I’d like to give a huge thanks to Anne over at randomthingsthroughmyletterbox for inviting me to be a part of the Blog Tour for “An Unwanted Guest” by Shari Lapena and to the publishers and author for the ARC to review and a most delightful invitation to The Mitchell Inn! Having read the book and finding out what happened to the other guests, I have to say that I am delighted to have declined the invitation to stay…but delighted to have accepted the invitation to read and review!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
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” starts off with the journey to The Mitchell Inn. The reader is invited to follow each guest arrive for a weekend of rest and relaxation. Each with their own reasons for the trip immediately the tension starts to build as the weather worsens and the suspense begins. Think of The Shining meets Agatha Christie and this gives you an idea of how location combined with an intriguing plot and compelling characters can come together to create a good old-fashioned murder mystery. The isolated location of the Mitchell Inn is perfect for a peaceful break and the weather conditions also mean it is perfect for murder. As the reader, your job is to guess who done it! I have to admit it took me ages to work out who the killer was!
A whole cast of unreliable narrators with their own stories, their own secrets and their own fears come together in this suspenseful novel guaranteed to have you reconsider that cosy winter break you might have been planning! Were they the most likeable of characters? Not really, if I am honest, but then this is how the author used her craft to build the suspense and intrigue.
Little bits of each guests back story was teased out throughout the book leading me to cast suspicion on each and every one of the guests and staff in the hotel. Like tiny little breadcrumbs they slowly lead you to the culprit!
It is a tense, intriguing and incredibly suspenseful read. Definitely not a fast paced or horror laden read but an “old-fashioned” good old whodunnit. The atmospheric writing placed me in the midst of each scene and it was not too difficult to imagine myself isolated, in the dark, out in the middle of nowhere in an ice storm, or to imagine myself cooped up in a hotel with no power and no means of escape fearful for my life. It certainly makes for a gripping read!
An Unwanted Guest was different from my usual read, however, it is perfect for those wanting to curl up on the sofa, under a cosy blanket to while the afternoon away with a deliciously dark murder mystery.
An Unwanted Guest is available to purchase from:
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About the author:
SHARI LAPENA is the internationally bestselling author of The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House. She was a lawyer and an English teacher before turning her hand to fiction.
She lives in Toronto.