Thursday, November 17, 2022

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger
11/8/22; 400 pages
Park Row Books

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger is a very highly recommended locked-room thriller with a tension-filled secret that could be fatal.

Three couples are going to spend a weekend at a secluded luxury cabin in the North Georgia woods. Hannah and Bruce need a break but both accept the invitation with some trepidation. Hannah doesn't want to leave their baby daughter and Bruce, a workaholic, would feel better if they were paying for their share of the cabin. Hannah's older brother, Mako, has planned and paid for the whole weekend. One benefit for Hannah will be the opportunity to strengthen her connection with Liza, Mako's wife. The third couple is a long-time, close family friend, Cricket, and her new boyfriend, Joshua.

What could possibly go wrong. The cabin is a beautifully appointed accommodation, but is also extremely isolated. The owner and host, Bracken, seems a bit odd, and the private chef seems to delight in sharing the ghost stories associated with the area. The Wi-Fi is unreliable. To add to the anxiety and sense of impending danger is a real storm that is forecast to hit the area and will surely isolate them completely.

This is a compelling, complex novel that held my attention throughout. The tension rises slowly, doubts are introduced carefully, the atmosphere seems to become increasingly disturbing with every page. Unger has carefully plotted this narrative. It opens with a family gathering which sets in place the beginning of the tension and drama. Then this suspense is allowed to grow into fruition.

The narrative is told mainly through Hannah's point-of-view, but we also hear from Liza, Cricket, Bracken, and then three characters whose connection to this plot doesn't materialize immediately, mainly Henry, but also Trina, and Cat. The characters are all fully realized individuals and very different from each other.

The writing is excellent, intelligent, and absolutely riveting. Both main story lines, through Hannah's and Henry's points-of-view, are equally interesting, engrossing, and very different. Part of the appeal is trying to predict where, when, and how these story lines will connect and collide. When the direction becomes clear, it is gripping, twisty, and un-put-downable. This is a wonderfully executed locked-room thriller.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Park Row Books via NetGalley.

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