Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger
Published 11/8/2022 by Park Row
This is one of those slow-build, multiple-POV suspense novels that will capture readers’ attention, while also frustrating them with the sluggish pacing.
This is the story of three couples on holiday at a secluded luxury cabin in the woods. All three couples are connected in different ways. By marriage, by friendship, and family ties. It is arranged by the outgoing, egocentric Mako, who is determined to show off his wealth by gifting an extreme vacation to his sister and her husband, and his ex and her newest flame. The weekend away is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but soon turns into a nightmare when the group is trapped by a hurricane and they realize something sinister is afoot.
There are so many POVs to keep track of that I found myself flipping back through the first couple of chapters to keep it all straight in my head. There’s Hannah, the stay-at-home mom who doesn’t want to leave her baby for the weekend, but knows she needs time away to focus on the relationship with her workaholic husband. Mako is Hannah’s brother and a total douchebag. Liza is Mako’s wife and she is an online yoga instructor who seems to be his complete opposite. Cricket is Mako’s ex and Hannah’s best friend, a bit of a party girl who brings along her newest boyfriend Joshua, but can’t keep her eyes off her high school lover. There are a whole lot of complexities to each relationship, and their backstories are revealed as the plot moves forward. Secrets, infidelities, and past transgressions.
Amid all of this angst and drama is a storm, barreling down on the vacationers and trapping them in the house with a mystery villain who has a mission to complete. One that begins with an orphaned boy looking for family ties, and ends with someone determined to end what they perceive as bad blood. I won’t spoil it for you, but just know that I didn’t really figure it all out until the climax. It’s convoluted, but an interesting conflict and resolution. There is also the creepy owner of the rental, who adds a perverse layer to the suspense.
Ultimately I did enjoy Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six, but the long, meandering journey to the conclusion did get tiring at times. It was only by strength of will that I kept myself from flipping to the end to find out the bad guy’s identity and motives.
Final grade- C