The Family Plot

  • by Cherie Priest
  • Narrated by Kate Udall
  • 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Chuck Dutton built Music City Salvage with patience and expertise, stripping historic properties and reselling their bones. Inventory is running low, so he's thrilled when Augusta Withrow appears in his office offering salvage rights to her entire property. This could be a gold mine, so he assigns his daughter, Dahlia, to personally oversee the project.
The crew finds a handful of surprises right away. Firstly, the place is in unexpectedly good shape. And then there's the cemetery, about 30 fallen and overgrown graves dating to the early 1900s. Augusta insists that the cemetery is just a fake, a Halloween prank, so the city gives the go-ahead, the bulldozer revs up - and it turns up human remains. Augusta says she doesn't know whose body it is or how many others might be present and refuses to answer any more questions. Then she stops answering the phone.
But Dahlia's concerns about the corpse and Augusta's disappearance are overshadowed when she begins to realize that she and her crew are not alone, and they're not welcome at the Withrow estate. They have no idea how much danger they're in, but they're starting to get an idea. On the crew's third night in the house, a storm shuts down the only road to the property. The power goes out. Cell signals are iffy. There's nowhere to go and no one Dahlia can call for help, even if anyone would believe that she and her crew are being stalked by a murderous phantom. Something at the Withrow mansion is angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever. And it seems to be seeking permanent company.
The Family Plot is a haunted house story for the ages - atmospheric, scary, and strange, with a modern Gothic sensibility to keep it fresh and interesting - from Cherie Priest, a modern master of supernatural fiction.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Trying something new

I bought this book for, quite literally, no real reason. I hadn't heard of the author or the narrator and it had no reviews to guide my purchase... it was a whim. I was quite pleased to soon learn the story was set very near where I live; an area tucked in the valleys of Southeastern Tennessee in the shade of the historic Lookout Mountain. I'm not anti-ghost stories but it takes a lot to impress me (I started reading Stephen King in 3rd grade, after all) and I need a story to envelop me with its reality. The author had a good context (historic property salvagers) and the motives weren't too far fetched for any of the characters. The author does a decent job with helping the reader visualize the creepy aspects.

Overall it was a decent purchase. While The Family Plot won't make it to my "repeat listen" collection, it provided a good backdrop for my daily commute. I may give the author another shot in the future. The narration was also decent; I didn't dislike it or love it, but it was solid.

if you're looking for paranormal fiction, a genre I don't do often, this one will entertain you for a few hours and the author's view of the location is spot on.
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- Stephanne Dennis

Southern Ghost Story with All the Trimmings

Set in a decaying mansion in Tennessee that is scheduled to be demolished in the near future, a team is sent in to scavenge what could be saved of its architectural features and remaining contents. And as you would expect, Things start Happening. Creepy Things. Then an overgrown plot is discovered by the workers with a dozen or more headstones.

According to the author's blog this was in part inspired by a reality show involving a Virginia company called Black Dog Salvage. I only knew about the company because a friend who was building a log cabin took me there when we had to be in Roanoke on business. Moving the Salvage business to Tennessee where the author lives and using this as the starting point for a ghost story is an intriguing idea.

The narrator is good but not spectacular. The southern accent isn't laid on too heavy.

The only real problem I had with the novel was the pacing. It's a bit slow for the first two thirds of the book and there was a lot more about architectural salvage included than I really wanted to know. And although there were some spooky moments there wasn't any shockers until near the middle.
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- Sires

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios