cover image The Family Plot

The Family Plot

Megan Collins. Atria, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-1-9821-6384-6

Dahlia Lighthouse, the narrator of this atmospheric psychological thriller from Collins (The Winter Sister), has returned to her family’s secluded mansion on Blackburn Island for the funeral of her father, Daniel, as have her older brother, Charlie, and her sister, Tate. She’s hoping they’ll be joined by her twin brother, Andy, whom she hasn’t seen since he disappeared a decade earlier on their 16th birthday, leaving behind a note that read: “The only way out is to never come back.” Then Andy’s badly decomposed body—its skull fractured by a blow from an axe—is found in the grave that was destined for Daniel. The Lighthouses have always been a source of speculation for the islanders, and Andy’s murder leads to suspicions that his death is connected in some way to the Blackburn Killer, who murdered seven women over two decades and was never caught. In investigating Andy’s death, Dahlia must revisit her haunted childhood. 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. Agent: Sharon Pelletier, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Aug.)