Cover Image: The Family Plot

The Family Plot

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Member Reviews

What a wild ride. Having twins myself, I cannot imagine what the main character Dahlia experienced when her own twin, Andy, goes missing at 16. Of course, living on an island where a serial killer hunts would also not be my cup of tea... When Andy's body is discovered, where it shouldn't be..., each of the family members begins to process the grief in their own way... and through this, Dahlia begins to realize there is more. There is always more.

This was the perfect book to read in October - the perfect mix of crime meets spooky meets who-dunnit. Anyone who enjoys a good thriller will love these characters and this plot.
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I’ve read other books by this author and they’re always either amazing or just ok, and I’m happy to say she blew me away with this one. Her plots are always good but this one was expertly plotted. The writing was also excellent- she paced the story very well and had stronger character development than some of her previous novels. Highly recommend!!!
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I was hooked on The Family Plot from the synopsis alone and it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed the family drama/mystery about a dysfunctional and eccentric family raised on true crime. With interesting characters and twists, this is one I highly recommend. So looking forward to reading whatever Megan's next book is, Thank you to Atria books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a solid mystery with a great setting of this house.  However, the story and reveals just ended up being okay for me.  However, this is a perfect easy thriller to read when you need one.
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I have now read 2/3 books that Megan Collins has written, and I am beginning to think she may not be the author for me. Behind the Red Door had characters I absolutely hated which made me not love the book in return, and I don't even know how to feel about The Family Plot. There were a lot of unique aspects to the storyline that I really liked, and Tate's dioramas were perfectly terrifying, but there wasn't as much suspense as I was expecting. I feel like the killer of the women became apparent way too early in the story and there are a couple of big reveals, but only one of them was all that surprising to me. The entire book is narrated solely from Dahlia's viewpoint, and I really think this plot needed some other voices mixed in. I was into it when I first started which continued until about the middle of the book, where things seemed to slow way down, and I started to lose interest. I did however actually like Dahlia, so it was nice to have a character I could sympathize with.

On the plus side, I did really enjoy the audiobook which is narrated by Emily Tremaine. She helped with the slowness of the story and sounded exactly how I would have thought Dahlia would sound which is always a huge plus. Listening to her narrate was probably one of my favorite things about The Family Plot, and she kept me going with things slowed down. I do have to hand it to Collins for her original ideas and I will definitely still be reading The Winter Sister as well. Depending on how that goes I may or may not continue reading her, and I don't want to read an author and give lower ratings when I know they aren't for me. That being said, a lot of people loved this book, and if you are a fan of messed-up families and psychological thrillers I for sure recommend checking it out. I just had a meh feeling throughout the last half which made this one a bit of a dud for me.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I wrote about this on GoodReads, here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1758756-beth Because of travel and other issues, I didn't review this one on my blog.
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Super eerie and perfect for that October spooky read!  Loved the twists and turns.  Couldn't put it down until I knew what happened!
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I'm not sure how I feel about this book. And I think that was part of the point. The mystery was compelling but the underlying sadness and family distress lingered long after finishing. Satisfying but sooner to be sure.
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The Family Plot

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Simon and Schuster, Inc. for sending me an ARC of The Family Plot, in exchange for my honest opinion of the novel. I think The Family Plot certainly fits into the eeriness and scariness of the Halloween season. The story in The Family Plot revolves around a serial killer, known as the Blackburn Killer, who brutally murdered many women over the course of 20 years. The Lighthouse family, father Daniel, mother Lorraine, brothers Charlie and Andy, and sisters Tate and Dahlia (the children are all named after real true-crime victims) live in an old mansion on Blackburn Island (referred to the locals as “Murder Mansion”) and are the main characters in this novel, with an odd array of supporting people who add to the overall creepiness of the story. Oddly enough, there is only never-ending darkness with the Lighthouse family. The home is dark and full of mystery, lies and deceit. The adult children return home for their father’s funeral and a shocking finding is unearthed. The family plot for father Daniel is already occupied. And then the story begins. The novel is filled with many startling and terrifying revelations, which almost destroy the family. I enjoyed reading The Family Plot and give it a sound 3 stars. If I were the author, however; I would have ended the novel in a much darker place, to match the theme of this true-crime thriller.
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Thank you so much for this ARC!

This was a great book to start reading for Halloween month! Interesting mystery, albeit some really weird characters. I thought the sibling dynamics were a little strange and "off", but that's just me.
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The Family Plot was the perfect book to start off Spooky Season. It is a delightful mix of true crime and horror that's sure to appeal to a wide range of audiences. 

