It’s rare for me to finish a book in which I cannot stand the main character because Dahlia is a character that I cannot get on board with. She is so over reactionary to every situation, every word spoken to her, that it makes it impossible to like her. She’s self-righteous, and once her mind is made up, she refuses to listen to any opposition. I don’t care for the word shrill; I feel it’s demeaning, but it applies to her.
I wasn’t sure what this family believed in at first because nothing unfolded cohesively. But I feel that was planned, so we can slowly come to realize how utterly odd this family upbringing was for the Lighthouse children. Then Collins throws us for a loop with the discovery of Andy, and we’re immersed into this mystery of “who done it.” But all the characters to this point are superficial, so it’s hard to care about who did it. I would have liked to have a character to cheer on because our main character was well past the “on my nerves” portion of my tolerance level.
The more I read, the more I wanted to find out what happened to Andy. I thought the way the children were raised was bizarre, but it worked for the storyline. But I felt more like an outsider to the story than immersed in it. So while not totally the right fit for me, it might be a good read for others. Thank you, Atria Books, for sending this along.
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The Family Plot is available on Amazon for $12.99.
About the Book
At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse is haunted by her upbringing. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she is 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 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 her family reacts 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.