Review: Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Review: Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena is a classic whodunit that keeps you guessing until the end. There is no shortage of creepy characters and plot twists that take the story in a new direction. Fans of the author’s previous works will enjoy reading this one and getting to know the Merton family.

Review: Not a Happy Family by Shari LapenaTitle: Not a Happy Family
Author: Shari Lapena
Also by this author: The Couple Next Door
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets. Even the dead.

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets--especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don't come much richer than Fred and Sheila Merton. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered the night after an Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you'd know.

Wouldn't you?

Amazon “Book “Wordery”

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃


Review: Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

The one thing that you can always count on when reading a Shari Lapena novel is an unpredictable plot. The thriller really has so many possible culprits that it is hard to decide which of them is twisted enough to have committed the murders. Also, just when it seems like the offender has become obvious, the book goes into a completely new direction.

❀ Creepy Family

The Merton family is definitely one of those ultra rich families that seems perfect on the outside, but is actually far from it. The father is cruel, the mother is spineless, and the children are all lunatics. Even the housekeeper seems a bit off. As new aspects of the crime are revealed, new information about the suspects also comes to light and this family seems to be the creepiest one on the block.

❀ Ending Feels Rushed

While I enjoyed this book and its never ending twists, once the reveal happened, the story became rushed. I would have liked a bit more explanation and a lengthier conclusion, as it  just seemed to end abruptly. When the book ended I felt a bit cheated by the pace of the conclusion.

❀ A Twisty Thriller

If you enjoy a twisty thriller that will stump you, Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena is one to try. This book will satisfy many of the author’s fans and will keep you intrigued to figure out who really killed the Mertons.

About Shari Lapena

Image of Shari Lapena

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.

9 thoughts on “Review: Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

  1. Soozle says:

    This sounds like a great read – but I sighed seeing your point the ending felt rushed – the worst in a great book! Still will add this to my TBR list!~

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