The good: creepy secluded mansion on an island! true crime/murder obsessed family! creepy as heck homeschool assignments (I really enjoyed that part)! SO. MANY. POTENTIAL. SUSPECTS!

The less good:I was honestly really feeling book right up until the end. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but I was a tad disappointed with the ending. I guess because it's too realistic? I don't know.

Either way, I definitely think this is a good book and will definitely recommend it to people for Spooky Season and beyond!
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This book started out very strong, but toward the end it rally fizzled out. I found the dynamic between the sets of siblings to be very strange, and it seemed they were more lovers than siblings.

The idea behind the book was really cool. I was let down by the climax and ending.

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
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Thank you Netgalley, Atria Books and Megan Collins for free e-ARC in return of my honest review. 

Dahlia return to her family home for the funeral of her father. She did not come back in 10 years, spending that time in a fruitless search of her disappeared twin brother. However, this time she might be successful to learn about his whereabouts. The whole story of her family is unravelled and she is lost in all the secrets and lies.  

Overall, the story is very engaging and intriguing. I kept turning the pages with the desire to find out who was the killer and who was responsible for Dahlia's twin disappearance. Even with a few inconsistencies, plot-wise the storyline is fine. Characters, on the other hand, felt to rushed and under-developed. None of Dahlia's family were fully described and developed to a multidimensional characters that came to live from the pages of the book.
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The Family Plot is a thriller with true crime at its base. It’s a good one, I really enjoyed it but unfortunately the conclusion fell flat. But the blurb & the premise was on point. I just wanted something more from the ending. Still worth reading. 3.5 stars from me.
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In The Family Plot by Megan Collins “Our family was unnatural,” a phrase spoken by Andy, one of the four Lighthouse siblings, is a vast understatement. The Lighthouse children, Charlie, Dahlia (our narrator), Andy and Tate, are all named after murder victims, so it’s obvious from page one that all the members of the Lighthouse family are obsessed with the subject of murder. But perhaps that makes sense as their mother’s parents were brutally murdered during a home invasion in Connecticut at the family estate. Following the murder, she moved to Blackburn island, to their summer home, a “drafty, secluded mansion,” where their father, Daniel, “indulged her eccentricities, and did not protest as she turned the mansion into something of a mausoleum.” A mausoleum for murder victims. Add to that the fact that the Lighthouse children are homeschooled, and … the main focus of the curriculum … you guessed it … is murder. Making those murder dioramas must have been so much fun. Let’s pile on that the disturbing fact Blackburn Island has a serial killer of its own, and the killer has never been caught. The Lighthouse home is nicknamed the Murder Mansion by the locals and the family members are considered weird. No wonder these kids are screwed up.

When the novel opens, the children, now adults, understandably are scattered, (I’d have changed my name,) and Dahlia returns to the island after an absence of 7 years. She has returned only because her father died, and this reunion isn’t going to be any fun. Tate is an artist, Charlie is an actor, Dahlia is the narrator, and Andy… well he went missing at age 16, and it was assumed that he ran away (not that anyone could blame him). The loyal family employee, Fritz, is busy digging a grave for Dad (yes, he’s being buried on the island) when he discovers a body in the plot that was saved for dear old dad. As to what happened to missing brother Andy, well the mystery is solved. He’s been lying 6 feet under in the back garden all this time. But who killed him?


The premise of the book sounded interesting with its underlying theme that those touched by murder are never the same, and the internet is full of stories about people who become obsessed with murders and then go off the rails in various interesting ways. But for this reader, the entire setup was hard to swallow. There’s suspension of disbelief and then there’s just plain cuckoo. I stopped many times, put the book down and asked myself whether or not these damaged people, raised in this toxic environment would have kept acting like idiots? It’s understandable that mummy is a nutjob: her parents were murdered and then her whole life became murder, but even with that in mind, I couldn’t accept the plot. Wouldn’t you at least wonder what the hell happened to your twin brother, a teen who was clearly unhappy at home? Wouldn’t you ask yourself why you never heard from him again, and why your parents moan a bit but then quickly move on? The family members are all freaky weird but in the first pages after finding Andy’s body in the grave, there they are all in the kitchen eating cookies. No one is saying WTF, packing their bags and hightailing it off that miserable island.

