Book Review: The Family Man by T.J. Lebbon

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Title - The Family Man
Author - T. J. Lebbon
Publication Date - August 11th 2016
Publisher - Avon
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 384

You take ONE risk. Now, those you love must pay...

Dom Turner is a dependable husband, a loving father. A man you can rely on. But it only takes one day to destroy a seemingly perfect life.

Emma thought she could trust her husband, Dom. She thought he would always look after her and their daughter Daisy...

Then one reckless act ends in two innocent deaths - and Dom's family becomes the target of a terrifying enemy.

There's nowhere to hide. They're on the run for their lives. And if Dom makes one more wrong move, he won't have a family left to protect.

I originally stumbled across T.J. Lebbon's books when his first novel The Hunt was published with Avon, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So, when The Family Man was announced, I really couldn't wait to get my hands on another book by Lebbon. The cover, the title and the blurb hooked me right away and once I started reading, I knew I was in for a wild ride.

The Family Man focuses on Dom Turner. A lover of the simple things in life, Dom really didn't ask for a lot, although the differences between him and his best mate Andy were picked up on quite a few times. Andy was the opposite of Dom in a number of ways. More daring, more exciting, more promiscuous... And it was clear to see that in some aspects, Dom compared and would find himself lacking in a few departments. A friendship built on biking, banter and a few pints in the pub, they were good mates and the bond between them was easy-going, as you'd expect. Until, after a sunny afternoon of beer-infused playful planning and plotting following the surfacing of a ludicrous idea to rob the local post office, Dom and Andy suddenly find themselves preparing for something they hadn't, in a million years, seen coming. The consequences of which threaten the lives of the people they love dearest, especially for Dom, when his wife and daughter become involved too...

Pacey and adrenaline-pumping, The Family Man by T.J. Lebbon was a fantastic novel full of high-speed chases, knife-point scenarios and shoot-outs. From the very moment the seed of his and Andy's idea was planted within Dom's mind, I just knew that the author was about to take me on a journey full of twists and turns and boy, was I right. It had my heart going ten to the dozen, and some of the situations that arose within the plot were pretty damn gruesome, only ever adding to the overwhelming sense of terror that stuck around throughout the entirety of the novel. It was grim, descriptive and totally menacing, with a villain who, truth be told, scared the friggin' beejeezus out of me. As the novel progressed and Dom and Andy found themselves spiralling deeper and deeper into a nightmare of fear and danger, I couldn't bear to put this book down, as I was so desperate to remain with the characters and see where Lebbon would take them next. From hiding out to doing a runner, I was kept hooked right the way through and found myself gripping my Kindle to absolute death in suspense as the pages continued to turn.

The characters within T.J. Lebbon's The Family Man were fantastic and definitely made this story what it was. Dangerous, violent and incredibly dodgy, there was a real essence of fear surrounding them, and when certain truths were revealed and relationships surfaced that I had no idea existed, it only added to the excitement. Lip and Sonja were two particular favourites of mine, as well as Rose and Holt who I was thrilled to find reappear after first meeting them in Lebbon's first novel. With complex personalities and unique back stories, I loved learning about each of the characters in turn and learning what it was that drove them to make the decisions they'd made. It was such a fascinating book, as well as being action-packed enough to hold my attention from beginning to end. I also loved the focus on family. The relationships between Dom and his wife, as well as Dom and his daughter, sort of softened the hard-hitting nature of this book and, at times, warmed my heart completely, despite the nasty stuff that was going on around them.

All in all, a tremendously gripping novel, with a host of characters mean enough to have you quaking in your boots. Pacey, addictive and adrenaline-pumping, I loved this book from back to front and will of course be awarding it five of my bookish cupcakes.

About the author
I'm a New York Times-bestselling horror, thriller and fantasy writer from a little village in South Wales. I've written over 30 novels, including several in collaboration with Christopher Golden, as well as dozens of novellas and hundreds of short stories. 

My latest novel, THE HUNT, is my first thriller. Lee Child calls it 'A great thriller ... breathless all the way.' 

I've won four British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award and a Scribe, as well as being shortlisted for the prestigious World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Awards. A movie of my short story Pay The Ghost, starring Nicolas Cage, is due for release in 2015, and I have several other movie projects in development. I love running, biking and swimming, and often try to put them all together in long-distance triathlons. I raced my first Ironman in 2013.

I've also written a handful of tie-in projects connected to the Alien, Predator, Star Wars and Hellboy universes.

You can find Tim Lebbon on Twitter |

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