Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Published: July 27, 2021

Pamela Dorman Booms

This was my August 2021 Book of the Month selection.

Shari Lapena is the internationally bestselling author of the thrillers The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House, An Unwanted Guest, Someone We Know, and The End of Her, which have all been New York Times and The Sunday Times (London) bestsellers. Her books have been sold in thirty-seven territories around the world. She lives in Toronto, and Not a Happy Family is her sixth thriller.

“Something awful has happened here.”

Catherine, Dan, and Jenna have grown up in a world of privilege that many desire but few know. When Easter dinner is ruined by an argument, the siblings leave their parents mansion and go to their respective homes. When a tragedy threatens to expose all of their secrets, the siblings must come together to find out what happened. Looks can be deceiving, and love is painfully conditional.

This was a deviously twisted tale about wealth, privilege, greed, relationships, and mental and emotional abuse. The relationships in this novel were so well developed, and each character had a defined personality that left you wondering if things were what they seemed.

The relationships were dysfunctional, with a fragile line toward abusive. With great power and even greater wealth come secrets. And this novel was filled with them.

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s fast-paced, and with each chapter, the story takes another turn that leaves you hungry for answers. The build-up for the “whodunnit” was expertly delivered, and the twisted game of clue leads everyone toward being a suspect.

This was such a great read, with twists and turned you don’t expect, characters with tiny to like- and more motives than the police know what to do with.

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