by Cloggie Downunder (Thirroul): 4.5?s “What’s interesting is the families that pretend to be happy, that have a carefully constructed facade, just barely propped up by secrets and lies. One breath and it all falls down.”

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six is the twentieth novel by award-winning, best-selling American author, Lisa Unger. In today’s high-pressure world, what could be better than a weekend getaway in a secluded cabin in the woods in Georgia? Hannah’s brother Mako is treating them all: Hannah and Bruce, Hannah’s best friend Cricket and her new man, Joshua, Mako and his wife Liza. What they find on the Friday afternoon, though, is more like a mansion: every luxury, including a hot tub, a chef and waitress.

Hannah hopes Bruce will take a break from work; Bruce hints at problems with her brother’s gaming software franchise; Mako seems intent on playing the magnanimous host; Liza is struck down with a migraine just when she would like to be connecting with Mako; Cricket thinks she’s falling in love; and their host, Bracken Jameison, is looking forward to some interesting viewing from his cameras.

No one is expecting that, within hours of their arrival, one of their number will be missing, with fresh blood indicating this is no benign walk-off-in-a-huff.

Unger sets a scene with so much potential for conflict: Hannah, anxious about leaving her toddler for the first time, and worried about Bruce’s uncharacteristic behaviour; Liza holding a guilty secret whose consequence might break her marriage; Cricket’s anticipation about her brand new relationship clashing with her ongoing attraction to her ex; a new beau on the scene who is an unknown quantity; an unsettling murder/suicide story about the cabin; a cabin host whose disregard of his guests’ privacy might be something other than titillation.

Then there’s the disgruntled PA bent on revenge. Add to that the intrigue generated by the apparently unrelated narrative, set twenty years earlier, of a boy named Henry whose origin and connection are a mystery. Also, for some, troubling DNA test results. And the edges of a hurricane that will, in all likelihood, cause a power outage. Lies and secrets, red herrings and distractions, all make for plenty of tension that keeps the reader guessing right up to the nail-biting climax. A page turner. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Legend Press.