My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sheesh, now if this one is not gonna make you go bonkers, I have no idea what will!
Dysfunctional takes on another meaning in Shari Lapena’s Not A Happy Family. Told thru multiple POVs the story progresses like a turbo accelerated jet. Beginning with the discovery of the deaths of Fred and Sheila Merton, the story explodes into all hell breaks loose category.
The Easter dinner was a family affair with all 3 children present, 2 of them with their spouses and the 3rd with her current boyfriend. The house help who has been serving the family for a long time has also been invited, Fred’s sister is the only absentee but the story takes us thru each of their thoughts and the motivations that drive them. Greedy and exactly as broken as how their father wanted them to be, the twin murders bring the Merton can of worms out to the open. The detectives have their hands full in untangling this one mess of a family.
I am a huge fan of Shari Lapena, not all of them have been 5 star reads but the predominant experience has always been one of compulsive feverish reading and for that alone, I would be happily read anything written by her. The ending once again was completely out of the blue and maybe not as expected but that which leaves the reader with a craving for at least an epilogue. None of the characters are likable which is something I am not too keen on, but in this book, it works brilliantly with the plot. The secrets and mysteries of the Merton’s with a question of million dollar inheritance is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.
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.
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