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The Frank Business

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  37 reviews

'A talented, witty writer with a sharp eye for social observation' Daily Mail

After Frank drops down dead in Heathrow Arrivals on Christmas Eve, his estranged daughter Jem is called in to identify the body and is left wondering why he was travelling to London in the first place, the day before Christmas, with no bags or belongings - just his wallet, passport and car key

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by John Murray
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy for an open and honest review.

this book was a book of discovery, loss betrayal this is a journey where frank dies suddenly and his estranged daughter formally identified the body as the book goes along we learn more about frank from the viewpoint of several people and how the aftermath of franks death effects so many people and the type of person frank really was. liked the part of the book where it looked at fragile family set ups and how t
Mary Lou
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Frank meets an unexpected end, his estranged daughter Jem discovers that she is not, as she thought, his sole surviving relative as she encounters her half- brother Sonny and his family.
The Frank Business is a graceful work, focusing on the consequences years on of an old transgression- more a thoughtless little temporary wander off the beaten track.
The style is cosy, but compensation is provided by some sharp, astute descriptions. But the real strength is in the pace of the reveal and in t
Graham McGhie
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Brilliant Read - A Modern Classic Thriller:
What an apt title: "The Frank Business". This is an engrossing novel which will keep you reading and guessing on the outcome until the final page. It possesses a timeless message which will reverberate as much in years to come as it does today. Betrayal of those you love can come back to haunt at any point in the future and have unforeseen consequences which we cannot control.
The sudden death of Frank in this novel (not a spoiler as it happens at the
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a bit of an odd book. Difficult to fit it into any particular genre. Odd because none of the characters were your normal run of the mill people. Nevertheless I really enjoyed it. It's a compelling read, well I thought so, it certainly kept me interested. Yet I'm really struggling with what to say. That's annoying because I really wanted to do this book justice.

It's a story of family, a story of betrayal, of insecurity and hurt. It's what happens when secrets are kept, when lies are told
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed The Frank Business by Olivia Glazebook very much. It’s about a rather dysfunctional family in crisis and it begins dramatically - when Frank dropped down dead on Christmas Eve at London Heathrow airport, having travelled from his home in France. His next of kin is his estranged daughter Jem, who hadn’t seen him or had any contact with him since she was a child. Trying to find out why he was at Heathrow, she travelled to Frank’s house and discovers that she was not an only child as she ...more
Grace J Reviewerlady
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a delicious read about family dynamics and consequences of keeping secrets!

Frank Martell finds out, quite by accident, that he has a grown-up son and sets off from his home in France to find his mother in London. However, a fatal heart attack in Heathrow airports ends his quest. There is no way Frank could have known the rumpus his discovery causes with both his natural daughter - estranged, and the Griffin family where the boy and his mother are ensconced in family life.

This is an enticing
Kate Vane
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Frank drops dead abruptly at Heathrow, his estranged daughter Jem travels to his home in France to arrange his effects. She learns that Frank has a son she knew nothing about. With no other living relatives, she soon resolves to make contact with the son, throwing his family into chaos.

The Frank Business has just the kind of writing I enjoy, close observation of a small canvas, casting a wry eye over characters who are in conflict with themselves as much as the people around them. The autho
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
It's Christmas Eve and Frank Martell, having just arrived at Heathrow from France, has dropped dead in the Arrivals hall. His long-estranged daughter Jem is summoned to identify the body and take possession of the few effects, amongst which is a bunch of keys. She is then told that Frank's death was caused by a genetic heart condition which killed him without warning; as his daughter, she too, may have this condition.

On a whim Jem, using her father's credit card, she books an immediate flight to
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Frank flies into Heathrow airport away from his home in France. He collapses and dies of heart failure. His estranged daughter, Jem, is notified. Jem travels to France to find some clues as to why her Father had suddenly upped and flown into Heathrow with no luggage on Christmas Eve. The story that unfolds blows lives apart.

