Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: August 17th, 2021
Synopsis: When a family obsessed with true crime gathers to bury their patriarch, horrifying secrets are exposed upon the discovery of another body in his grave in this chilling novel from the author of Behind the Red Door and The Winter Sister.
At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse has a lot to learn when it comes to the real world. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she has spent the last several years living on her own, but unable to move beyond her past—especially the disappearance of her twin brother Andy when they were sixteen.
With her father’s death, Dahlia returns to the house she has avoided for years. But as the rest of the Lighthouse family arrives for the memorial, a gruesome discovery is made: buried in the reserved plot is another body—Andy’s, his skull split open with an ax.
Each member of the family handles the revelation in unusual 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 façade, 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.
With her signature “spellbinding, poignant, and atmospheric” (Christina McDonald, USA TODAY bestselling author) storytelling, Megan Collins weaves a haunting and suspenseful tale filled with secrets that won’t remain buried. (Goodreads)
I was so excited when I was approved on NetGalley for The Family Plot. It really seemed as though it was going to check all my boxes. Unfortunately, this is a case where the premise is more exciting than the actual book.
For me, the main letdown were the one dimensional characters. For siblings whose names are inspired by serial killers and their victims, I was expecting so much more than the flat personas that were presented instead. I never really connected with any of them which made it an uphill battle to care what was happening, but it wasn’t all bad. After the beginning, which was a bit of an info dump, the creepy, atmospheric setting, multiple mysteries, and red herrings sprinkled throughout made the story a quick and easy read. Despite my issues with the characters, I probably would have rated this between 3.5 – 4.0 stars if it wasn’t for the lackluster ending which had me groaning in frustration.
While The Family Plot didn’t live up to my perhaps too high expectations, other readers have given it positive reviews on Goodreads, so I encourage you to check them out before making up your mind as to whether you want to give this a try. As for me, there was enough here that I liked, that I’ll give the next book by Collins a try.