Wednesday 23 August 2023

Book Review: Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger book cover

AD* | Three couples rent a luxury cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway to die for in this chilling locked-room thriller.

What could be more restful than a weekend getaway with family and friends? An isolated luxury cabin in the woods, spectacular views, a hot tub and a personal chef. Hannah’s generous brother found the listing online. The reviews are stellar. It'll be three couples on this trip with good food, good company and lots of R&R.

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? Meanwhile, someone is determined to ruin the weekend, looking to exact a payback for deeds long buried. Who is the stranger among them?

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six presents a promising premise - a weekend getaway for three couples in an isolated luxury cabin, nestled in the woods. The stage is set for relaxation and bonding, with breathtaking views, a hot tub, and even a personal chef. However, what begins as a dreamy escape quickly spirals into a chilling nightmare in this locked-room thriller.

Unger weaves a complex web of characters, each carrying their own baggage of secrets and history. The book's blurb highlights the impending storm and the eerie presence of the rental host, hinting at the suspense to come. Unfortunately, the execution of this suspenseful setup falls short in a few key ways.

One of the biggest challenges is the narrative structure. The story unfolds from multiple perspectives, a technique that can add depth and intrigue, but here it becomes a source of confusion. Different scenes from various characters' viewpoints are thrown together without clear connections. This jarring mish-mash makes it difficult for readers to understand how these disparate perspectives fit into the overarching storyline. As a result, cohesion is lost, and the reader's immersion in the plot is hindered.

The overcrowded narrative exacerbates this confusion. With too much going on, the main storyline gets lost amidst a flurry of subplots and drama. It's difficult to discern the central thread amid the multitude of events - you can't see the wood for the trees! It's almost as if the book attempts to incorporate three different stories into one, leaving a disjointed and unsatisfying result.

While exploring the six guests' relationships is a highlight, some elements introduced lack justification. The perspective of Bracken, the rental house host, seems superfluous and doesn't contribute to the main storyline. This, along with other over-the-top elements like the DNA connection, further fragments the reading experience. The book oscillates between compelling character-driven moments and perplexing narrative tangents, leaving readers torn between engagement and frustration.

The characters themselves are multi-faceted, which is a strength of the book. However, the absence of relatable and genuinely likeable characters diminishes the reader's emotional investment. Most are portrayed as wealthy, entitled, and morally flawed, making it challenging to sympathise with their struggles.

The pacing is also uneven due to narrative disarray. The tension that should build steadily is disrupted by constant shifts in perspective and plot focus. The book's mysterious and dark atmosphere could have been better maintained with a more streamlined approach.

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six delivers a mix of intriguing ideas but struggles to weave them into a coherent and satisfying narrative. Lisa Unger's engaging exploration of relationships and secrets is overshadowed by the book's fragmented structure and overcomplicated plot. While the tension and darkness are palpable, they are hindered by the disjointed storytelling. Sadly, despite moments of promise, the final result falls short of its potential.

Rating: 3 stars

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six is available to buy now.

If you like the sound of this book, you might also enjoy...

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

No comments:

Post a Comment