Title: An Unwanted Guest
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher: Bantam Press
Date of Publication: 26th July 2018
Date of Review: 8th August 2018
We can’t choose the strangers we meet.
As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.
Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.
With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.
Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.
After reading The Couple Next Door and A Stanger in the House, I was super excited to learn Shari Lapena’s third book An Unwanted Guest was due for publication. Shari Lapena is one of those authors I just know is going to give me a great read, but after reading the synopsis I was in two minds. If I’m honest it did sound a bit cliché Agatha Christie: a group of strangers stranded in an old building with no power who get popped off one by one. But did I enjoy this book as much as the other books by this author? Read on to find out!
Most contemporary thrillers are written in first-person, drawing the reader into the protagonist’s frame of mind. This novel, however, has an omniscient third-person perspective which works really well for this whodunit mystery type thriller. With a large and varied cast of characters and no main protagonist, the all-knowing third-person narration gives a more traditional feel as if being told the story from the outside looking in; the reader being privy to the thoughts and feelings of the whole cast, allowing them to draw their own conclusions as to what is going on and adding a further layer of suspense through dramatic irony.
By the end of the first hook where we find out one of the characters recognises one of the other characters, I was completely captivated. Although, on the surface, the plot doesn’t sound that original, the narrative is so well written, and the characters are so compelling, I could have quite happily devoured the whole book in one sitting. There are lots of twists and turns and red herrings along the way, and when the murderer was revealed it wasn’t the person I thought it would be.
Under Literature Love’s rating scheme this book has been awarded 5 out of 5 stars.
I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down.
I recommend you stop what you’re doing and
go and buy this book now!
Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an Advance Review Copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.
About the Author
SHARI LAPENA is the internationally bestselling author of The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House. She was a lawyer and an English teacher before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in Toronto.