I have read this type of book before – not exactly the same but the idea of someone dying with business unfinished & perhaps an estranged or unknown family. However, the thin
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is all about relationships, starting with Frank and the repercussions of his dysfunctional life on the lives of his children, wife and mistress. However, I was unable to identify or sympathise much with the characters, even Lauren and Walter. The author tends to take one situation, explore it and then leave it to go and look at another. The transitions are not well handled, and the result is a little confusing. The situations being described are, at times, horrific, but they seem almos ...more
Nicki Southwell
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
Frank Martell drops dead at Heathrow on Christmas Eve.

All they can find is his passport and wallet on him where he collapses. He has no luggage. His estranged daughter Jem is contacted by the police and asked to make a formal identity in the local morgue. The man she has not seen for years has just appeared back into her life and now has gone. He wasn't on his way to meet her though, and this is the basis for his story.

Jem discovers that he has another child, a son. Because of the medical reason
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The ‘Frank’ of the title is a deeply unpleasant man who drops dead at Heathrow, on Christmas Eve, after suffering a heart attack. His estranged daughter, Jem, discovers that he had an undiagnosed heart defect which could be inherited. She also finds out she has a half-brother she knew nothing about and realises she needs to tell him about the heart condition.

Set in London and rural France this is the story of relationships and secrets. It moves from the present to the past as it describes how Je
Helen French
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this deftly written tale about a complicated family.

Frank has a sudden realisation that sends him to Heathrow only to die in Arrivals. His estranged daughter Jem visits his house in France to try to work out what he was in England for, only to find out that he'd just discovered a son he'd never met. A son who would be the same age as her...

She immediately sets about finding her half-brother and inadvertently (okay, not that inadvertently) sows chaos into his family life. Sonny d
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2019
An intriguing story about an girl who discovered that her estranged father had another child... after he died unexpectedly! Opening several cans of worms, Jem meets her half brother Sonny - and this book explores the back story and the implications of each sibling coming to terms with their new found situation.

Set in London and France, this book paints vivid scenes and portrays a very human response from most of its characters. I really enjoyed Jem’s back story and felt both her warmth and angst
Jane Hunt
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has a great opening, it really catches your attention, and makes you feel sympathy for Frank who dies so painfully and abruptly. What follows reveals Frank as a destructive man who cared for no-one, and whose thoughtless actions had far-reaching effects on those he came into contact with.

The plot is not remarkable, although it is good, it's the characters, the pertinent observations of what motivates people to react in certain ways, and most importantly how families work in a contempo
Rachel Myers
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
After Jem’s Father, who she hasn’t seen for over 15 years, drops dead in Heathrow Airport, she discovers that she has a half-brother, and also that their father may have passed on a heart defect to them both. She decides to meet her brother and tell him, but in doing so, she exposes a 25 year old lie and risks tearing a family apart.
An interesting story, with the action split between the present and 25 years previous. The setting moves between North London and Provence, and both areas were well
Jo-anne Atkinson
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
When her estranged father Frank dies Jem discovers that she has a brother she never knew about and she needs to find him to warn him that Frank died of a congenital heart defect. Twenty-five years ago Frank had an affair with Kathleen, a spoilt and selfish actress, that resulted in the birth of Scott. Scott doesn't know that he isn't the son of Walter (Kathleen's husband) but he does know that he's very different to his sister.
There's a clever and interesting book at the the heart of this but it
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought The Frank Business was a great holiday read. The sins of the father are visited upon the son (and daughter.) Frank is an evil man who lives in France. In the opening chapter of the book we meet Frank. He is illustrating a card, and looking forward to Christmas with friends. He receives a shock that sets him on a plane to London. There, Frank dies.
The rest of the book is how people deal with Frank’s legacy. His blameless daughter Jem is forced to clear up Frank's mess, drawing her into
Aileen  (Ailz) Grist
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Frank wasn't a particularly nice man. He had an 'artistic' temperament - which seemed to mean in his case that he was a skilled painter who drank a lot and was cruel to other people - to the death of other people. His wife was lovely - everyone thought so. Kathleen, who became his lover, was a narcissist.

