Secluded cabin sleeps six

Lisa Unger, 1970-

Book - 2022

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 frien...ds 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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Thrillers (Fiction)
Psychological fiction
Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Park Row Books [2022]
Main Author
Lisa Unger, 1970- (author)
Physical Description
392 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

If you've been invited on this getaway, get away and go somewhere else! Yes, it's a stunning house deep in the enchanting woods of Georgia, complete with personal chef and bubbling hot tub, and when Hannah's tech-mogul brother, Mako, invites her and her husband to the property, they're up for it. So what if it the home was once the scene of a family's brutal murder? Those shadowy figures on the grounds are just harmless ghosts, right? It turns into a stormy night of terror for everyone when someone uninvited from their past decides to join them. Embedded in a riveting novel of suspense is a revealing examination of the dangers inherent in public DNA sharing and unidentified sperm donors. This is largely conveyed through the touching parallel narrative of a young man named Henry that seems incongruous but matters very much in the end. The author is in good form here, in her twentieth outing (after Last Girl Ghosted, 2021), and her fans will be eager to dive right in.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this subpar thriller from Unger (Last Girl Ghosted), three couples, some of whom are members of a wealthy but troubled Florida family, gather for Christmas in 2017. Mako, a tech mogul, surprises his sister, Hannah, and the others with gifts of a genetic testing kit. The next day, the group leaves for the weekend at a luxurious cabin deep in the Georgia woods, complements of the demanding Mako. Meanwhile, Alice, a single mother, tells her son, Henry, that his father was a sperm donor shortly before she dies after someone attacks her. At the cabin, Hannah feels something sinister, and when her friend Cricket arrives with boyfriend Joshua, Hannah thinks she recognizes Joshua, though they've never met. It's revealed that the sperm donor, who spawned Henry and innumerable other people--including some at the cabin--was a career criminal, who between prison stints sold his sperm for money. With so many relationships and characters to keep track of, Unger overwhelms the plot, which centers on the sperm donor's identity. But that revelation comes too late to have much of a dramatic impact. Loose ends and a crescendo of violence at the end do little to redeem the book. Unger has done better. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Nov.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Genetics and nature-versus-nurture take the spotlight in Unger's 20th novel (following Last Girl Ghosted). The Origins DNA testing kits hidden behind Hannah and Mako's parents' Christmas tree surprise the family, but no one admits to bringing them. Mako's wife, Liza, throws hers into the trash, and the others aren't sure about submitting. Six months later, Hannah and her husband, Mako and Liza, and Hannah's best friend and her boyfriend vacation at a remote luxury cabin in the Georgia woods, funded by the larger-than-life Mako. Although everyone seems happy and relaxed, each has secrets, and they learn someone has uncovered family secrets--an outside force is manipulating the couples. The quest for truth and justice--and a violent storm--soon shred the healing power of nature. Exploring genetic origins raises the questions about DNA and destiny, how well we know the people closest to us, and how far we would go to protect them. VERDICT For fans of creepy, cunning locked-room thrillers based on controversial social norms. Readers will revel in the search for genealogical justice amid best-kept secrets, while wondering who will live and who will die.--K. L. Romo

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A luxury vacation turns into a chain-reaction explosion of dark secrets in this tense tale. Hannah frets over being away from her baby daughter for the first time, but she and her workaholic husband, Bruce, do need a break. And the vacation Hannah's older brother, Mako, has arranged sounds too sumptuous to pass up: a long weekend in a luxury cabin deep in the North Georgia woods, complete with gourmet chef, in-house massage, and more. Mako has become wildly wealthy running a video game company, and he's picking up the tab for all of it. The group also includes Mako's wife, Liza, whom Hannah hopes to get closer to, and Hannah's longtime best friend (and Mako's ex-girlfriend), party girl Cricket. The only unknown is Cricket's new boyfriend, Joshua. Well, Hannah thinks that's the only unknown, but she'll be proven wrong. The three couples arrive for the summer getaway despite a tropical storm brewing in the Atlantic that could curve their way. There are tales of ghosts on the property that suggest past violence there, but those could just be an inventive selling point. The host and cabin owner, Bracken, definitely has a creepy air, though (and almost no online footprint), and even scarier, his promise of Wi-Fi might not be reliable. This is Unger's 20th novel, and she builds tension skillfully from Page 1 of a prologue about Christmas dinner with Hannah's family, which ends bitterly over a mysterious gift of DNA test kits for everyone, which everyone claims to know nothing about. By the time the vacationers reach the cabin, the ominous mood is in place and everything seems disturbing, from the gleaming array of knives in the kitchen to a skull-shaped chandelier. Before they even make it through the first night's dinner, one of the six disappears, and so does contact with the outside world. The others begin a frantic search as the storm blows in and as it becomes clear that all of them are in peril--but from whom, and why? Hidden history and 21st-century technology collide in a breathtaking thriller. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.