Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena (Review)

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

Publisher: Bantam Press

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Publication Date: 5th August 2021

Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):

“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?”

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My Thoughts

I have to admit I wasn’t too sure about this one when I first started, as in the past the books by this author have been hit and miss. But I’m glad to say that by the end this was one of the good ones that didn’t disappoint.

Not A Happy Family follows the murder of Mr and Mrs Merton. Their three adult children are all suspects and have motive in wanting their parents dead as they are in line to inherit the family fortune. But not all is straight forward for the police investigation as all have alibis. Also, it comes to light that not only the Merton’s children may have motive as Mr Merton sister Audrey, the cleaning lady Irene and Rose and Ellen Cutter all believe they have claims on the fortune.

This is a well written book, with a clever plot that had me guessing to the end as to who had actually murdered the Merton’s. I kept changing my mind as to who was involved in the brutal murder, and was quiet surprised when all is revealed.

The plot is well paced and I liked the multiple narratives made it even more interesting as even thought they were trying to defend themselves they made themselves more suspicious. Most of the characters are very unlikeable, but are well developed well drawn.

I did swap over to the audiobook and I’m glad I did as it was really well done and it definitely brought the plot and characters to life.

All in all, a great read. If you’re looking for a fast paced twisty mystery thriller centred around a dysfunctional family then this is definitely one to give a go.

My Rating


Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.

Happy Reading!!!

You can also find me on: Twitter || Instagram ||Goodreads

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