Shari Lapena is one of my favorite crime authors. She writes what Crime By The Book calls popcorn thrillers- they're quick to read, really intense and you can easily finish them in one sitting which is exactly what I did with An Unwanted Guest. I purchased this on a whim when it was on sale at Barnes & Noble and inhaled the book in a few hours. It was a classic thriller novel where there's twists, turns, murder, romance... it was just so epically wonderful.

Publisher's Summary

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It's winter in the Catskills and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing--maybe even romantic--weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity--and all contact with the outside world--the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead--it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something--or someone--is picking off the guests one by one. And there's nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm--and one another.

My Thoughts

This was such a wild, unexpected ride of a book. It had so many well thought out and developed characters, a well planned plot and just so many twists and turns. It was very unpredictable, probably one of the most unpredictable domestic thriller novels I've ever read.

I loved the plot so much -- I mean, a bunch of strangers locked up in a hotel, during a snowstorm, and people start turning up dead? That's crazy! 

I truly could not pick out who the killer was... it was so well concealed. As you read, you definitely had your ideas of who it could be but you weren't sure. What was the motive? Especially since everyone was a stranger. Lapena did an excellent job at developing the characters and moving the plot along but keeping a lot close to the chest, almost like a classic 'who dunnit'. I think this would make an incredible mini series or movie. It was just so well written and such a good story. 

An Unwanted Guest was nerve-racking, kept me on the edge of my seat, and I simply could not put it down. One warning though, it was extremely graphic at times... probably one of the most graphic novels I've read in a while. 

When you first start reading, you're pretty unsure of where the story was going to go. Sure, you know the gist if you read the summary but there's only so much you can know from reading that. The book was so much more than you could ever expect.

The ending was especially unexpected... I didn't see it coming and throughout the novel, couldn't understand what the reasoning behind the murders were. Once you get to the end, everything makes sense. 

If you couldn't figure it out, I highly recommend this book. If you're looking for a fast, easy, enthralling thriller, you need to read "An Unwanted Guest" by Shari Lapena. I can't wait to read another book by her!


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