Monday, October 17, 2016

Family Plot

Cherie Priest's The Family Plot tie together a couple of favorites:  good Southern writing, and a helluva ghost story.

Pre-ordered that one from the nice folks at Amazon back when it was announced.  Got it in the mail a couple or three weeks back (may be more...time's funny out here).  Been reading it in large chunks.  All told, I read this one in about five sittings.  I read the last 100 pages this afternoon.

Family Plot concerns a salvage business taking apart a house in Chattanooga's St. Elmo neighborhood.  It's a risky deal for the ailing company, but one that could provide an amazing windfall, if it pans out.  Chuck Dutton asks newly-divorced daughter Dahlia to head up a team to begin the salvage operation for Music City Salvage.

Dahlia leads a team of family members and newbies into the picking apart of the Withrow Mansion, located at the foot of Lookout Mountain.  Priest maintains a surprisingly strong, thick atmosphere through, and manages to subtly bump the creep factor as the book progresses.  Dahlia sees a woman in a yellow dress.  Other team members see a child, others see a soldier standing in a graveyard at one corner of the property:  a graveyard professed to be a generations old joke, by the woman who sold Music City the salvage rights.

I'm a sucker for a good ghost story, and a couple times, I found myself drawing my feet up off the floor, feeling a chill.  It's rare that a writer does that.  So, kudos to Ms. Priest.

Without getting too much into spoiling the story, the action amps up significantly in the last quarter of the story, and draws to an ending that left me grinning ear to ear.

I recommend the book.  Give it a look....


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