A Death In The Family

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
478 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

A Death in The Family by Mark Pifher is a fantastic mystery that will make you lose yourself in its pages. The story follows a father/daughter duo that opened an investigation into a murder; however, they triggered a chain of events they were not ready to face. When Laura O’Brien passed away, Tom and his daughter Katie understood they needed something to keep their family together. So, Tom and Katie started a joint investigation on a death that happened in their area, and they decided to keep a joint journal. What they weren’t expecting was to find so much chaos and death in their path to find the truth. As darkness tries to overtake the family once again, it is up to Tom and Katie to figure out a way to keep their family away from the mess and still figure out why all these people are dying.

The mystery was alive in the story. Mark Pifher brought the story to life with his incredible writing style. The narrative was powerful from the very beginning. The author played the emotions up, he gave readers all the tools to fall in love with the story. The mystery behind the first murder of the politician was a well-kept secret, even with the ground Tom and Katie covered. However, it became an entity of its own when the bodies started to pile up, and things became heated. Tom and Katie’s relationship was intense and a little strained in the beginning. However, it was refreshing to see both of them making an effort to find common ground and work together. The emotions were running high, the pace was perfect, and the action was relentless (yet not overpowering). A Death in The Family was perfect!

Vincent Dublado

A Death in the Family by Mark Pifher is a strong, atmospheric crime mystery novel. The fuel driving the father and daughter team of Tom and Katie O’Brien by jointly writing a journal surrounding a suspicious episode is to mend a strained family relationship. Tom and Katie alternately narrate their investigation that begins with a promising politician named James Worthy, who is sentenced to fifteen to twenty years for multiple offenses including manslaughter. Worthy seems aware that he will die in prison, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when he is murdered while returning to his cell after dining. This mystery further strengthens the foundation of Tom and Katie’s desire to pursue their journalistic investigation. It will characterize and shape a story that reveals a series of sexual harassment and assaults, and it will cost the lives of people they know.

Strong characterization is one of the hallmarks of this story. Mark Pifher gives Tom and Katie an existential approach to their characters, as they share and involve the reader in their journalistic undertaking. The first chapter will immediately give you an idea that the family is weighed down by an emotional and psychological crisis brought about by the death of Tom’s wife, Laura. From there, the plot takes on an unexpected development as they explore theories and possible motives behind the deaths of everyone who becomes involved in their investigation. The pivotal event in this story is one that you should watch out for, as it is a scene worthy of a front page, a culminating event where the participants get exposed and this gives you a satisfying closure. A Death in the Family is one of a kind. It is a story that hinges on the issues of family, morality, and guilt, and there is no disappointment in a story where the psychological suspense sets the bar high.

K.C. Finn

A Death In The Family is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, mystery, and crime fiction subgenres, and was penned by author Mark Pifher. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and contains moderate references to murder and death as well as intense issues of grief. Our protagonists are a father, Tom O’Brien, his daughter Katie and son Brian who have lost their beloved partner and mother, Laura. Laura’s death sparks an urgent sense in her remaining family to investigate the deaths of others around them, but little do they know this will begin a chain of intrigue, secrets, and lies that will put their family to the test like never before.

Author Mark Pifher has crafted a very immersive and engrossing work of fiction with plenty of twists, turns, and genuine family drama to offer its readers from cover to cover. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was the core sense of family in the work, which certainly makes it stand out from other books in the same genre because you really get to know and root for the characters more intimately. The dialogue was also most effective, serving to display the unique traits of the characters whilst moving the plot forward in a natural way without ever spoon-feeding readers or giving away the mystery too much. Overall, I would highly recommend A Death In The Family to fans of well-crafted murder mystery plots, realistic character building, and for crime fiction enthusiasts everywhere.