Tag Archives: Mystery

Review: The Family Plot

The Family Plot

The Family Plot
By Megan Collins
Atria Books, 9781982163846, August 2021, 320pp.

The Short of It:

The Family Plot is one of those “treat” reads. One that makes you love reading all over again.

The Rest of It:

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. ~ Indiebound

Let’s just say that discovering her missing brother’s body in her own backyard is enough to make Dahlia lose all hope in her true-crime obsessed family. Andy was her twin, but he was also everything to her. Basically, the other half of who she was. Losing her brother at the age of sixteen, with his “goodbye” note the only thing left behind, meant that she saw him every time she turned a corner, searched endlessly online for him, and basically lost touch with her two other siblings because they didn’t seem to understand the depth of her loss. They had each other, and she had no one.

When their father dies and they all return home it’s not a happy homecoming at all. Too many memories buried in that house. They were raised by parents who were obsessed with true crime, specifically the local murders which involved many young women, and the killer was never found. Their walls covered with the news of those murders, gruesome pictures and even dioramas that Dahlia’s sister constructed as a way to work through the horror.

When Andy’s body is discovered in their own backyard, Dahlia cannot make sense of it. He’s been gone all this time and yet, he was right there. How did he end up there? Who killed him? Is it related to the other killings on the island?

This was a marvelous read. Fun, twisty, not that predictable. I enjoyed spending time with this quirky family and I could not turn the pages fast enough. I was hoping it would be good but it will probably end up on my fave list at the end of the year. I was happily surprised by how much I loved this one.

Recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall
By Liane Moriarty
Henry Holt and Co., 9781250220257, September 14, 2021, 480pp.

The Short of It:

There is nothing like a good Moriarty book to come home to.

The Rest of It:

Liane Moriarty became one of my favorite authors during the shutdown. Tensions were high, none of us knew how long it would go on for, and so I needed quick, absorbing reads to take me through the days and Moriarty checked all the boxes. I’ve read nearly all of her books, so when I saw that a new one was coming out, I was pretty thrilled to be offered a review copy.

The four Delaney children are adults now. When they were young, they all shared the spotlight because they were all tennis stars at some point in their childhood. Their parents ran a tennis training academy so to some degree, their parents expected greatness from them, but none of them had the drive to go all the way. But as adults, they still managed to become successful in their own way, just not on the court.

Stan and Joy are mostly happy but after a secret is revealed, one that goes back many years, Joy suddenly goes missing. Besides the random text she sent about going off the grid, her family hasn’t a clue where she’s gone off to. As the days and hours tick by, the Delaneys begin to wonder if she’s even alive. Especially after a detective finds a damning piece of evidence.

The four siblings begin to wonder if their father had it in him to actually harm their mother. Could he? Would he? Half say yes, the other half say no. As the investigation goes on, things become complicated when questions come up about their impromptu house guest, Savannah. She showed up on their doorstep after a fight with her boyfriend and the family immediately took her in. But Savannah’s story has a lot of holes in it and the siblings dig a little on their own to find out more about her and if she could be the reason for their mother’s disappearance.

If you love Moriarty, then you will enjoy Apples Never Fall as well but it’s different from her other books. It takes a little more time to get into the story and it reminded me a lot of Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Joy is kind of annoying. A little quirky but kind of clueless which will frustrate you as the story unfolds. This is the book I took with me on my flight to Missouri and I was noticing the person on my right trying to read over my shoulder. Can you blame her? The book doesn’t come out until 9/14. As a mystery, it did a good job of carrying me along. I wanted to know what happened to Joy and that kept me turning those pages. That said, the ending felt very tacked on. When you read it, you’ll see what I mean. Still…

Recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.