“The Snakes” by Sadie Jones, published by Harper, 2019 – Short Book Review


Like a snake shedding its skin, The Snakes turns from a modern story on the effects of the acquisition and spending of infinite money on families into a murder thriller. Various feelings and suppressed concerns of the characters, Dan and Bea, lower middle-class young marrieds, Alex, brother of Bea and damaged family goods who manages a run-down hotel in France, Griff and Liv, parents escaping the unintended consequences of their lives. Bea shed her skin of privilege by leaving her family, happily working as a certified therapist among the undeserved and marrying Dan, a mixed-race artist scraping together a living as an estate broker.

Bea and Dan shed the humdrum of their lives by taking a three-month holiday touring the Continent. They stop to visit Alex. Clearly the hotel and his life are in shambles. His death/murder brings Griff and Liv to France and the plot takes off—but it’s about half-way through the book.

Enjoyable reading if you don’t mind a bit of gore and a realistic end. Good, facile writing.