Review: An Unwanted Guest (by Shari Lapena)

81ha0dvtqvlA weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.

c37817f30a98cbe3456b4228f57c6c3dI have to admit, I haven’t read any book written by Shari Lapena. I have no idea what genre she usually writes and I’ve always thought she’s Filipino as her name sounds like one.

I went to Virgin Store in Dubai Mall and saw that her book, An Unwanted Guest was displayed all over their Fiction Section. I got curious and read the back part. I told myself, it’s a thriller! I became curious about the book and the author.

When I got to the hotel, I immediately searched for the author’s bio and voila, she’s not Filipino! I really thought she was. But it doesn’t really concern my wanting to read the book. I bought the Kindle Edition.

I liked the book a lot. It took me about 4 days to finish reading because my son had been interrupting me with his incessant questions *smiles* I had to wait until everyone is asleep before I read or during my breaks at work. The life of a working mom!

I have read some comments that the writing was kind of juvenile and the words weren’t deep enough. I say, “how deep is it that you guys expect?” For me, the words were well written! The author has that sense of suspense that you’d never guess who’s done it. The sentences were clear and would be very appealing to readers who barely have time to read and those who would like a fast paced story to satisfy their very limited time to spare. I basically do not like books with too much non-essential subplots to support lazy chapters. This book didn’t have that!

The murders start one by one and you would ask, “who could be killing these people?” Who knows?! But certainly, the author made is so hard to guess. What could be the reason for the killings? Could it be planned or just random? Looking at the guests and their profiles, there seemed to be no connection. David Paley is a defense attorney who seems distant but confident. He is handsome and came to the Inn alone. He wondered if he would be able to meet someone during the weekend. He seemed normal. Lauren came in with Ian. They are the couple who was helpful enough to assist some of the guests who were in trouble earlier on. Riley and Gwen are best friends who got stuck in the road. Riley seemed off and Gwen is her exact opposite. Dana Hart and Matthew Hutchinson is a handsome couple. They are recently engaged and Dana looks like a model while Matthew is handsome and rich. Candice White came alone. She is a writer who hasn’t been on vacation for quite some time. She takes this weekend trip to the Inn as an opportunity to write another book. Beverly and Henry Sullivan is also a couple. They have kids who will be mentioned a couple times in the story. They are in a not-so-loving state although Beverly seems to be trying her best to win her husband’s affection while they’re at the Inn. James Harwood and his son Bradley manage the Inn together. James is the owner who also serves as the chef and Bradley is somehow the all-around go-to man of the Inn. The snowstorm had been heavy and no other help from their staff came in, Bradley basically becomes the concierge, bellhop, bartender and waiter for the weekend.

They have become suspicious of one another and have started accusing their suspects. But who could the killer really be? Read and go figure! It is an exciting adventure!

I know a lot of reviews say that this book would give you the Agatha Christie feels but I say the writing of Shari Lapena in this book brings a more funky take on thriller/mystery.

I loved the book and I am now reading The Couple Next Door.
An Unwanted GuestAn Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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