An Unwanted Guest

Shari Lapena. Viking/Dorman, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-525-55762-3
This disappointing thriller from bestseller Lapena (A Stranger in the House) riffs on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. A small group of people arrive for the weekend at Mitchell’s Inn, deep in the snowy Catskills, where they hope to enjoy the seclusion and natural beauty of the mountains. The first evening, a young woman, Dana Hart, is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. To lawyer David Paley, it doesn’t look like an accident, and he suspects Dana’s fiancé, Matthew Hutchinson. The problem is that there’s a winter storm raging, and the inn is without power and a generator. Since they can’t contact the police, the guests settle in for a long wait, and the presence of a dead body only exacerbates the mounting tensions. Each guest is hiding a dark secret, and as the secrets are revealed and accusations are hurled, the body count rises, and it seems that no one is safe. The pace picks up in the third act, but it’s not enough to save a narrative populated with emotionally distant characters and paint-by-the-numbers murders. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency (Canada). (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018
Release date: 08/14/2018
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-53223-1
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-1-984827-51-7
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