In this family, everyone is keeping secrets – even the dead.

In the quiet, wealthy enclave of Brecken Hill, an older couple is brutally murdered hours after a tense Easter dinner with their three adult children. Who, of course, are devastated.

#NotAHappyFamily @sharilapena @annecater @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you’d know.

Wouldn’t you?

My Review

The Mertons are not a happy family. In fact they are not a very nice family either. A father who loved to criticise, bully and demean his children. A mother who never stood up for them or cared.

The eldest daughter Catherine is cool and calculating on the outside, but underneath there is something much darker, more sinister. Husband Ted doesn’t know what she’s capable of. Probably better he doesn’t. Then there’s Dan. Like a coiled spring, he is always on edge. His father sold the family business rather than let him ‘destroy’ it and now Dan has lost all his savings in a dodgy property investment. His wife Lisa no longer trusts him. And where does he go at night when he drives to ‘relax’?

Finally Jenna is a loose canon. She lives off her parents – she gets an allowance – but her shocking behaviour leaves a lot to be desired. She brings her new boyfriend Jake to that dreadful Easter Sunday dinner and he sees the family for what they really are.

Irena brought the three children up single-handedly and now they are all grown up she still cleans for Fred and Sheila Merton two days a week. She knows how cruel Fred was and how he pitted the children one against the other. Fred’s sister Audrey also knows more than she’s currently saying, but she’ll be happy to spill the beans when the time comes.

And what is the connection with Ellen Cutter and her daughter Rose?

Let’s face it. They all have motive. And opportunity. Not all of them have an alibi. But who would go that far? Even for millions of dollars. Exciting and tense, this book never lets up for a moment. By the end you’ll be left breathless.

Many thanks to @annecater for inviting me to be part of #RandomThingsTours.

About the Author

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, the bestselling fiction title in the UK in 2017 and has been optioned for television. Her thrillers A Stranger in the House, An Unwanted Guest, Someone We Know and The End of Her were all Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers.

1 Comment on “Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

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