An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena | Book Review

Published by Bantam Press

Available in ebook and hardback (26 July 2018)  | Paperback (7 February 2019)

320 pages

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour to celebrate the publication of An Unwanted Guest – my thanks to the publisher for the book to review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invite.  Not only was the blogger #bookpost for this something special but just take a look at this GIF – how cool is that!




|   About the Book   |


We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.


|   My Thoughts   |


I do love a ‘locked room’ or in this case, a locked hotel mystery and, reminiscent of an Agatha Christie, An Unwanted Guest was a wonderfully gripping and such an addictive read.

10 guests arrive at Mitchell’s Inn, a small isolated hotel during a snowstorm. At first the snow looks very pretty and adds to the old fashioned charm of the hotel but when the snow turns to deadly ice and fallen tree branches bring down power lines plunging the hotel into darkness, excitement turns to fear especially when one of the guests is found dead.

With no working telephone line or mobile signal the occupants are stranded. They can’t get out and because the roads are blocked no-one can get to them.

Fear quickly turns to panic when the body count increases. With the remaining guests wondering which of them is a murderer they begin to turn on each other, voicing their accusations and suspicions and at times a mob mentality is in evidence. It would seem that some of the guests have secrets which they are desperate to keep hidden.  Is this reason enough to kill?

An Unwanted Guest contains a myriad of characters – one or two that I loathed.  I have to admit when all the guests were initially introduced in quick succession, I did have a worry that I would lose track and get confused.  This didn’t happen – each character is superbly drawn and distinct. The Inn is a decidedly creepy character in its own right; the dark corridors and secret staircases adding to the claustrophobic and mysterious feel.

This was an excellent atmospheric thriller, full of intrigue and suspense.  All the way through I kept changing my mind as to the murderer’s identity (whilst hoping it wasn’t my favourite character!) – I still hadn’t guessed correctly by the end, although perhaps the clues are there if you know what to look for.

I’ve read and enjoyed Shari Lapena’s debut, The Couple Next Door but to my shame I still have her previous A Stranger in the House to read. I very much enjoyed An Unwanted Guest. Highly recommended.




|   Author Bio   |

Shari worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction. Her debut thriller, The Couple Next Door, was a global bestseller. Her second thriller, A Stranger in the House, has been a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.


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