An Unwanted Guest, Shari Lapena, author; Hillary Huber, narrator
This is a quick, creative mystery that holds the reader’s attention fast. Several groups of people travel to a beautiful, quiet, romantic inn to spend the weekend. One couple wants to salvage a marriage; another is looking forward to one. Each of them seems to have a hidden story in their past which causes them some kind of mental and emotional conflict. A snowstorm hits the area, and they are stranded at the inn without power or phone service. Only six of the twelve rooms are occupied because of the weather. When guests begin to die under suspicious circumstances, the survivors begin to panic and accuse each other. Who is killing the innocent bystanders? Is it a serial killer? Could it be one of the guests? As the tension builds, they are all forced to confess their sins. They are forced to wonder who among them is capable of murder, and then they wonder about what they could be capable of, as well. The finger of suspicion points to each in turn.
The book is narrated superbly. It is as if the one telling the story is observing it from a distance, as a bystander, interpreting each character’s behavior, reactions and emotions perfectly so that none overlap and merge together. Each character develops on his/her own and is identifiable throughout. The guests represent a cross section of the population with regard to profession, past, sexual preference and wealth. Each has some personal problem they are struggling to resolve. Will this romantic getaway solve their problems or will it turn into a nightmare for them?