Category Archives: Megan Collins

Review: The Family Plot by Megan Collins

Title: The Family Plot by Megan Collins
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


From the author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door, this “masterpiece of gothic suspense and horror, filled with dark family secrets and stunning twists” (Michele Campbell, author of It’s Always the Husband) follows a family obsessed with true crime as they gather to bury their patriarch—only to find another body already in his grave.

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.

Dahlia is quick to blame Andy’s murder on the serial killer who terrorized the island for decades, while the rest of her family reacts 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.


The Family Plot by Megan Collins is a chilling mystery that is very atmospheric.

For the first time since leaving home, twenty-six-year-old Dahlia Lighthouse returns following her father Daniel’s death. She also comes face to face with her much older siblings Charlie and  Tate. Dahlia also hopes her twin brother Andy will also join them. He left ten years earlier and with the excerption of his goodbye note, no one has heard from him since. With funeral preparations underway, they are absolutely shocked when a body is discovered in their father’s burial plot. Despite her fervent hopes to the contrary, the remains are Andy’s and even worse, he was murdered. Who killed Andy? And does his murder have anything to do with the end of the notorious Blackburn Killer’s murderous killing spree?

Dahlia wants to find out who killed Andy but she reels from every new detail she learns about him. Her brother could not wait to leave Blackburn Island and escape their mother’s preoccupation with murder. Before his disappearance, Dahlia could not understand why Andy wanted to leave. But having lost the one person she always felt a deep connection to, she now lives in town on the mainland.

After Andy’s body is recovered, their mother frantically bakes cookies and ignores reality. Charlie spends his days drinking as he prepares to showcase their murder memorabilia during a one-day open house. Tate immediately goes to work on a diorama of Andy’s murder scene. She has a popular Instagram account where she displays her dioramas of the various murders they learned about growing up. Dahlia veers between trying to uncover Andy’s murderer and ignoring information that does not fit her perspective of her brother.

In the meantime, Detective Elijah Kraft keeps popping in and questioning the Lighthouse family. He is convinced they know more about Andy’s murder and the Blackburn Killer than they are revealing. The infamous Blackburn Killer murdered several women then abruptly stopped killing several years ago. Dahlia resents Elijah’s intrusion yet she cannot let help but wonder if there might be truth to some of his theories.

The Family Plot is a spellbinding mystery with a very unusual premise. The cast of characters is eclectic and their life on Blackburn Island is quite insular. None of the Lighthouse kids escaped from their dysfunctional and downright creepy childhoods unscathed.  As the truth about what happened to Andy slowly begins to emerge, the family’s shocking secrets are also unearthed. With absolutely head spinning revelations, Megan Collins brings this diabolically clever mystery to a satisfying conclusion.

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Filed under Atria Books, Contemporary, Megan Collins, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense, The Family Plot