Title: The Family Plot
Author: Megan Collins
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 17, 2021
Page Count: 320
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
From the author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door, this “masterpiece of gothic suspense and horror, filled with dark family secrets and stunning twists” (Michele Campbell, author of It’s Always the Husband) follows a family obsessed with true crime as they gather to bury their patriarch—only to find another body already in his grave.
At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse is haunted by her upbringing. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she is unable to move beyond the disappearance of her twin brother, Andy, when they were sixteen.
After several years away and following her father’s death, Dahlia returns to the house, where the family makes a gruesome discovery: buried in their father’s plot is another body—Andy’s, his skull split open with an ax.
Dahlia is quick to blame Andy’s murder on the serial killer who terrorized the island for decades, while the rest of her family reacts to the revelation in unsettling ways. Her brother, Charlie, pours his energy into creating a family memorial museum, highlighting their research into the lives of famous murder victims; her sister, Tate, forges ahead with her popular dioramas portraying crime scenes; and their mother affects a cheerfully domestic facade, becoming unrecognizable as the woman who performed murder reenactments for her children. As Dahlia grapples with her own grief and horror, she realizes that her eccentric family, and the mansion itself, may hold the answers to what happened to her twin.
The Family Plot by Megan Collins is a psychological thriller about a rather unique family. The Lighthouse family’s matriarch is obsessed with honoring the victims of serial killers, so much so that it was to the point the children in the family were named after famous victims.
Dahlia and her siblings grew up cut off from their neighbors on the remote island where her family lived. Each of the kids had their plans made early in life to escape the island and their serial killer obsessed parents. However, Dahlia’s twin brother seemed to have left the island early never to contact the family again only leaving a note in his absence.
When the patriarch of the Lighthouse family passes away Dahlia and her other siblings minus her twin head back home for the funeral of their father. As the family plot is opened for their father though a body is found already in the grave. It seems Dahlia’s twin never did make it off the island and now ten years later she needs to know who killed him and why.
The Family Plot began with such a creepy, gothic feel to the story that I couldn’t help but be pulled in reading about this strange and somewhat disturbing family. That intensity though that I felt in the beginning began to where off as the book went on as the middle seemed a bit repetitive and incredibly slow paced. There weren’t a lot of suspects involved either in the remote setting of the story for the outcome which may have led to the repetitive feeling during the middle. I didn’t mind how this one wrapped up but had so much of a meh feeling through most of the book that I was excited either so this one was just a so-so read for me.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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