Penguin Publishing Group | August 2018 | 304 pgs
Source: Purchased

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be fun, right? With the winter season and the inn nestled deep in the woods, it is a perfect place for some R&R for anyone who wants a quiet and/or a romantic getaway. At least that is what our ten guests are thinking when they decided to check into Catskills and Mitchell's Inn. 

However, the hit of the snowstorm had them stranded in the inn and with no power and Internet connection, it is a nightmare. But that is not the worst, what's most terrifying is finding one of the guests dead and her death is believed to be a murder. Our ten guests here all seemed to have a secretive past, and some of them aren't who we think they are. When one more guest and the inn's owner's teenage son turned up dead, it became clear that there is a killer hidden among them but who is it and what is his/her motive? 

I'm a sucker for locked room mysteries and I was glad Shari Lapena's latest release fits into this category. This story has an Agatha Christie's feel and it reminds me a bit of one of her books, And Then There Were None, which I felt was brilliant and remains as one of my favourite reads. I think the attraction of a locked room mystery is aside from the mystery itself, it is also about finding how the characters would react under a claustrophobic setting with a murderer running amok. As we all understand, certain circumstances would enable a person to think and behave irrationally and in this book everyone begins to think of the worse of the others as the story progresses and it's a frightening thought.

Anyway, I'd had fun guessing the murderer, but I was kind of stumped over the last revelation at the very end (I suppose it depends on how one view it from another angle). That said, I enjoyed this book and am curious what the author has in store for her next book. 
This is a buddy read with Lark (check out her review here) and I'd like to thank her for reading this book with me. Below are some questions from her relating to the story:

1. Which character did you like and/or sympathize with most?
I'm glad not all characters are unlikeable in this book. It seems to me that unlikeable character(s) is a "trend" in the suspense/thrillers genre lately and though I don't mind them, I do like to have at least one likeable character in the book I read. Although not all the characters in this book are unlikeable, I don't really have a character whom I like either. However, I do sympathise with Riley. She used to be a journalist and was stationed in Afghanistan as a correspondent before. I felt for her reading about the traumatic experiences she'd had; and it was sad to read about the other characters treating her like a weirdo because they didn't know about the things she'd gone through.

2. How did the frozen setting add to the suspense? 
I think the wintry weather played an important factor to this story. The cold and the snowstorm had the characters isolated from the outside world, thus making this into a locked room mystery. Without it, this would've changed the direction and the plot of the story. 

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12 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    Isolated setting and winter weather--sounds good!

  2. Lark Says:

    Awesome review, Melody! Love your insights into this book. :)

  3. Jenny Says:

    What’s up with these unlikeable characters?! So annoying.

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, such setting never tires me. :)

  5. Melody Says:

    Lark - Thanks, Lark! It was fun exploring the minds of these characters. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenny - It's the trend, I suppose.

  7. Great review! I really need to read this one. I love the whole idea of a locked mystery, because you KNOW it has to be one of the characters in the house.


  8. Verushka Says:

    I have been wondering about this one for a bit -- the locked room mystery sounds fabulous!

  9. Melody Says:

    Lauren - Thank you! Locked room mysteries are always so fun to read; all the more if you can guess the perpetrator. ;)

  10. Melody Says:

    Verushka - I enjoyed it a lot. Hope you'll give it a try one day.

  11. Iliana Says:

    So true, it seems like a lot of psychological thrillers have characters that are unlikeable and unreliable. I would definitely like to read this one!

  12. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Hope you'll enjoy this book if you get to it, Iliana.

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