Shari Lapena is back with a domestic black mystery

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Writing a good thriller is no mystery to Canadian author Shari Lapena. His 2016 novel, The couple next door, brought her worldwide fame and established her as a formidable mystery writer.

Since his 2020 thriller, The end of her, the world has been eagerly awaiting a new Lapena thriller, and the wait is finally over. Not a happy family was released in July and quickly became a New York Times bestseller.

In Not a happy family, Lapena invites the reader to the threshold and into the home and the home of the “perfect” family, but the perfection quickly becomes petrifying. By looking a little closer and by venturing a little further, you quickly realize that all is not as it seems …

‘Not A Happy Family’: Classic and Domestic Dark Mystery

“Domestic noir” is a sub-genre of the thriller / crime fiction world and focuses on secrets, scandals and crime in the supposedly “safe” place of the house.

Lapena unwraps this idea of ​​”domestic black” in her latest thriller and she does it expertly. Filled with quick dialogues, tense rhythms and twists, Not a happy family is immersive read you won’t want to let go.

While the writing, timeline, and styling of this thriller aren’t new, it’s still a good story. As a classic thriller, Not a happy family is a fast-paced, “light” thriller with a good mystery at the center.

“It had to look perfect, before all of that. A trail of blood ascends the pale, carpeted stairs. To the left, in the pretty living room, a large Chinese lamp is lying broken on the Persian carpet, its shade askew. […] There is no blood, but its foul smell is everywhere. Something horrible has happened here.

Extract from the prologue of Not a happy family by Shari Lapena.

“Not a happy family”: synopsis

In this family, everyone keeps 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’re not much richer than Fred and Sheila Merton.

But even all of their money can’t protect them when a killer comes calling them. The Mertons are brutally murdered the night after an Easter dinner with their three children, who are now all adults. The children are all devastated.

Where are they? They will each inherit millions. They’ve never been a happy family, thanks to their wayward father and neglectful mother, but maybe one of them is more upset than you thought.

Did one of them crack after this terrible evening? Or was it someone else that night who slipped in with the worst intentions? This must be. After all, if any of your siblings were a psychopath, you would know it.

Is not it ?

Praise for “not a happy family”

“[Shari Lapena is] the queen of one-sit read ”.

Linwood Barclay – New York Times bestselling author of ‘Never saw it coming‘.

“A masterful thriller, perfectly paced and expertly drawn, which made me guess throughout. I loved it and I couldn’t let go ”.

CL Taylor – Sunday opening hours successful crime author of ‘The lie‘ and ‘To sleep‘.

“Shari Lapena is one of the best thriller writers in the business.”

Steve Cavanagh – internationally bestselling and award-winning author of Eddie Flynn novels.

Learn more about the author

Shari Lapena was born in 1960 and is a Canadian novelist. Lapena is best known for her 2016 thriller The couple next door, which was an international bestseller.

Lapena worked as a lawyer and English teacher before starting her writing career. His first novel, Things fly, was published in 2008 and was quickly shortlisted for the Sunburst Awards in 2009. His second novel, Happiness economy, was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Award in 2012.

Her works continue to enchant readers and keep them spellbound until the very last page, making her a favorite in the thriller / mystery genre.

Not a happy family is published by Bantam Press and is available from Exclusive Books for R272.



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