The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

Synopsis: Music City Salvage is a family operation, owned and operated by Chuck Dutton: master stripper of doomed historic properties, and expert seller of all things old and crusty. But business is lean and times are tight, so he’s thrilled when the aged and esteemed Augusta Withrow appears in his office, bearing an offer he really ought to refuse. She has a massive family estate to unload—lock, stock, and barrel. For a check and a handshake, it’s all his.

It’s a big check. It’s a firm handshake. And it’s enough of a gold mine that he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project.

Dahlia preps a couple of trucks, takes a small crew, and they caravan down to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the ancient Withrow house is waiting—and so is a barn, a carriage house, and a small, overgrown cemetery that Augusta Withrow left out of the paperwork.

Augusta Withrow left out a lot of things.

The property is in unusually great shape for a condemned building. It’s empty, but it isn’t abandoned. Something in the Withrow mansion is angry and lost. This is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever, and there’s still plenty of room in the strange little family plot…

Review: I had the chance to read different novels by Cherie Priest, and it’s true that I had a great time mostly. When I saw the release of this new story, I admit that I was very curious to see what the author would present us again. How not to be intrigued when we find a mixture of ghosts and haunted house? I love this book! The idea of a company paid to retrieve pieces of a home, removing everything slowly for its wood, windows, doors, I find it always very intriguing. I heard about this type of business months ago by seeing a show on a television program where we follow the day of such an undertaking and it is true that it is interesting to see that even if a house falls, it is possible for it to persist in another way.

We discover in this story Dahlia, the daughter of the manager of the firm who prepares her team to work in this mansion … but now, you can imagine that nothing will be easy from there. Indeed, it seems that several spirits haunt the place and although some seem harmless and act mostly as spectators, this is not the case for all. We thus follow our characters in their work but also their survival and their investigations to understand the truth about the past events.

I confess that I was completely carried away by the history and the events. The unhealthy, stuffy and tense atmosphere is well represented by the author in this novel. I was caught by the universe to the point that I was anxious at night by closing the book between two chapters. Yes I admit that I was not necessarily very comfortable but I loved it. It was fascinating to see this house and its secrets even if it is true that I would have liked to know a little more. Anyway as I said I had a great time, and I did not expect that. I wonder if we will discover more with a second volume or if this novel is ultimately a standalone.



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