The Family Plot
By: Cherie Priest
# of pages: 365
Chuck Dutton built Music City Salvage with patience and expertise, stripping historic properties and reselling their bones. Inventory is running low, so he’s thrilled when Augusta Withrow appears in his office offering salvage rights to her entire property. This could be a gold mine, so he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project.
The crew finds a handful of surprises right away. Firstly, the place is in unexpectedly good shape. And then there’s the cemetery, about thirty fallen and overgrown graves dating to the early 1900s, Augusta insists that the cemetery is just a fake, a Halloween prank, so the city gives the go-ahead, the bulldozer revs up, and it turns up human remains. Augusta says she doesn’t know whose body it is or how many others might be present and refuses to answer any more questions. Then she stops answering the phone.
But Dahlia’s concerns about the corpse and Augusta’s disappearance are overshadowed when she begins to realize that she and her crew are not alone, and they’re not welcome at the Withrow estate. They have no idea how much danger they’re in, but they’re starting to get an idea. On the crew’s third night in the house, a storm shuts down the only road to the property. The power goes out. Cell signals are iffy. There’s nowhere to go and no one Dahlia can call for help, even if anyone would believe that she and her crew are being stalked by a murderous phantom. Something at the Withrow mansion is angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever. And it seems to be seeking permanent company.
My opinion: This was a fun, creepy read. I’ve read Boneshaker by Priest and enjoyed the unique story and characters (a mom was one of the main characters, super cool.) This book sounded perfect for the R.I.P. challenge so I bought a copy since it wasn’t available at my local library.
The Family Plot follows the main character, Dahlia, and her co-workers Brad, Bobby, and Gabe. Bobby and his son Gabe are also her relatives since she works for the family business her dad runs, Music City Salvage. Dahlia and her small crew camp out at an abandoned and secluded mansion in Tennessee that they are salvaging. It isn’t long before eerie things start happening to the crew. What do you expect, especially when they stumble upon a cemetery on the property?
I appreciated Dahlia’s connection to the house. It was interesting how her past weaves in with the future of the house. At times Dahlia was someone I related to, at others I thought she was too accepting of the entire situation. That was how the whole book went for me, at times I would empathize with the characters and then others I was thinking, “How can you people act like this? Shouldn’t you…” But isn’t that how horror books/films are for so many people?
While the book had its flaws, overall the story was interesting and kept me hooked. I always enjoy Gothic elements and haunted house stories and this is a pretty good one.
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Interesting story, easy to read, I felt a little frustrated with the characters sometimes, a few times the plot felt a little underdeveloped.
Have you read this book? Let me know and I’d be happy to post a link.