We begin as Frank dies on his way to confront Kathleen, who, he has discovered, had his son after a two week affair. Kathleen is relieved that he didn't manage to do that, but Jem, his daughter
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this book ,although it starts quite dramatically with the death of Frank travelling from France to Heathrow ,the pace of the book then draws us into all the secrets from the past that come back to haunt .This book is all about relationships and betrayal and secrets .I found all the characters very self absorbed and not at all likeable except Jem and Walter ,Frank was simply horrible .This all made for a very enjoyable read which was interesting and very well written with a ve ...more
Beck Fraser
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved this book! Initially, you feel sorry for Frank for dropping dead at Heathrow airport and poor Jem, his estranged daughter is left to sort out the ensuing mess. The family dynamic then played out is funny and dark and there's an awful lot of undercurrents at work. I felt sorry for Jem and could have slapped Kathleen for being so prickly and self-obsessed; her son Scott (Sonny) becoming a spoilt replica of her. I liked the character of Walter and could understand his anger. This book draws ...more
Sarah Robinson
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
A chance broadcast heard on the radio leads to the unravelling of the Frank Business, secrets are revealed and family lines shifted in this tale of infidelity. The character of Frank is revealed as angry and unpleasant and the lives of Jem and Sonny are changed forever. The ripples spread out and affect Katherine, Lauren and Walter too. The most unpleasant secret known only by Katherine is not revealed to anybody but the reader and that is as it should be. Thank you to Netgalley and John Murray ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-s
This is a book which explores the way families interact and the ways in which they can fall apart. In theory, it is very intriguing as Jem, whose estranged and abusive father has died, searches for her half brother. Sonny and his family have to deal with the ramifications of his mothers previously admitted affair. For me though, this fell flat. I couldn't find anything redeeming in any of the characters, who all seems just awful. This is probably going to be a book that a lot of people enjoy, bu ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
As usual in my reviews, I won't go into the plot (plenty of other reviews out there if that's what you're after!).

This is a compelling and somewhat unusual read. In common with many other current novels, it features a number of rather horrid characters - tempered in this case by some rather loveable and sympathetic ones. The plot is excellent, beginning with the death of one of the main characters, and ending on an optimistic note. I would love to know what happens next - a sure sign of a good
Julie Spratt
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book but am unsure why. Most of the characters are not very pleasant and the story was unsavoury at times but for some reason I wanted to continue ready and read this in two sittings. Frank has a massive heart attack on the way to the airport after finding out that he had a son he never knew about. The story moves backwards and forwards to the families in the past and today. How are they connected and what went on in the past? An interesting read but still insure why I like ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a heart warming book. It was about a family that have a troubled past, some of which they aren't even aware of. Gem gets news that her father has died and suddenly she has to work out who her family are and what to do. The book is quite light hearted and an easy read, where you can pick it up easily. The author has made good social observations and there are sub threads that keep the book flowing at a steady pace. The story is almost believable. The humour has some dark undertones but a ...more
Brian Shuck
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book shows how the ripples of closely guarded secrets can disrupt a family when they are eventually revealed. When an estranged daughter is pulled back in to the world of her recently deceased father. It’s not only her own past that is brought back to haunt her.

As the story unfolds the past spreads out to take in a famous woman, a proud husband and two grown up siblings. None of them aware what was to arrive on the doorstep over Christmas.

This well written novel is told in a gentle fashion
Hannah Beswick
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brilliant book. Beautifully written, skipping back and forth between the past and the present to interweave the story of three interconnected families. The author portrays family life in a truly honest way - sometimes all members of a family aren't equal, and seeing how that effects the dynamics of the relationships was fascinating. There were some characters I would have loved to know more about and see more of, but overall a fantastic read. ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book from start to finish. It’s about a dysfunctional family in crisis, which in parts I could relate to! Overall a little sad how a family can be so disconnected from each other at times. It shows how each character are flawed in one way or another which made this book an interesting tale. The book kept my attention throughout and it is cleverly written. I would 100% recommend this book to friends and family.
Cassie Holland
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting read, not a stereo-typical tale, of family dynamics. The characters are well drawn and come to life. It is easy to dislike the self-obsessed actress and the eponymous Frank and the likeable Jem, exasperating Scott.
An interesting telling of the history a family.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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