An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest

by Shari Lapena


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The twisty new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It's winter in the Catskills and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing—maybe even romantic—weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity—and all contact with the outside world—the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead—it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something—or someone—is picking off the guests one by one. And there's nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm—and one another.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525557623
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 100,123
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Shari Lapena is the internationally bestselling author of the thrillers The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest, which have all been both New York Times and UK Sunday Times bestsellers. Her books have been sold in 35 territories around the world.  She lives in Toronto.

Read an Excerpt

Saturday, 5:45 a.m.

Excerpted from "An Unwanted Guest"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Shari Lapena.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. Reviewers often say this book is reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s novels. Have you read Christie’s work, and if so, do you see the connection between the two? In what ways are they similar? In what ways do the works differ?

2. Gwen and Riley have a unique dynamic—they’re close friends, and yet there are many things left unsaid between them—a result of time and different paths chosen. How did you understand this relationship? Why do you think their connection is so palpably tense?

3. Riley, Ian, Gwen, Matthew, Candice, Bradley, David, and Henry are just some of the characters in the novel. Which character did you connect with the most? Whom did you sympathize with?

4. After Dana is found dead, the other guests quickly jump to conclusions about what happened. What did you think had occurred, and were you correct?

5. As the body count rises, paranoia sets in. Was there anyone whom you didn’t suspect as the murderer? Why or why not?

6. It takes the police some time to arrive because of the extreme weather conditions, and even then, their ability to investigate is hampered by the time they’ve lost. Do you think they should have done anything differently? Explain.

7. Throughout the latter half of the novel, the characters constantly accuse each other, testing theories of who knew what and when. Ultimately, it comes down to Dana and Lauren and the secrets they shared. If Dana hadn’t died, do you think their shared history would have emerged? If so, how would the rest of the guests been affected?

