• Not a Happy Family

  • A Novel
  • By: Shari Lapena
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3,007 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

Another thrilling domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

“Lapena is a master of manipulation. With her latest page-turning thriller… she is once again at the top of her game.” —USA Today

“In this fast-paced, twisted family saga, Shari Lapena keeps you guessing until the very last page...” Paula Hawkins

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets—even the dead.

Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you'd know.

Wouldn't you?

©2021 Shari Lapena (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Who wouldn’t be drawn to a book called Not a Happy Family?,... Like [her] earlier best sellers.... Not a Happy Family splashes into a stew of nightmares.” (New York Times)

“Lapena is a master of manipulation. With her latest page-turning thriller.... She is once again at the top of her game.... Lapena does what she does best, so much so that trying to put the book down is futile. Once you start reading, you won't want to stop.” (USA Today)

“A quintessential ‘beach read,’ I half expected sand to fall out of it. This one brings lurid family mayhem to the Hudson Valley [and] plausible suspects. With her cascading short chapters and teasers by the dozen, you stick with Lapena eagerly.” (Washington Post)

Featured Article: Home Is Where the Harm Is—The Best Domestic Thriller Audiobooks


Every neighborhood has a story. It could be the tragedy that took place years ago, or maybe an urban legend about that creepy house down the street. Or perhaps it's the new couple on the block who seem to be hiding something. These tales of suspense and mystery are what drive the popularity of the fastest growing subgenre of thrillers: the domestic thriller. We’ve made this list to help you choose the best domestic thriller audiobooks out there.

What listeners say about Not a Happy Family

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SB
  • 07-29-21

Liked the story, didn't like narration

The story was good, but I did not care for the narration. The cadence was rushed, and the delivery was often in a clipped monotone, with little or no inflection or distinction among characters.

There were a few too many suspects in the story. After awhile, we were just going around in circles and it became a bit tedious.

17 people found this helpful

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SO disappointed after such a long wait!

I fell in love with Shari Lapena after her first book and I've read everyone since and this one was so disappointing! Very much a knock off "Clue" story and not that engaging. Her first books left me guessing until the very end but not this one. Characters were entitled and not at all personable. I couldn't find one character to relate to. I pre-ordered this book months ago and I'm sad I wasted my credit!

13 people found this helpful

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Kept Me Guessing

I loved this book. I read other reviews that weren’t favorable but I thought the writing was great, suspenseful and I thought narrator was easy to listen too.
I’d definitely recommend

7 people found this helpful

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HOKEY

I finally just had to quit. I could not get through this. Super cheesy. The story line was a stretch.

6 people found this helpful

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A nail biter.

I could not stop listening to this book. It had me hooked in the first chapter and had me listening all hours of the day. I had to find out the end. I did think the book ended abruptly and would have liked for the story to go on a little more to a clean finish. I strongly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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Good Book!

This book kept me interested to the end. Never have I disliked so many characters. The whole family were a bunch of entitled snobs. The story was good and left me questioning who did til the end.

5 people found this helpful

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good listen

Honestly you didn't know who did it, but at the same time you knew who didn't. Definitely glad I used a credit.

5 people found this helpful

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Money doesn’t mean happiness

A wealthy family proves money can’t make you happy. It can sometimes make you greedy, selfish and cruel. Exactly what the head of this family has proven. This family has treated his family and others in just this way which leads him to a gross death.

4 people found this helpful

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A head turner

I love how the story stretched out 4 both the murder mystery and the character development. Then, a cliff hanger. Perfect! And the narrator's voice was pleasing, non-intrusive, and became the voice of the person everyone in the family wished they were. Coming from a family of narcissists, it's amazing how just a slight twist births a murderer.

4 people found this helpful

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Yes I do love Shari Lapena

Another classic “who done it” by the amazing author Shari Lapena. I loved it. Kept me guessing.

3 people found this helpful