Books·Canadian

Not a Happy Family

A novel by Shari Lapena.

Shari Lapena

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? (From Doubleday Canada)

Shari Lapena is an internationally bestselling author of thrillers like The Couple Next Door, Someone We Know and The End of Her. She lives in Toronto.

From the book

There are many expensive houses here in Brecken Hill, an enclave on the edge of Aylesford in the Hudson Valley. Situated on the east side of the Hudson River, about a hundred miles north of New York City, it's like the Hamptons, but slightly less pretentious. There's old money here, and new. Down the long private drive, past a clump of birches, there it sits: the Merton home, on its vast expanse of lawn, presented like a cake on a platter. A glimpse of a swimming pool to the left. Behind is a ravine, and thick trees on either side of the property guarantee privacy. This is prime real estate.

It's so still an undisturbed. A weak sun is out, and some scudding clouds. It's four o'clock in the afternoon on Easter Monday; elsewhere, children are greedily finishing off their chocolate bunnies and foil-wrapped eggs, gauging what's left and eyeing how much remains in the baskets of their siblings. But there are no children here.


From Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena ©2021. Published by Doubleday Canada.

Interviews with Shari Lapena

Best selling author Shari Lapena takes The Next Chapter Proust Questionnaire.
Shari Lapena is one of Canada's bestselling thriller writers. Her books include The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest. Lapena’s latest novel, The End of Her, is a domestic thriller that’s full of surprises. She joined guest host Talia Schlanger to tell us why she doesn't even know where her story is going until she finishes writing it.
Toronto author Shari Lapena didn't think she could write a thriller. But her first attempt turned out to be an international success. Lapena's debut novel, "The Couple Next Door," became an international bestseller and just made its Canadian debut.

Other books by Shari Lapena

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