The Family Plot by: Cherie Priest
Review by: Stacy Palm
4 out of 5 Stars
I'm continually on the hunt for a satisfying "ghost story." I'm not one for the in your face horror novels or ones that are so intensely graphic that they are too disturbing to read; just a classic story that haunts you long after you have put the book to rest. One that makes you question what you believe you know about life and death. Many times, my hunt has lead me to disastrously unsatisfying reads, but sometimes I hit upon a gem, as is the case with Cherie Priest's The Family Plot.
This is the first novel I have read by Cherie Priest. My husband is a fan of her writing having come across Maplecroft a couple years earlier. This Father's Day I purchased her collection of books for him because books is what he likes best for presents. So this book was found to be sitting on our mantle one day and I decided to give it try. I'm so thrilled that it crossed my path!
This is a subtle book, it does not come out a grab you, it may not keep you from sleeping on days on end, and it my not terrify you into taking refuge under covers, but what it will do is give you genuine eerie and creepy sense, as if you inadvertently glimpsed something you were not suppose to have seen or known. It is that quality that I find so endearing to books of this type. At first you may not think there is too much going on, but then the pieces align to bring together a tale of another time and another life that you should not be aware of at all.
The Family Plot begins with a salvage company being hired to dismantle and strip away any valued items from an inhabited estate that it about to be leveled. For the salvage company this is a "dream to good to be true" prospect, and they bank the whole company on the gamble of that payout. A crew is assembled to spend a few days camping at the house while they systematically decide what is worth excavating and what should be left to be demolished. The crew has some more vivid characters than others, but I personally enjoyed the focused attention on the otherworldly characters that soon come into play.
This is not a long story, but it is a great rainy day read. It is both haunting and memorable, making it a book I would recommend to readers who typically do not enjoy "scary books." Again, this is subtle creepy-ness and I greatly admire it for not going overboard. It reminds me classic ghost stories that leave you with an unknowing sense of what really took place. This will not be the last Cherie Priest book that I read and I hope that you check this one out, as I hope to come across more novels of this nature. If you know of any that you recommend, please leave a comment below.