“Family is not whose blood runs in your veins, it’s who you’d spill it for.”
― Benjamin Stevenson, Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone
Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson tells the story of the Cunningham family seen through the eyes of one of the members, Ernest Cunningham – call him Ern or Ernie. Ern is a mystery writer; well to be more specific, he writes ‘how to’ guides for crime and mystery novels. His family has decided to have a family reunion at a remote Australian ski resort. Ern is extremely reluctant to attend, given his family’s history, but he has been told that it’s not optional.
Ern is our narrator. After outlining ten rules to follow, he frequently interjects into the story to tell us necessary back story or to alert the reader to something he just discovered. The most important fact he wants readers to know and remember: everyone in his family has killed someone. With them gathering all together for a family reunion, Ern is obviously concerned not least of all because this will be the first time that he has seen his family in a long time. Ern admits early on that yes, he has killed someone, but he’s not going to tell readers, at least not yet. That’s for us to figure out as the story progresses. After all, everyone in his family has killed someone. Each family member has their own reasons for why they killed someone, but they aren’t for Ern to just blurt out to non-family members.
This book was something I had never read before. It’s not your typical murder mystery. The narrator, Ernest, frequently broke the third wall to have a personal conversation with readers throughout the book. Even while he was doing that, Ernest also weaved an intricate web connecting all the members of his family together. He also acknowledged that we were listening to an audiobook, which I had never had happen to me in an audiobook before. If you decide to listen to this audiobook, this is one where you need to pay close attention! Lots of clues/hints are dropped throughout the novel that will help you solve the many mysteries. I hope the author writes something as original and clever again!
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