An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Thoughts Before Reading:

So when this book was published, I saw it constantly on Goodreads. They had a ton of book trailers, and every time I went on the site, the page would “load” and then play it.

So when I saw it at the Library, I was stoked to read it!

It sort of is a play on And Then There Were Nonestrangers all stuck, snowed in at a resort, and then they start dropping like flies. Which one is the killer-or is there a stranger in the resort?

Hmm…

Plot Synopsis:

Our mystery is set at the Catskills, a beautiful, remote resort.

Gwen Delaney is in Communications. She has never been able to move forward from witnessing a rape in college, and the guilt of doing nothing about it. She studied journalism, but as she could not tell truth, went a different route. Her idea was to bring her friend Riley, to the secluded resort, but now isn’t sure it is such a great idea. Could there be more to her than a sweet, innocent girl-could she have a dark side?

Hmm…

Riley Shuter was always the confident, brash, drop dead gorgeous girl who people loved/hated-but since she has been overseas in Iraq-she is not the same woman. She has severe PTSD, drinks far too much, and is acting strange. Could she have finally cracked?

David Paley is a defense attorney, who is taking a leave of absence. His wife was murdered, with many believing him to have done it. He was acquitted, but is he a murderer? Could someone have known something and he had to silence them?

Lauren Day and Ian Beeton are traveling for a romantic getaway. At first the two corroborate each other’s stories, but then it turns out that they aren’t each other’s perfect alibi. In fact, there are a lot that the two don’t know about each other-could one have a secret they’d kill for?

Beverly Sullivan had planned this romantic getaway for her and her husband Henry only to find out that he has a mistress. He wants the relationship to be over, but Beverly doesn’t. Could this have been a plot to stay together? To further separate? Or could this news have caused one to crack?

Dana Hart is from a poor family, but did all she could to catch a wealthy man. Matthew Hutchinson is that man, except he won’t marry her. The two have a fight-could it have been the last straw-could one have killed?

Candice White is a writer, escaping her duties of taking care of her elderly mother, to work on her book. She is very observant, watching everyone. Could she have seen something, or could there be more to her as well?

Hmmm…?

Which one, which one-or is there an unknown, “unwanted”, guest killing. Will they find out before they are all dead.

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was very well written. WE only know bits and pieces of each character-essentially having no clue as to who could possibly be the killer. It was so well written, but as we neared the end I began to get worried.

Everything was great up until the end. The characters, the tension, the buildup, the suspense-but then the cops finally come, are there for a little bit, and all is solved.

I know, right?

The only problem with giving us so little about the characters it felt as if in the end it was too quickly sewn up.

The last few pages she wrapped everything up very quickly which threw off the pacing and, in my opinion, weakened it.

Very distressing as the rest if the book was fantastic.

For more mysteries not in a series, go to Pieces of Her

For more romantic getaways that turn to murder, go to Murder on Ice

 

Dark Places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

So I really enjoyed the book Gone Girl, and was interested in Flynn’s other works. I just hadn’t had a chance to read them.

Yeah, I have a giant to-read book list.

So the book is split into three parts: Libby Day in the present, and her mom and brother, Ben, in the past.

When Libby Day was seven, her mother and sisters were brutally murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. The murderer? Her Brother!?!!!

Libby managed to hide and escape the house, hiding in the snow. She lost part of her toes, but had her life-and gained PTSD.

People felt sorry for Libby and donated a lot of money to her, to help her. She has tried to work, but just can’t. Unfortunately, the money has started to run out and Libby is lost at what to do next.

She looks at her “fan mail” and sees an offer to true-crime group’s meeting. For a personal appearance they will give her a big chunk of money.

She calls the guy and sets up a meeting. They discuss it and Libby decides to come. It all turns out to be a big mistake. None of these people believe Ben did it. They all attack her and her testimony.

Jordan

Libby becomes so upset she leaves and doesn’t look back.

Afterwards, she starts thinking about it. There is no doubt in her mind that Ben did it, but maybe those guys will pay her to investigate it. To talk to people.

She goes back to the group and they are in. Soon Libby is asking questions, researching, and finding out things she had never realized or thought about. Could she have been wrong? Is Ben innocent?

Hmm…

In both the Mom’s and Ben’s chapters we travel back before the incident. Libby’s mom is trying to make ends meet. She married Michael Day and inherited the family farm. Michael turns out to be a jerk wad who does nothing. He leaves and things grow tighter and tighter in the household. She barely has enough to make pancakes. What will she do? How will they survive.

Ben hates his life. Ben hates being poor. He hates having nothing. He has a hot girlfriend but she and her “cousin” make fun of him when they are together. No way they are just “cousins”, they they are all on each other. He does like one thing, helping out in the elementary school and is crushing on an elementary age girl. Did he murder his family?

Thoughts After Reading

Gillian Flynn is a great author but this is a very dark, dark book-that name is on point.

Too dark for me, hold me

And I could not stand the parts where Ben is talking about the elementary girl’s body and breasts, I reached that part and I was done!

For more retrograde mysteries, go to I’ve Got You Under My Skin

For more not in a series books, go to Big Little Lies