With many books, willing suspension of disbelief is engaged, albeit this tacit agreement by the reader may be fragile, or challenged, but in The Family Plot the willing suspension of disbelief must be resuscitated repeatedly. I found it impossible to accept the behavior of the characters, so if you are about to embark on this book, be prepared to toss your disbelief out the window and then watch it bounce back. I just went with the plot and then I found myself saying things such as “what sickos,” or “as if,” “oh come off it” and even “wtf.” That said, it’s an easy, quick read that keeps you barreling along to the last page. Some readers loved the book, so perhaps I’m in the minority here.

Review copy.
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True crime fans will enjoy the "easter eggs" in Megan Collins' latest, The Family Plot -- characters named after famous murder victims, a sister who is famous for her murder scene dioramas, a missing brother, a dead father, a mother obsessed with honoring victims, it's all here in the twisted tale of the Lighthouse family. Their story is an intriguing one, filled with weird traditions of honoring their namesakes on their birthdays and children who become grownups with severe trust issues, as the passing of their father brings to the surface several dark family secrets that just couldn't stay buried. For all of the true crime intrigue, though, there were predictable aspects of the plot and a few twists that should have felt "twistier". But overall the story kept me turning pages as the slightly unreliable narrator "comes of age" by learning her family's secrets and this is definitely a story with "October feels", best read by a nice, warm fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa.
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I felt the book moved a bit slow. The last 25% it really picked up and I couldn’t put it down. The twist was not real surprising, just kinda ok.
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This story was so bizarre.. I mean if I was part of this family, I would have run.. far away and I would never look back. Dahlia Lighthouse, comes home to an island she left many years ago, to bury her father. The family is mourning his death and seem to all be a mess. Back on the island , in the mansion in the forest, Dahlia finds herself remembering her brother who ran away and can’t help but wonder where he could be. Her family was always obsessed with true crime murders and things with this family start to play out like a true crime mystery. Her mother and her siblings are all acting strange in their grief. Every day something else is discovered and Dahlia wants to get away from all this madness. The story was well written, the characters were interesting and disturbed and yet I didn’t love this book.. But I also didn’t give up on it. It was like a train wreck and I had to keep reading. Overall I would recommend it, it may be somebody’s cup of tea. Megan Collins definitely has some imagination and I would read more of her books.
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I went into The Family Plot not knowing much about it – I didn’t read the back cover blurb, and I’m glad I didn’t. It doesn’t give too much away, but I liked going into this one totally blind. Here’s what you need to know going in – Dahlia is the youngest of four kids who grew up in isolation on Blackburn Island in a family obsessed with true crime. Her twin brother ran away a decade ago, and she’s been searching for him since. The book starts when she returns home after the death of her father.

If you like true crime (the dedication: “For the murderinos”), psychological thrillers, and family drama – this book is for you. I loved all the twists and turns as Dahlia navigates her brother’s disappearance and tries to find out what really happened to him all those years ago. There are a few different fictional mysteries going on, and plenty of real true-crime references sprinkled in throughout the book. This is a fun page-turner that is perfect for fall reading.

Enjoy this book and ssdgm, my fellow murderinos.
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I was going to wait for October to read this one, gave in and read it in September. The Lighthouse family is a bit odd and creepy. The four siblings were all named after victims of murder from the past, and were raised in a secluded old mansion on an island deep in the woods. There were all kinds of rituals and celebrations while they were growing up to honour the dead. Twenty-six year old Dahlia Lighthouse has returned to the home she avoided for years, for her father's memorial. She has felt adrift and alone since her sixteen year old twin, Andy disappeared ten years earlier. The groundskeeper digs the grave that was to be her father's only to find someone already buried there and it turns out to be her brother. Interwoven into this mystery is also the story of a serial killer who had plagued the island for years. Can the sheriff figure out who killed Andy ten years ago?

This was one of the more strange and bizarre families I have read about. Talk about dysfunctional. They are obsessed with murder and its victims, are very eccentric and just plain odd. The kids all fled the island as soon as they could and I totally understand why. Their parents were dark, and a bit twisted with their obsession of true crime and its victims. When Andy's body is found, the way the various family members reacted was interesting. I enjoyed the idea of this book and the characters including the house itself were all very interesting. As secrets were revealed, the story became more intriguing. This is a mystery at its core, but also a story of a dysfunctional family and how secrets can destroy one another. This is a well written book with so many layers that even with all the clues, it was hard to figure out where the story was going next. I thought I had it figured out, but with red herrings, I was never positive. There were several twists, but as the story progressed, it got a bit too far out there. I enjoyed this story, but as a reader, you just need to go with it and enjoy the ride.
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