Author : Megan Collins
Title : The Family Plot
Pages : 320
Publisher : Atria
Publication date : August 17, 2021
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
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.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Hello, dysfunctional family!
If, like me, you enjoy reading about families that are just a tad messed up, then you really need to meet the Lighthouse family. Four siblings were raised in a secluded island mansion by parents who were completely obsessed with true crime stories. So much so that Charlie, Tate, Andy and Dahlia were named after murder victims. I kid you not. So much so that their homeschooling lessons were pretty much centred around murders and serial killers, with their mother reenacting crime scenes on the kitchen floor. Weird, creepy, unnatural.
Ten years ago, Dahlia’s twin brother Andy disappeared on the evening of their sixteenth birthday. As his twin, Dahlia took this disappearance the hardest and she’s been searching for him ever since. Now, for the first time in years, Dahlia and her siblings return home after their father has died. But upon preparing the family plot for the funeral, a gruesome discovery is made. There’s already a body buried there. It’s Andy, whose skull has been split open by an ax, and suddenly the family is part of a true crime story all on its own.
Each of the family members deals with this situation differently. Charlie decides to open the house up to the island residents to show that no, the Lighthouse family are not creeps (slightly debatable); Tate disappears into her art (which is most definitely creepy), mum goes half crazy baking and Dahlia just wants to know what happened to Andy but is left to feel completely untethered now she realises her twin brother will never be coming back.
It’s mostly that that takes this psychological thriller to a bit of a different level. At times, it’s rather emotional and you end up really feeling for these family members. Throughout the story, the way they have been brought up and the emotional turmoils they’ve had to deal with along the years come to the fore. Because believe me when I tell you there is a whole lot more going on than Andy’s disappearance and subsequent death. But I can’t tell you anything about that.
‘The Family Plot‘ is a well-paced and suspenseful story that drew me in from the start. I did figure a few things out beforehand but that didn’t ruin things for me at all. I still swiped the pages like a maniac, desperate to find out about the things I couldn’t see for myself. Sure, I had plenty of guesses but they all turned out to be wrong. This is definitely one of those books where you don’t trust anyone and suspect everyone.
Compelling, unsettling, addictive and atmospheric ‘The Family Plot‘ brought me a few hours of quite enjoyable reading and I think it makes for the perfect summer thriller. Like I said at the start, if you like reading about dysfunctional families, then this is for you.
My thanks to the publisher for the review copy. All opinions are my own. The Family Plot will be published tomorrow.
20 Books of Summer : 13/20