Friday 27 July 2018

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena @sharilapena @TransworldBooks #BlogTour @ThomasssHill

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.

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena was published by Bantam Press / Transworld in hardback on 26 July 2018 and will be available in paperback early next year.

I'm delighted to share my review as part of the Blog Tour today. Do check out the other bloggers on this great tour, and look at that amazing GIF!

I read a lot of crime fiction, usually bang up-to-date, fast moving, psychological stuff with kick-ass detectives and the latest technology. An Unwanted Guest is not in that category!

This is a novel that strongly reminded me of the stories I read years ago; with echoes of Agatha Christie resounding throughout the plot.

Mitchell's Inn is a beautiful building, set remotely in the forest and the dark, eerie and perfectly created setting for this tale. As the snow falls, the guests arrive and Shari Lapena introduces each of her characters to the reader. I must admit that at the beginning of the story, I did wonder why we had so much description, but as the novel progressed I understood completely why this clever author made sure that we had so much information about the guests, and the hotel. It's all about the clues; the nudges and the winks; the seemingly unimportant details that become ultra important as the characters start to fall.

This is a cleudo-ish murder mystery that had me gripped. Whilst it could be argued that the first death within the group could be an accident, it soon becomes clear that there is a murderer at Mitchell's Inn.
The group of guests, and the two staff members become more and more agitated, and frightened and paranoid. Shari Lapena excels in getting into the deepest crevices of the human psyche as previously apparently reasonable people being to accuse and defend. The observation of this group of people, previously unknown to each other and flung together by circumstances beyond their control is perfectly done. The gradual panic and paranoia, leading to almost mass hysteria creates a tense atmosphere that consumes the reader.

A cast of interesting, well created characters in an evocative and brilliantly described setting, with mystery, murder and so much more. An excellent story, I enjoyed this immensely.

Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction. 
Her debut thriller, The Couple Next Door, was a global bestseller. 
Her second thriller, A Stranger in the House, has been a Sunday Times and New York Timesbestseller. 
Her third book, An Unwanted Guest, is out now.

Follow her on Twitter @sharilapena
Find her Author page on Facebook

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