Publishing Info: November 8, 2022 by Park Row, HarperCollins
Source: Netgalley, Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Date Completed: November 20, 2022
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Three couples rent a luxury cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway to die for in this chilling locked-room thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger.
What could be more restful, more restorative, than a weekend getaway with family and friends? An isolated luxury cabin in the woods, complete with spectacular views, a hot tub and a personal chef. Hannah’s loving and generous tech-mogul brother found the listing online. The reviews are stellar. It’s his birthday gift to Hannah and includes their spouses and another couple. The six friends need this trip with good food, good company and lots of R & R, far from the chatter and pressures of modern life.
But the dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare. A deadly storm is brewing. The rental host seems just a little too present. The personal chef reveals that their beautiful house has a spine-tingling history. And the friends have their own complicated past, with secrets that run blood deep. How well does Hannah know her brother, her own husband? Can she trust her best friend? And who is the new boyfriend, crashing their party? Meanwhile, someone is determined to ruin the weekend, looking to exact a payback for deeds long buried. Who is the stranger among them?
Thank you to Netgalley & Park Row/HarperCollins for the review copies of this audiobook
This was the second Lisa Unger book that I’ve finished (with one DNF under my belt as well) and while I enjoyed the writing style and setting, I felt like the book was spread a little too thin. There was still a lot I liked about this book with some substantial disappointment in the wrap-up and conclusion.
I love a good locked room thriller and a cabin in the woods cut off from everything is a classic so I knew this book would be right up my alley! That definitely didn’t disappoint. A high end cabin in a storm that cuts the characters off from help and communication is the setting for this book and Lisa Unger did this one well! It’s easy to get sloppy or unbelievable with situations like this but I really took to it and enjoyed the atmosphere here. The characters are thrown together with some potentially dangerous people who aren’t who they say they are, a strange vacation rental host, and tucked away from where other people might be able to get in contact with them. Always a good mix for a thriller!
I also enjoyed getting to know the main characters. I felt like I really got a feel for all of them and with a few different POVs, I didn’t get overwhelmed or confused. They were different enough that I was able to get a read on each one that was telling the story.
I had some things to pick at for the rest of the book. I just felt like everything was spread far too thin and there were so many things that were left undeveloped.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD if you want to go in totally blind but they will not reveal any major plot points.
– To add to atmosphere, there’s a spooky ghost story about a murder that happened at the cabin but that doesn’t really go anywhere aside from tossing in a ghost story. I really think that could have been cut because without actually making it a part of someone’s journey here, it really didn’t do anything for the book.
– Henry’s backstory really wasn’t necessary. There was a bit too much going on with that side of the plot and I would have enjoy all of those reveals and details if they had just been left to the main characters and core family who made up the vacation rental party. We find out in the end how everything is connected and having this totally separate POV allows this to maybe stay more secret for a bigger reveal, but I just didn’t feel like it was necessary enough and could have been tied in to someone we already knew.
– There’s also a red herring that was 100% unnecessary and only added shock value that could have been cut. Again, another spot to add more depth to the main plot and characters. I really could have done without it.
– There were a lot of little clues along the way, but that’s exactly what they were… little. I would have liked to spend more time making those feel bigger and more important so the reader can guess or pick up on things. I felt like too much was withheld and while there was some good action to keep readers engaged, I would have liked to be more intellectually connected to the story as well and get my wheels turning some more.
Overall, I was entertained but the reveals at the end ended up letting me down! There were too many things that didn’t connect and many missed opportunities.
IF YOU LIKED THIS, READ…