Not A Happy Family | Shari Lapena | Book Review

Not A Happy Family was one of my BOTM picks. If there is one thing BOTM is doing for me it’s expanding my reading tastes. This is the second murder mystery thrilled I have picked and for the most part I enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to read it in one day.

The Mertons are a complicated family. The father is controlling; the mother is weak ; and the siblings all have a tendency to turn on each other. There is also a housekeeper, a menacing aunt, and an illegitimate child in the picture too. So when the mother and father are found murdered after a tense Easter dinner everyone is a suspect and no one knows who did it.

The murder mystery kept me invested from the beginning. There was not one clear person that could have done it. They all had various motives from betrayal to anger to simple hatred. The fact that the father was so awful, controlling, and manipulative and that his wife never intervened provided enough motive for all of them.

As Not A Happy Family progressed I could feel the tension rising. The siblings were no longer trusting each other. The spouses didn’t trust each other and everyone was very tense and suspicious. There were a couple of really good twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, I found the last few chapters with the reveal of the murderer to be lacking. There was all this build up and I was left expecting more. I guess I had wanted it to be more gripping.

Not A Happy Family definitely proved its title. On the surface, the Mertons appeared like a well to do happy family when in reality they were anything but that. They were dark and deceptive and willing to cover for each other and yet turn on each other in a heart beat. If you like your stories a little bit twists then you will likely like this one.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

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