Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Not A Happy Family - Shari Lapena

I've enjoyed each and every one of Shari Lapena's suspense novels. I was eager to read her newest - Not A Happy Family.  And like the ones gone before, I tore through it in two days!

Check out the synopsis below - you'll be hooked! From the publisher, Doubleday Canada:

"Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated."
Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you'd know. Wouldn't you?"

Lies. Secrets. Greed. Conniving. Scheming. Murder. Each and every character is unlikable and yes - detestable in one way or another, even the spouses of the Merton adult children. But it is Catherine, Dan and Jenna that are truly unbelievable. Their blatant desire to know how much they're going to inherit is brought up even before the funeral arrangements have been discussed. There are quite a few other players added to the mix - all with ties to the deceased Mertons. It did take me a bit of back and forth to keep track of who was who. But I loved having so many suspects. Kudos to Lapena on her characterizations.

Lapena lays a bread crumb trail of dropped hints, twists and turns on the way to the final whodunit. There's absolutely no way to predict the final aha moment. But I had a lot of fun guessing and re-guessing. Not A Happy Family had a bit of an Agatha Christie feel for me. (a good thing!)

I really enjoyed this latest. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Not A Happy Family.


Kay said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one. I've really enjoyed other books by Shari Lapena. Thanks for telling about it!

Luanne said...

I've read them all too Kay - hope you enjoy it!