The Radleys by Matt Haig

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I was hoping my reading in 2018 would start well as 2017 ended on a high after a fairly mediocre year but two quiet books in and two DNFs meant that when I went searching through my book shelves last night I wanted an author I’d read and enjoyed previously, something quick and something easy.

The Radleys fit my specification. The Radleys are your typical suburban middle class family living in a small dreary village in middle England.The father’s a doctor, the mum stays home cooking, cleaning and going to book group and the teenagers go off to school each day. Yet the villagers feel there is something different about them, the children’s skin is too pale, the father refuses to join the local cricket team and the village dogs bark at them. This is a family of vampires, abstaining vampires and the children have grown up unaware of their heritage.

When the daughter murders a local boy after he tries to attack her all manner of secrets come out of the woodwork, including an uncle the children were never aware of.

This novel is fairly light hearted, but if you look past the vampire cliches and the critique of small town England this book is really about what it makes to make a family.

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