An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

A failing marriage. A hidden past. A traumatic event. A stressful job. A tiresome family.

All the guests have arrived at Mitchell’s Inn to escape something. They all just want one weekend of good food, good wine and to completely relax. Except that’s not what they’ll get.

The snow storm means half the guests haven’t arrived and the ones that did, wish they’d never come either, because they’re snowed in. Trapped. Along with a killer.

The first body looks like an accident but David – a defence attorney – has an acute eye for cases and his eyes spot the tell-tale signs of a murder.

But they can’t call the police, the lines are down and the electricity is out, instead the guests must look after themselves and pray the killer was after a specific target…

From the very first page, I was utterly excited by this plot as it had that Agatha Christie vibe to it. As the guests are trapped there, of course, there is no detective for the majority of the weekend, but for me there was. I was the detective. My inner Poirot was in its element. I had to discover the truth.

But Lapena did not make it easy for me, the hotel guests were unreliable – lying and hiding secrets – who could I trust? And even the hotel owners were showing signs of being suspicious…

The narrative jumps between the guests, which created complex puzzle pieces that required you to read further to solve how two previous pieces connected. It was a clever plot, fast paced and spooky, keeping the tension brewing and making it hard for the reader to identify the killer until the final pages when it is right under our noses and in front of our eyes!

With each couple having their own reason for their weekend away, there is so many side stories that keep you absorbed and make you further question the reliability of the character!

If you are a fan of Lapena, I don’t think you’ll be able to fault this, it’s another brilliant plot from an author who is making a big impact in the psychological thriller genre.

Who else has read An Unwanted Guest? Over on twitter, people were raving about it and booting it up my TBR pile. Did you feel the same? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time, Chloé x

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