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Publisher's Summary

"A quintessential 'beach read', I half expected sand to fall out of it. This one brings lurid family mayhem to the Hudson Valley [and] plausible suspects. With her cascading short chapters and teasers by the dozen, you stick with Lapena eagerly." (Washington Post)

"In this fast-paced, twisted family saga, Shari Lapena keeps you guessing until the very last page...." (Paula Hawkins, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Girl on The Train)

The new domestic suspense novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Couple Next Door and The End of Her who has sold more than seven million copies of her books worldwide

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets - even 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 Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught 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 vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you'd know.

Wouldn't you?

A quintessential "beach read", I half expected sand to fall out of it. This one brings lurid family mayhem to the Hudson Valley - are all plausible suspects. With her cascading short chapters and teasers by the dozen, you stick with Lapena eagerly.

A quintessential "beach read", I half expected sand to fall out of it. This one brings lurid family mayhem to the Hudson Valley - are all plausible suspects. With her cascading short chapters and teasers by the dozen, you stick with Lapena eagerly.

©2021 Shari Lapena (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Not a Happy Family

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SB
  • 2021-07-29

Liked the story, didn't like narration

The story was good, but I did not care for the narration. The cadence was rushed, and the delivery was often in a clipped monotone, with little or no inflection or distinction among characters.

There were a few too many suspects in the story. After awhile, we were just going around in circles and it became a bit tedious.

3 people found this helpful

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  • M. V. Brown
  • 2021-08-01

captivating to the very end

this was a wonderful rainy day read. just when you think you know who keeps the parents the story takes a sharp turn. for some reason, I don't think it's finished yet. or maybe I want more.

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  • Tawny
  • 2021-07-29

Attention deficit’s dream (or nightmare)

You have to pay attention in this one, but you’re not going to get bored.

I’m not saying this is gonna catch your world on fire, but give up too soon... I typically don’t love this writing style, but after the first few chapters, it started to flow and grew on me. The scenes and characters change so quickly, but since it’s told from the third person, it’s manageable. For me, the neutrally toned narrator was perfect for her role.

However, the last few chapters and ending frustrated me. Lots of circling back, and for all the detail, buildup and suspects, the ending was very anti-climactic and flat. I really thought it was going to be a less obvious suspect with some big reveal, but it was disappointing.