Thursday 15 July 2021

Book ~ "Not a Happy Family" (2021) Shari Lapena

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 Mercer. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mercers 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?

It's Easter Sunday at Fred and Sheila's.  They are very rich and have Catherine, Dan and Jenna (their adult children), their children's spouses and Irena, their former nanny/now cleaning lady, for supper.  Fred is not a nice man and has always pitted his Catherine, Dan and Jenna against each other and belittled them.  Sheila retreats into herself when things get too stressful.  Sunday dinner, as usual, isn't pleasant and the children leave before dessert is served.

A couple days later, Irena finds Fred and Sheila murdered in their house.  It looks like it could have been a robbery gone wrong.  But the police look at Catherine, Dan and Jenna because they had the most to gain financially from their parents' deaths.  They aren't sad that their parents are now dead and look forward to spending their inheritances.

I've read a few other books by this author and liked the writing style.  It's written in third person perspective with a focus on wherever the action is.  As a head's up, there is swearing.  I thought the story was intriguing because so anyone could have killed Fred and Sheila since Fred had given many people reason to.  And as the book progressed, more and more information is revealed as to why someone would murder Fred.  I thought the "whodunnit" was a bit of a letdown, though, and the ending would have been more exciting.  All of  sudden it was revealed and the book was done.

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