Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: The Family Plot by Megan Collins

Author: Megan Collins
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 2021

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 fa├žade, 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.

I was really looking forward to The Family Plot.  It seemingly had all of the right elements for a great mystery.  Sadly, it didn't really live up to my expectations.  Dahlia and her siblings have come back home for their father's funeral.  It's been years since they have been back.  A body is found buried in the grave intended for her father.  It turns out to be her long lost brother.  

As I said, I didn't love this one. I wasn't very surprised at the solution to the mystery.  I thought the characters were all unlikable and I couldn't find anyone to root for.  Especially the main character.  She was kind of whiny.  What her parents did to them growing up in terms of their education was outright child abuse. The book had a very YA feel, even though it is an adult novel. It could be because Dahlia was twenty-six, yet she acted like she was 15.  I hated the ending.  It was just so unrealistic to me.  This is the second book by this author that I have been disappointed with.  Maybe it's just me...

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