Dahlia Dutton approaches every salvage job like a transplant doctor determined to give sick people a second chance—with reverence for the gifts each decrepit house has to offer, each beautiful piece for which she finds a new home. Dahlia knows each old house she has to take apart has a soul, a living presence. She just never expected the kind of presence she encounters in the old Withrow property, planted at the foot of the mountains just outside of Chattanooga.
Family secrets are always the worst kind, and on top of dealing with a creepy old house that alternately seems to want to kill her and protect her, Dahlia has to deal with her own family history and try to get as much salvage as she can in three days in order to save the family business from irretrievable debt. Priest gets the interpersonal and supernatural tensions just right, strewing clues and false trails aplenty to keep the reader in suspense for the whole ride.
The setting is gorgeous and evocative, the premise one that can’t help but appeal to readers in an age of endlessly looping DIY and fixer-upper media. Priest juxtaposes modern technology and family nostalgia in layer after layer that keeps the reader wondering what is the greater horror—a hundred year old secret or the ones that keep festering right below the surface of this seemingly easy-going family business in the here and now.
Anyone looking for a supernatural thriller should pick up The Family Plot immediately. The old house and family secrets elements are sure to appeal to anyone who loves gothic settings. Readers who enjoy multiple levels of mystery and suspense will find much to love in this novel.