shame as when her narration was in flow (towards the end of the book), it was a much nicer experience.

3 people found this helpful

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Basic

This book is a great example of why not everyone can write fiction. Didn’t bother finishing

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Spoiler alert! I loved it until the end....

This book is smart and funny, the main character is surely a psychopath but it's hard not to like her or even think of her in those terms, and even harder to feel any degree of empathy towards her victims. I wanted her to get away with it, or at the very least not be outsmarted by her characterless cell mate who was the enabler in her very dull bio-bro's plan to ingratiate himself with the last remaining heir to the family fortune.

Maybe that was the twist, how ironic that Grace saved the one and only person in her family who would have enough empathy to save her newly discovered nephew from financial uncertainty and be the barrier between him getting away with murder and being the prime suspect.
Grace's crimes began and ended with men who use women and abandon them when they no longer serve a useful purpose and that is where my 5 star review became 3. There is no moral of the story here, just a murderer who is double crossed by another murderer.

Reading the book will likely be a different experience but, for me, the narrator bought Grace to life and I wanted her to come out on top.

1 person found this helpful

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What a book!

Gripping. I could not stop listening, finished it in just two days (in between studying for very important exams, may I add).
Bella Mackie, please, I urge you, write more fiction!

1 person found this helpful

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Everything you want it to be!

Having impatiently waited for what feels like an eternity for the release & having binge listened within 24 hours, I can confirm that this is a brilliant book!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Southern American Gal
  • 01-10-21

Refund please?

I hated this book!
It started out ok then went downhill after that.
Too many political remarks.
I would love to get a refund
if possible.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Hathaway
  • 19-09-21

Drawn out details, but great ending

The ending was a surprise to me, but getting to it was tedious at times, as Grace provided an excess of details, nasty and overconfident, often sounding like a sociopath. I almost stopped listening a few times, but was curious about how it would all end. Glad I stuck with it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Gonzales
  • 29-07-21

Stick with it and you'll be pleased

This is one of the few books I finished in a couple of days; immediately after starting, several hours had passed and I couldn't put it down (so to speak). I laughed out loud on many occasions because of the bluntness of the main character. There is a sudden turn at the mark of the last 2-hours; I initially hated it, but after listening for 10-15 minutes, I became interested again, and I'm glad I stuck with it. I've recommended the book to several friends, and funny enough, to my mother (I had to beg her to not overthink the title, and just let me finish explaining haha).

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KykyD303
  • 17-09-21

Entertaining for sure!

Really love when an author surprises me multiple times and manages to make the story so entertaining along the way. There were no reviews posted when I selected this one so I had no expectations.... so I feel obligated to encourage others to give this one a chance. Superbly narrated, Grace is among my faves now.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-11-21

wonderfully dsrk & witty

loved it, terrific, dark, twistly tale, deliciously snarky, silly and funny. it's a must read

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Corinne
  • 25-10-21

meh

The story started out great but went flat. So for me it was just ok.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roberta
  • 04-10-21

The best part was the narrator

I couldn’t put this book down. The narrator brought the main character to life. It was a fun listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • THAT GIRL NINA!
  • 02-08-21

definitely ends with a twist

I really did enjoy this book it was not what I expected. Kind of left in the dark though with the ending I want to know what's next? knowing Grace there has to be a part 2

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 30-07-21

Really gets you thinking.

Now this was one interesting book. Not my normal read (listen) but really good. The twists and turns kept you thinking all through till the end, which I must say was not predicted. Enjoy this one!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Liz Wright
  • 28-03-22

Dark and twisty

Needless to say, this isn’t a cozy mystery. Not with that title. Grace is a psychopath. She may be in jail for a murder she didn’t commit, but that’s not to say she’s innocent. As she’s happy to recount to the reader in all the gory detail, she plotted and executed the murders of her father’s family.
Kudos to Mackie. Grace may not be a sympathetic character, but she was oddly relatable and I was happy to go along for the ride as she dispatched one victim after another. There’s a great dark, snarky humor to Grace that I loved.
The plot was a tad uneven and there were times I felt a better editing job might have helped. But that said, I desperately wanted to see how it would all play out. There was a great twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. This is great entertainment for those that aren’t squeamish.
Charlie Clive did a super job as Grace. She made the character come alive for me.