Posted 20 hours ago

Not a Happy Family: The gripping Richard and Judy Book Club 2022 pick, from the #1 bestselling author of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

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I borrowed these. A couple of weeks ago.’ ‘Can anyone confirm that?’ She looks up at him angrily. ‘What are you suggesting? That I murdered my parents and kept these earrings?” 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.

The night ends early, with everyone leaving a bit disgruntled. Ahhh, dinners with family, am I right? When the storyline was recircling, many times I felt that the text was repetitive and drawn out, like the author had a word count to meet.However, I am also sad to say that the big revelation didn't come with a bang and it felt like it was just mentioned and done. It’s been said there are four motives for murder: Lust, Love, Loathing, or Loot. There’s no shortage of the latter two here. There are no tears shed for Fred and Sheila, but plenty of anticipation and elation at the thought of the inheritance. I loved how the author dropped little secrets/bombshells throughout the book about the characters, that made me see each of them with new eyes. The family is nervous, anxious, untrusting. I don't believe any of them! They are all liars, maybe psychopaths too.

The Merton family puts the word FUN in the word "dysfunctional"; making this "whodunnit" mystery challenging to solve. I was guessing up until the end. The characters were not all that well-developed and not very likable, but I honestly had no idea who did it. Eldest daughter Catherine and her husband, leave in a huff, followed closely behind by beleaguered middle child, Dan and his wife, Lisa. Even the former nanny/now part time housekeeper Irena is angry! Shortly after, their youngest daughter, Jenna and her current boy toy Jake say their goodbyes.Each family member(including the deceased couple) was repugnant, loathsome, and distasteful in different ways. One or more members of the Merton family is possibly a psychopath. I loved how the lead detective thought everyone he interviewed was the killer. There is a lot of scrambling, a lot of lies, a lot of secrets, a lot of trying to protect others while protecting oneself. There are a lot of liars with their pants on fire in this book. Not all that glitters is gold. Sometimes those who look like they have it all don't have much in terms of common decency.

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