An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted GuestAn Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
Published by Bantam Press on July 26th 2018
Pages: 320
ISBN: 0593079647
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five-stars

A quiet weekend in the country, far away from the stress of the outside world sounds like a dream getaway! Mitchell Inn is a warm and inviting Inn which is nestled deep in the forest. Snow is covering the ground adding to the Inn’s beauty and charm. It’s a place for lovers to enjoy time together, a place where an Author can work on her book, a man can enjoy some alone time, friends can re-connect, and for a couple in an unhappy marriage can take a look at their marriage in a beautiful setting.

But the storm is unrelenting – the snow has not stopped falling and soon the roads are not drive-able. The guests and the owner and his son are trapped at the Inn for the weekend! Everyone remains in good spirits. They will make the most of it! They enjoy some drinks and make small talk in the lobby. Everyone goes to bed with hopes of still enjoying their weekend until the next morning when a body is found! It appears their relaxing weekend will not be so relaxing after all.

This was a really fun book! Not fun in the funny-I-laughed-out-loud-way but it was a fun and devilishly clever whodunit. This book is an example of a whodunit done right! Shari Lapena has created the perfect setting for this book- a beautiful inn in the middle of the woods. Such atmosphere! This book consists of interesting characters with even more interesting back stories. This is a book I want to tell everyone about but at the same time I also want to tell people to go in knowing as little as possible. I loved watching the characters try and figure out what was happening. They are trapped (by the storm), frightened and tensions are rising. There is obviously a killer in their midst, but who????

I thought every single page in this book was wonderful. I have read this Author before and enjoyed her work, but this book knocks it out of the ball park! This is a very clever and well thought out mystery. Women’s fiction my foot – this is a mystery book at its best! There is nothing graphic or gory in this book. It won’t scare or titillate but it will keep the reader guessing. Those that follow my reviews, know I like to put on my super sleuth hat and try to figure out whodunit. I did not figure it out, in case you were wondering. If there were clues, I did not see any! I couldn’t help but think of Agatha Christie while reading this book. I almost feel as if this book were an homage to Christie – that’s my thought- the Author does not say. Nevertheless, I was glued to my seat, turning the pages, and wondering what would happen next.

The sheer genius of this book is that not a lot of action takes place, the characters are trapped in the Inn, no one can get to them and they cannot get out. So, the strength of this book lies not only in the carefully thought out plot but in the characters themselves, in their dialogue, their inner thoughts and interactions with others. Each time I had to put this book down, I was disappointed. If I could have sat and read this book in one sitting, I would have. The pacing in this book was spot on! Nothing in this book is rushed, nor is it slow.

I was captivated from page one and highly recommend this book!

Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

five-stars

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