8. What was your reaction to the last few lines of the novel? Did you see the twist coming?

9. What does An Unwanted Guest say about the dark side of human nature versus the veneer of civility and the masks that we all wear? How are the characters in the novel a microcosm of the larger world?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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An Unwanted Guest 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
l couldn't wait to finish the book and find out "who done it" fun characters and well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author does a great job of creating a riveting story with a great mix of Agatha Christi and Alfred Hitchock style mystery and suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this one down. It kept me in suspense and guessing through the entire book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! Would be a great read around Halloween! Scary and keeps you on edge! Just what I like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all Shari Lapena books, but this one was by far my favorite! This scary murderous pageturner made me sleep with the light on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book keeps the reader guessing. Great plot!
Spanish0live More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a real yawner. It didn’t hold my attention and I really had to power through it to finish the book. Disappointing. I found her first book, The Couple Next Door, a pretty good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book & it kept me guessing until the very end!!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Loved the suspense!
LC112648LC More than 1 year ago
An Unwanted Guest ... This is the first book I've read by this author. She is excellent and I plan on ordering all her past books and any new coming books. This book made you pick it up constantly to see what is going on. On of the best authors out there. Read this book - you definitely won't be bored :)
Renwarsreads More than 1 year ago
I liked this story, I thought the characters were interesting, especially when we got into their backgrounds. There was a killer among them and they can't trust anyone. Reading about their reactions as people start turning up dead was good, some more concerned than others. It had a bit of a twist at the end which I liked too!
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to read this book when I found out it was similar to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. That has always been my favourite book. It is similar to that story in the way that a group of people are stranded for a couple of days, and someone starts murdering them. However, it doesn’t have the same ending. There was a little twist at the end which I loved! This is the perfect book for a cold winter night. It was a fun mystery, but terrifying to imagine being part of it. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I was late to the Shari Lapena party for her first two novels, I made sure not to make that mistake again with this one. And this one turned out to be just as good as the others. An Unwanted Guest is just as chilling as the place the book is set! The guests that have checked into Mitchell's Inn for the weekend cannot be more different. There's some there for a romantic getaway, some there to escape the world, and some there to write their next best-seller. But once the weather turns nasty and shuts off the power, and no one can go in or out, strange things start happening. A guest turns up dead and it looks like an accident.... But then another guest turns up dead as well.......... In this chilling tale, the guests can only hope that the killer isn't the person sitting next to them. I normally listen to Lapena's book via audio, but I just so happened to have an e-ARC of this one, so I was super glad I actually got to READ it with my eyes. Keeping track of all the characters was a bit hard, but actually reading it helped alot. Had I been listening to it, I probably wouldn't have finished it. But once I got into the rhythm and recognized who was who, the read was easy to get lost in. As for the plot, it moved really quickly. It was a little difficult to keep track of all the back stories that were going on between the characters, but once I got used to the characters, it was a lot faster to wade through. And with it being only 290 pages, it didn't take long once I got through the difficult parts. I loved the ending because it was not expected. I didn't figure it out at all. I don't think I ever suspected that person either. Lapena crafted a tale that made me question EVERYONE and I still didn't guess correctly. This is one of the best kind of thrillers. She made me question everyone without having all the suspects being super drunk and not able to remember anything. I would recommend this to anyone fed up with drunk characters in adult thrillers like me. Shari Lapena is one of my favorite adult authors and I can't wait to see what other things she has in mind. I waited for this book for a long time, so I'm a little disappointed that it was only 290 pages. Now I have to wait for the next wild ride through her mind!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gwen is taking her friend, Riley, to a small, luxury hotel in the Catskills called Mitchell’s Inn. Riley is a journalist who was in Afghanistan for years and is suffering from PTSD. Gwen is hoping that a few days of rest and relaxation will help her. The weather is very bad and it’s snowing heavily making driving difficult. When they end up in a ditch, another couple, Lauren and Ian, who are also heading up to the Inn, see the car in the ditch, stop, pick them up and take them up with them. Beverly and her husband, Henry are at the Inn where she hopes to work on their failing marriage. Dana and Matthew are at the Inn to take a few days of rest before their huge wedding. Candice is an author who has come to the Inn for a few quiet days where she can work on her novel. David is a criminal defense attorney who needs a few days of peace and quiet. At the Inn, the guests are welcomed by the owner, James, and his son, Bradley. Due to the bad weather, some guests have cancelled and some of the staff are unable to get in, but James and Bradley promise them a nice time anyway. The rooms are lovely and well-appointed. The Inn is spacious, but also small enough to be very cozy, as well as being a bit old fashioned and no cell service. As the weather worsens, the Inn loses power. Then, a body is found at the bottom of the stairs and it doesn’t look like it was accidental fall. It looks like murder. The guests are becoming nervous and when yet another body is found, all of them are looking over their shoulders wondering if there is a murderer among them. What a fabulous book. I ate it up in one evening and found myself looking over my shoulder too. This is fabulously creepy and a really good story. I have tried to set the stage with my review with no spoilers added. So, I hope readers will grab this book and enjoy one of the best thriller/mystery stories ever. Shari Lapena is a terrific author and I enjoy her books. I borrowed this book from my local library because the publisher declined my request to read/review it on NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unbelievable, really.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Love her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
If I could describe this book in one blurb, it would be to say that reading it is like the game of Clue coming to life for your enjoyment. While trapped by a snow storm at a remote mountain lodge, a group of strangers find themselves having to reluctantly work together to stay alive when one by one they start dying in strange and questionable ways. Is one of them a murderer? Or is someone else hiding in the lodge and playing with them? I completely devoured this book. I read it in one (very fast) sitting. I found it to be so easy to read, I fell immediately into the premise, the characters and the style of writing. I love how Shari Lapena moved from character to character, letting the plot unravel itself slowly with little clues at a time. This is one of the most fast paced books I have read this year, and sometimes that is EXACTLY what I need. It was entertaining, creative and let me shut off my brain for a couple of hours. This makes for a perfect winter night read - grab a drink and a blanket and dive right in.
HowUsefulItIs More than 1 year ago
I started reading An Unwanted Guest on 11/3/18 and finished it on 11/17/18 at 3:36am. This book is an excellent read! I love how the story slowly reveals each person having a secret they want to keep hidden but at the same time very much wanting to unravel their peers' secrets. I enjoy reading each character's personal thoughts a lot. Lauren likes to size up other guests and right away decide who she likes and dislikes. Candace pays close attention to people's demeanor and Beverly notices body language when others don't realize. Many characters seems to be very observant, like David saying he can tell when someone lies. This book is told in the third person point of view following Gwen Delaney as she maneuvers the country road to the hotel for an uninterrupted getaway with her friend. Another view is Riley Shuter, a friend of Gwen where they went to journalism school together who just came back from Afghanistan. The third view is David Paley, top criminal defense attorney who arrives at the hotel to try to relax for the weekend, a rare downtime. The fourth view is Lauren Day driving with Ian Beeton when they spot a car on the side of the road and stopping to help. They see there are two women inside the car. The fifth view is Beverly Sullivan who is here with her husband to work on their marriage. The sixth view is Henry Sullivan who recognizes that he no longer loves his wife and doesn't know what to do about it. The seventh view is Dana Hart, beautiful, who is recently engaged and is on this trip with him. The eighth view is Mathew Hutchinson, Dana's fiancé and heir to a large fortune. The ninth view is Candace White and she's writing a book. The tenth view is James, hotel owner and the eleventh view is Bradley, hotel owner's son. They all are staying at Mitchell's Inn, family owned hotel, in the middle of a winter storm for a weekend getaway to forget about work and unhappiness in their lives. The twelfth view is Sergeant Sorensen, investigating the crimes. The multiple point of views are switching off within the chapter. This book is organized by a time line for the weekend starting Friday night. An Unwanted Guest is very well written and a fast paced read! The story started out similar to Agatha Christi's And Then There Were None with many characters to keep up. Not very original in my opinion, but I still enjoyed the read nonetheless. Each character has the potential to be the killer and I like that I couldn't guess who it was. I love that twist at the end. This is my first read from the author but it won't be the last. I highly recommend everyone to read this book! Pro: fast paced, page turner, hotel, observant characters Con: not an original start to the story I rate it 5 stars! ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author Shari Lapena, publisher Penguin, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at for more details
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Lapena's first two books, but there was something about this book that was just not as satisfying. Sure I didn't see the ending coming, but at the beginning of the book there were just so many characters that I had to keep going back and remember who each character was. This is why I am only giving it 3 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Couldn’t put it down!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entralling thriller that keeps you sucked in and wanting more! I Read almost the whole book in one night and around 230am finally had to put it down so I wasn't completely miserable at work the next day. With my imagination running wild from the book, I convinced myself I was going to be murdered that night (queue sleeping with the lights on and snuggling with my dog). Unexpected ending and my favorite of her three books I've read!
SGMomma More than 1 year ago
If you love a good Agatha Christie story, this book is for you! I could not put this down. It was excellent from start to finish. Characters were well developed. I couldn't predict what was coming next and I loved that about this story. Clear your schedule, you will want time to finish this one because it will pull you in right away!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, could not put the book down.