The Family at No 12 by Anita Waller – Blog Tour

Thank to Anita Waller, Boldwood Books and Netgalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest review and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour.


When Janette answers the door to a potential customer looking to board his dog, she never imagines he has nefarious plans.

But minutes later he’s dead and in her cellar.

Weeks later she realises she’s pregnant.

And so she becomes Mother and the baby Child, and a hidden life begins.

But all secrets come out eventually . . .

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My Thoughts

The Family at No 12 is one of those books where I forget to re-read the blurb before I start and I am nowhere near ready for what is inside.  The opening of the book is a shocker (in a good way for me personally) and is stays dark and haunting from there until the end.  My strong advice would be to take a moment to check the content warning if you are a person who relies on these to avoid certain topics.

Janette is a quiet and introvert woman who has very little to do with the outside world.  When a shocking event changes Janette’s life forever, she slowly picks up the pieces and moves on.  But, nothing is what is seems at No 12 and once secrets begin to emerge, there’s no telling what else will be uncovered.    

My heart broke for Janette in the beginning.  Nobody on Earth can say how they would deal with such a situation and our brains do strange things when subject to extreme trauma.  Despite her actions, I cannot truly bring myself to hate her and I felt utmost sympathy with the whole situation.  Anita Waller really captures the impact trauma can have on a person in this book and it’s a harrowing tale which really leaves a mark on the reader’s heart and mind. 

The child’s tale is equally as heartbreaking – more so due to the child being a complete innocent in the aftermath of the event. 

Both characters are really well developed as the book spans several decades and we see them change.  I think Anita has done some extensive research into trauma, neglect and the impact this can have on children and adults and yes of course, there is creative license used however, it has a good base in some reality when developing motives, emotions etc. 

This is a dark and chilling read with a huge amount of food for thought and a lot of content that could be upsetting however it is an enjoyable and well plotted read that has great character development and it does play on your mind for a while after reading.   

Author Bio – Anita Waller

Anita Waller is the author of many bestselling psychological thrillers and the Kat and Mouse crime series. She lives in Sheffield, which continues to be the setting of many of her thrillers, and was first published by Bloodhound at the age of sixty-nine. Her first book for Boldwood will be published in August 2022.

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