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Book Review Wednesday: The Family Plot by Megan Collins

This book won't be released until August 17th but I couldn't wait for my review. You need to pre-order this novel now, and make sure it's on your TBR. Go ahead, add it to your Goodreads, I'll wait.

Ok, all set? Great!

If you love true crime, like REAL true crime, like Dateline, 20/20, true crime podcasts, this book is for you. It's a fictitious story with real life flair, all which will satisfy your true crime addiction. "The Family Plot" by Megan Collins is your next great read. 

I received the ARC from NetGalley and finished the book within 24 hours, as usual. Side note: I am flying through books lately. This week alone I've finished three books... it's really becoming a problem. 



Publisher's Summary


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 remains haunted by her upbringing. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she has been 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 soon 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 the Lighthouses react 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.

My Thoughts

This book was WEIRD. I mean, the plot is nuts -- a family so obsessed with true crime the parents named their children after murder victims? They live alone on an island, where a serial killer once ran rampant? Their son disappeared and no one ever batted an eyelash? It's nuts and it drew me in from the first page.

You know something is so clearly wrong here and I couldn't wait to find out what it was. When it was revealed that Andy was murdered, I had my thoughts and it turns out, I was right... but I didn't know how we were going to get to the murderer reveal.

First off, the writing in this book is incredible. It's very disturbing, the entire story is but it is so captivating. You really didn't know where it was going but you always felt like you were on the right track, in terms of what Dahila, the protagonist was thinking and feeling. 

That being said, I didn't find any of the characters likable; they were pretty annoying and the entire relationship between the siblings, each pair of siblings that is, felt very incestual. Thinking about it now, it does make sense that the siblings were so close because they were all each other had. 

Collins has you on a wild goose chase the entire book trying to figure out multiple mysteries; who killed Andy, who was the island's serial killer, what was really happening all those years ago? It was impossible to be confident in who you thought each person was and when you do find out, when everything comes to a climax, it is truly out of this world. 

The reveal(s) is so twisted, it's almost nauseating and it is unlike anything you could've ever imagined. I couldn't believe my eyes, I had to take a pause while reading because it was so insane. I don't even know how Collins created this story... I definitely need to read/listen to some interviews with her to understand how her mind works.

The ending of the novel was semi-satisfying; loose ends were tied up and the family was in a better place than when we first started out. It was so interesting to see it all come together. 

What I really took away from the book was how true crime can really mess you up; Dahlia's mother let the darkness of real crimes and criminals overtake her so powerfully that it affected her entire family in such negative ways. I loved the tie in to real true crime cases, which made the book almost real but the deep message behind the plot was even more interesting. 

I think I can confidently say this will be one of my top five books of the year, and probably one of the best mystery/suspense novels I've ever read.

xoxo
B