THE FAMILY PLOT by Cherie Priest

THE FAMILY PLOT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A malicious ghost violently resists the destruction of her home in this stand-alone supernatural thriller.

Music City Salvage risks bankruptcy by purchasing the rights to an old Tennessee mansion days before it’s due to be razed to the ground. The owner, Augusta Withrow, perceptibly loathes the place…but why? As the salvage team—recently divorced Dahlia, daughter of Music City’s owner; inexperienced grad student Brad; Dahlia’s alcoholic, unreliable cousin Bobby; and Bobby’s good-hearted son, Gabe—begin stripping the outbuildings of their valuables, it doesn’t take long before they realize something is very wrong. Ms. Withrow claims that the small cemetery they stumble over is just an old Halloween prank, but there’s at least one body buried there. And there’s definitely more than one ghost haunting the place, including a small boy, a World War I soldier, an elegant older woman, and an extremely angry young woman with dangerous poltergeist powers. Will our heroes be able to dismantle the house while keeping themselves physically and mentally intact? The author (Chapelwood: The Borden Dispatches, 2015) dedicates her focus to character building and research on house salvaging, both of which are solid but not sufficient to retain the reader’s interest over the long haul. There’s not much plot and not enough shocks or surprises to be a really effective ghost story. The dark family secrets that the ghosts are concealing are very guessable and lack the lusciously twisted savor that gothic and horror lovers crave. Sad to say, it's almost dull.

A novel as insubstantial as the ghosts who haunt it.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7653-7824-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2016




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