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The Crack Magazine

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Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

US author Lisa Unger has won a big following among fans of twisty psychological novels (her ‘In the Blood’ won the prestigious Silver Falchion Award for Best Crime Thriller in 2015). Her latest is a standalone work and it fits neatly into the sub-genre: City Folk Stuck In A Cabin In The Middle Of A Forest That Has Limited Wi-Fi. The whole thing kicks off on Christmas Night with family members gathered together to have a drink and dish out presents. It’s discovered that there are extra presents hidden for each family member in the Christmas tree – all labelled ‘From Santa’. When they’re opened everyone finds they have been given the same thing: a DNA testing kit, the kind people send off to receive information on their health, genetic predisposition etc. When Christmas is done and dusted, six of them – three couples – head off to a retreat, a luxury cabin situated well off the beaten track. Among them are a couple of tech bros, an online yoga instructor, a doting mother leaving her toddler for the first time, and a party animal. When they reach the cabin, they discover it’s a real marvel, but alarm bells soon start ringing when they learn of its shady past (its name ‘Elegant Overlook’ would have put me off – Overlook being the name of the hotel from The Shining). What’s more a storm is brewing, and it’s a big one. The narrative unfurls over twin timelines, which, thankfully, doesn’t hamper the novel’s momentum (indeed, the flashbacks are just as enthralling as the present day stuff). Unger takes her time to start dishing out the revelations, but when she does they start coming thick and fast. RM

Legend Press