Judith D Collins
Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six
By: Lisa Unger
Publisher: Park Row
Publication Date: 11/08/2022
My Rating: 5 Stars ++ (ARC)
"A deliciously tense ride." —Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of One By One
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?
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BRILLIANT! The best locked-in thriller I have ever read! Of course, this is Lisa Unger, so you do not expect anything less.
Her 20th novel, the "queen" of psychological suspense, Lisa Unger returns following Last Girl Ghosted (5 stars) with her latest complex, multi-layered knockout gripping thriller—SECLUDED CABIN SLEEPS SIX.
OK, readers, there is much to discuss here.
A luxury getaway weekend becomes a living nightmare when DNA history and dark secrets of the past convene and ignite for an intense, twisty "thrills-by-the-minute locked-room blockbuster!
The novel starts on Christmas night 2017 in Florida at a family gathering when family members find DNA (Origins) testing kits; however, no one seems to know who left the mysterious gifts under the tree—from Santa.
Daughter - Hannah and husband, Bruce and Gigi, nine-month-old daughter
Older son: Mako and his wife, Liza
The discussion turns to Mako, who has booked a luxury getaway weekend at a cabin in North Georgia for Hannah/Bruce, himself and his wife, and another couple, Cricket (a friend of Hannah's and ex-girlfriend of Mako and her new boyfriend, Joshua-the mystery man-cybersecurity expert.)
Three nights. All expenses paid, from a personal chef, massages, fireplace, yoga, hot tub, and wellness retreat.
June 2018: They all drive to the cabin seven hours away, and Hannah leaves her daughter home.
The cabin is called Elegant Overlook. Peaceful, secluded. luxurious. isolated.
Managed by a company called Luxury Cabin Rentals of Sleepy Ridge, The website seemed elegant and expensively designed, showing five cabins, and theirs would be the grandest. But what is the true story?
Bracken Jameison, the owner and operator of Luxury Cabins of Sleep Ridge and built all of them himself. Is he who he says he is, and what is he hiding? CREEPY.
He sees these guests as:
The pretty yogi.
The party girl.
The stay-at-home mom.
The tech mogul.
The computer wonk.
The mystery man.
All players on his stage.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
After online research, Hannah could not find any social media and, after digging further, found out the property was full of ghost stories from some reviewers that sounded creepy. The people said they felt like they were being watched.
"Happy families. Unhappy families. Some families pretend to be happy that have a carefully constructed facade, just barely propped up by secrets and lies. One breath and it all falls down."
Bruce works for Mako and, previously, Hannah in event planning. His gaming company is called Red World. Mako is wealthy and successful He also is ruthless and has a past and enemies. Has his sister always overlooked his flaws and secrets?
There is a storm brewing OUTSIDE AND INSIDE.
Everyone has SECRETS.
"Beware that when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster."
Hannah thinks something is off with her husband Bruce. What is he hiding? Is he having an affair? She senses the stress between Bruce and Mako. Mako is very secretive, and his yoga instructor wife, Liza, is receiving threatening texts she keeps to herself. Cricket and Joshua are wild cards.
In the past, at this resort, a family had been murdered. There was an investigation. Stories of a woman walking through the trees wailing for her children. The girl's body had been found far from the house by the creek. Some guests reported strange noises.
I dare you to try and put the puzzle pieces of this one together. You will never guess!
We hear from POV:
Hannah (past and present- 2001/2018)
Bracken (owner of the cabins)
We also hear from mysterious POVs
(these identities are revealed later in the book). Some from 1997-2016.
"Some of us are seekers. Broken links. We're always trying to figure out how and where we fit. Soul Miners."
The cameras are not working.
Eerie, claustrophobic, and chilling! The sins of the past rise to the surface when all is unveiled. You will be glued to the pages. Often, monsters are right in front of us.
THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! Both storylines are equally as compelling, and I loved the DNA twist and the getaway cabin. I am a Floridan and formerly had a luxury log cabin in a luxury resort, Big Canoe, in N. Georgia mountains, so this was Fun!
INTENSE! If you love smartly written, complex, multi-layered thrillers, this is your book! I love any stories about DNA and genealogy.
If you enjoy mysterious and funny DNA stories, try Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon.
You can't go wrong with a LU book. No one can do complex, twisted, eerie, and chilling like Lisa! One of my favorite authors—I have read all her books and anxiously await the next. Get this on your TBR list now!
Thank you to #ParkRow and #NetGalley for an eARC to read, review, and enjoy!
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 🌟 STARS
Pub Date: Nov 8, 2022
"Hidden history and 21st-century technology collide in a breathtaking thriller." —Kirkus, starred review
"Embedded in a riveting novel of suspense is a revealing examination of the dangers inherent in public DNA sharing...[Lisa Unger] is in good form here, in her twentieth outing, and her fans will be eager to dive right in."
"Genetics and nature-versus-nurture take the spotlight in Unger’s 20th novel...Readers will revel in the search for genealogical justice amid best-kept secrets, while wondering who will live and who will die.”
—Library Journal, starred review
“Lisa Unger is a brilliant writer, on the top of her form. Here, she delivers yet another stellar thriller, packed with tension and twists, but also laced with nuanced insight and characterization. On this weekend away, the cabin and its owner are disquieting, the weather is menacing but the threat level is truly amped up by the disturbing family dynamics and a backstory that grips.”
—Gilly Macmillan, bestselling author of What She Knew
“Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six is a deliciously tense ride that takes a deep dive into the meaning of family and the price we'll pay for those we love.”
—Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of One By One
Master of suspense Lisa Unger ratchets up the tension in her twentieth spellbinding outing, Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six. Blending an adrenaline-fueled plot and an expertly drawn cast of characters, Unger is at her atmospheric best in this wickedly chilling story of a getaway gone wrong. In Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six, Unger yanks readers down a dark, twisty path teeming with secrets, obsession, and revenge—I still can’t catch my breath. If you pick up just one thriller this year, make it this one.
—Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest
About the Author
Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of twenty novels, including SECLUDED CABIN SLEEPS SIX (coming Nov 8, 2022), LAST GIRL GHOSTED, and CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 — now in development at Netflix, starring Jessica Alba. With books published in thirty-one languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is regarded as a master of suspense.
Unger’s critically acclaimed novels have been featured on “Best Book” lists from the Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, People, Amazon, Goodreads, L.A. Times, The Boston Globe, Sun Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times and many others. She has been nominated for, or won, numerous awards including the Strand Critics, Audie, Hammett, Macavity, ITW Thriller, and Goodreads Choice. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few authors, including Agatha Christie. Her short fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Mystery and Suspense, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. Lisa is the current co-President of the International Thriller Writers organization. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.