Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Review: The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

First line: Yeah, send her on back.

I love a good haunted house story and this one is just perfect. (Hot tip: save this for October and thank me later!)

Reminiscent of The Haunting of Hill House and Insidious, this novel features a tough, slightly damaged heroine who didn't make me eyeball roll once; serious place as character; and creepiness in spades.

The plot is pretty simple: Dahlia, whose family runs a salvage business, is tasked with tearing apart an old estate in a matter of days, a job which requires her and her small crew -- cousin Bobby, Bobby's son Gabe, and new colleague Gabe -- to sleep in the house while they work at all hours to salvage what is can be resold.

The house has other ideas, obviously.

While some of the ghostliness of the story was predictable, I found the anticipation upped my eager jumpiness. But Priest surprised me with a ghostly encounter I'd never considered before, and it has made me even jumpier when I'm alone. The book's narrative vibe is pragmatic and grounded -- Dahlia puts up with no BS -- which makes the creepier elements all the scarier: if Dahlia's nervous, then I'm jumping out of my skin!

I can't say more without giving away anything, so if you're into haunted houses, add this to your TBR immediately. This was my second Priest novel (after Maplecroft, which I uh-dored!) and I've got everything else of hers in my queue as she clearly excels at the stuff I yearn for in a supernatural-y novel: mood, atmosphere, and complicated, cranky heroines (mmmmm).

Title: The Family Plot
Author: Cherie Priest

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Supernatural / Ghosts / Haunted House)
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor (9/5/2017)
Source: NetGalley

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