Mystery/Thriller

‘Not A Happy Family By Shari Lapena’ Book review

Not A Happy Family By Shari Lapena- A Riveting Domestic Suspense, Featuring The Buried Secrets Of Merton Family. 

The author of the bestselling book ‘The couple next door is out with her new murder mystery novel. Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena, Released on 27 July 2021, is a domestic suspense novel featuring the Merton house, in which Fred Merton and Sheela Merton were found dead a day after Easter dinner.

Basic Premise Of The Novel:-

Not A Happy Family By Sheela Merton
There are many expensive houses in Brecken hill, and amongst them lies the Merton house. It was inhabited by Fred and Sheela Merton. Both rich and a powerful couple, With three adult kids. All of whom are meeting for an Easter dinner at the Merton’s house.
It was one day after the Easter Sunday dinner that they found Sheela Merton’s dead body. She was utterly still in her nightclothes, Laying underneath the coffee table. No blood on her body only marks around her neck. Yet, the sickening smell of it was everywhere. Something awful had happened. Further investigation revealed not one but two bodies. With Sheela Merton, Fred was also found dead. But he was a different story than that of his wife.
Unlike his wife Sheela, Fred was viciously stabbed. His body lay in the back of the house. His sprawled corpse in the brightly lit kitchen- contrasted with the forming pool of blood. Flies that had found their way in his nose and mouth, While his fleshy throat was slit open. Who would do such a thing right? Except the question is, What was the motive behind it?

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Let’s rewind back to one day before the killing. Dan, Jenna, and Catherine, along with their parents Fred and Sheela, and their spouses were meeting for Easter night.
Catherine is the oldest with Ted as her husband. Dan is in the middle of having a financial crisis while Lisa is his wife. And Jenna is the youngest visiting with her partner Jake who is an artist. She is afraid for her allowance to get stripped away. The one missing at the dinner is Audrey. Fred’s sister. She is also not close to the family.
The night of the Easter dinner, shocking announcements were made, Alliances were formed and suspicions were developed. All three siblings look devastated the next day. All stand to inherit millions. And Each of them has a purpose for the night, and ultimately the motive to kill. All it comes down is towards the one that snapped, The person who benefitted the most from the killing. 

Book Review Of Not A Happy Home:-

Each family member in this mystery was loathsome, distasteful, and unlikeable.

You as a reader suspect everyone at one point. It felt like a classic yet modern “rich people behaving badly” story. 
While the book revolves around these three adult siblings, some of the storylines felt repetitive in nature. The book has too many perspectives, but it is saved by the straightforward writing style.
I furiously kept turning the pages of this thriller, full of twists and turns and plenty of suspects. The author successfully casts doubts on all of the characters and makes the reader suspect everyone throughout. This is a stay-up-all-night kind of a read. It will keep you guessing until the very last page. Readers will not successfully predict the ending while having suspicions throughout.
Readers who like unlikeable characters, a fast-paced mystery, too many suspects and a keep guessing story should read this book. It is great for beginners in the mystery genre.

Suggested Reading:- Room To Dream By Kelly Yang

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3 Comments on “‘Not A Happy Family By Shari Lapena’ Book review”

  • I am intrigued by a book that manages to keep the story rolling despite the characters being intentionally unlikable!
    Thanks for sharing an interesting review. 🙂

    • I’m glad you liked it 🙂