The Family Plot: A Novel (Hardcover)
When a family obsessed with true crime gathers to bury their patriarch, horrifying secrets are exposed upon the discovery of another body in his grave in this chilling novel from the author of Behind the Red Door and The Winter Sister.
At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse remains haunted by her upbringing. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she has been 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 soon 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 the Lighthouses react 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.
About the Author
Megan Collins is the author of Behind the Red Door and The Winter Sister. She has taught creative writing for many years at both the high school and college level and is the managing editor of 3Elements Literary Review. She lives in Connecticut.
“A masterpiece of gothic suspense and horror, filled with dark family secrets and stunning twists. Not to be missed.”
—Michele Campbell, internationally bestselling author of It's Always the Husband
"Gorgeously wrought and deliciously creepy, The Family Plot is a twisted delight. Evocative prose and skillful misdirection propel the reader through the story, keeping them glued right up to the shocking conclusion. Perfect for true crime fans—and anyone looking for a gripping, vividly drawn suspense novel!"
—Kathleen Barber, author of Truth Be Told and Follow Me
"Megan Collins's best book yet! It's like Umbrella Academy meets Tana French. Dark, claustrophobic, and beautifully written with Collins's signature musical prose, The Family Plot mixes brilliant modern touches with timeless eerie details."
—Andrea Bartz, author of The Herd and We Were Never Here
"The Family Plot has one of the most original, twisted, genius storylines I've ever read. Megan Collins has created an astonishing, creepy suspense about escaping the bonds and betrayals of family. It's brilliant and bone-chilling, and you won't be able to look away for a second."—Samantha M. Bailey, internationally bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
"The Family Plot is true crime meets house of horrors with incredibly twisted & fascinating characters. All the complicated family dynamics and vivid writing you expect from a Megan Collins thriller, but with a true crime twist. I could not put it down!"—Vanessa Lillie, author of Little Voices and For the Best
"A gripping thriller with a gothic edge so sharp it's practically a switchblade, Megan Collins delivers a fiendish and compulsive read in The Family Plot. As the dark, murder-obsessed world of the Lighthouse Family unravels one deadly secret at a time — and the truth draws closer with each turned page — nothing will prepare you for Collins's shocking finale. Read this book. Now." —P. J. Vernon, author of Bath Haus and When You Find Me
“[A]tmospheric… Plausible suspects and complex characters match the well-crafted plot. This is an entertaining as well as chilling tale of family secrets, lies, and primordial fears.” —Publishers Weekly
"What a terrific book! Completely immersive from page one, the talented Megan Collins creates a unique and multi-layered novel that's part perfectly crafted gothic thriller, part brilliantly dark social commentary, and part riveting story. Just start reading this, you all, and see what I mean. It's incredibly well-written, seamless and haunting and unpredictable. You will not be able to stop thinking about this. And it will change the way you look at the world. This is a real triumph." —Hank Phillipi Ryan, author of The First to Lie