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The Family Plot

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  3,024 ratings  ·  645 reviews
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 t ...more
Hardcover, 365 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Tor Books
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The Family Plot is a terrifically well written haunted house story. I was all in from the beginning and devoured this in a couple of days. Dahlia is a recently divorced, thirty something, daddy's girl who will be in charge of the deconstruction and carting away of the valuable furniture, flooring, windows, mantels and everything else of value in the old Winthrow place on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

She will be pushed to the edge of her reason and physical strength as she battles kin folks, torre
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
The Family Plot is such a superb book. I have a deep love for haunted houses and yes, even though I didn't find this book scary was I intrigued and engrossed with the story. Then again, it will take a hell of a lot to scare me. Nevertheless, I found myself hooked from the start with the mystery of the Withrow house. I could easily imagine the place because Cherie Priest manages to portray it so vividly.

And, besides the strong story did the story also have great characters. Dahlia the main chara
Diane S ☔
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
When Augusta Winthrop offers City Music Salvage the rights to her ancestral home, before its destruction, Chuck puts his business on the line and takes her up on her offer. Hoping there is enough in period building materials, stain glass windows and other things he sends his daughter Dahlia and a crew of three others to take what they can. There they find many things that will more than make the initial investment pay off, but there are other things, not so nice, not so easily explained, that we ...more
Family Plot by Cherie Priest is a 2016 Tor publication.

This story is written just the way a good horror novel should be, with an ending that gave me the shivers!!!

Haunted houses and ghost stories are my favorite horror novel tropes, but I seldom find a contemporary tale that satisfies me. So, I am happy I discovered this little gem!

Anyone who enjoys ghosts, the paranormal, or horror novels will want to give this book a try.

This review is the copyrighted property of Night Owl Reviews. To read th
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A salvage team is dismantling an old mansion and encounters more than they expected. How fun to read a ghost story set in Chattanooga while there for training, and be able to see some of the landscapes mentioned in the book by looking out my hotel window. This is absolutely a time when reading the book in the setting aided in the enjoyment! But if you like old houses and mysterious cemeteries this is probably the book for you.
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
“They echoed and scratched like a blade on the brittle, cheap wood of the attic’s subflooring - cutting letter after letter in an accusation that wouldn’t die.”

A group of salvagers are given the job of stripping down an old mansion in four days. However it won’t be as easy as they had hoped...

If you’re looking to develop an unhealthy fear of your bathroom, you gotta pick this one up! As a horror fan, I can’t help but LOVE a big gothic house, steeped in history and secrets. I mean, I couldn’t liv
Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Probably 3.5 stars--somewhere between "liked" and "really liked."

If you like ghost stories, this is a good one, with some creepy moments. The true star of this book is the house. The house's antique details are described well, and various rooms (the attic, the pink bathroom, the bedroom with the closed door) are so vivid that they almost become characters instead of just places. The last 15% or so of this book is really gripping--and scary--and I especially enjoyed the last page. I love ghost st
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

You never know what you’re going to get when you pick up a book by Cherie Priest. This is the third novel I’ve read by the author, after Boneshaker and Maplecroft, but in neither of those cases did I feel strongly enough to continue their respective series. The Family Plot, however, was a little different. I found myself hooked from the first page, and didn’t come up for air until I was finished.

Maybe it was because of t
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am reading this now and shitting myself with fear, for reals, I had to pee last night I had to hold it until this morning cause no way no how did I want to get up in the DARK, walk across the WINDOW FACING THE FIELD then go to the DARK DARK BATHROOM by myself
holy fuck
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ghost
I'm not a huge reader of ghost stories and seldom read horror. Still, this felt like Cherie Priest skipped through the fall harvest in an apple orchard taking swipes at apples. Sure she hit most, missed some, but it's still all low-hanging fruit. Whether it was dramatic weather or cheap situational symbolism or the autistic boy who sees/knows all or the inevitable accident delaying them leaving in time to avoid catastrophe, she used them all in the most obvious way possible. Which is sad because ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, ghosts
I love Cherie Priest. I think my average rating of her books is somewhere around 4+. She doesn't stick to only one genre, though. And judging by how well she writes pretty much anything, it's a good thing. That way you can read an awesome steampunk series The Clockwork Century. Then there's lovecraftian The Borden Dispaches or urban fantasy Cheshire Red Reports. If you like urban fantasy with a southern Gothic feel then Eden Moore series is just the thing you might like. If you like your werewol ...more
Michelle Morrell
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, x-read-2017
A group of salvagers are given the job of a lifetime, strip down an old mansion in four days. A make-or-break job for the family business, failure is not an option. Not even when the local ghosts have other plans.

It's spooky at times, and I admire the determination of the characters. But I still consider this a "oh hell no" book.

There's a ghost in the shower! We can get around this by not putting our face in the water! Oh hell no.

Let's all just sleep in one room! If the ghosts watch us all nig
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
As I finished this book on the plane trip to Dallas/Ft. Worth, this song was playing on my iPod. Seemed eerily appropriate...

Sitting in the rain alone,
looking at a place that’s gone,
boarded up my memories,
but something’s drawn me here again and I,
I cannot leave the past alone.

Hoped that I would never find
all the shit I left behind,
but now I find the child in me
is going to remind me that I,
I can’t forget the past for long.

Over The Rhine, Give Me Strength

One of my favorite authors wrote a
Beth The Vampire

I am very disappointed.

Two reasons:
1) I love ghost stories and haunted houses and this one was missing something, and 2) This is the first book I’ve read by Cherie Priest, and she features a lot on my TBR, and this doesn’t fill me with confidence for future books.

My favourite part of the whole story was actually the poem at the end.
So if you are a young man
With a bonny maid to woo,
Be careful with the vows you make
And who you make them to.
For wicked girls will weave a web
Adrian Dooley
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A haunted house book. Hadn't read one in ages so decided to give this one a try.

Music City Salvage is a salvage company that specialises in buying the rights to stripping old houses of their contents to sell on. Owned and run by Chuck Dutton, the company is floundering and in need of some profitable business to help salvage it(pun intended!)
In walks Augusta Withrow, the only living member of the Withrow family left and owner of the large and derelict family home. The house is to be demolished
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Review from Tenacious Reader:

I loved the entire premise of this book. The story focuses on members of a scavenging team that go in to old properties to pull out pieces that can be restored and resold. Chuck Dutton, the owner of Music City Salvage, decided to seize a financial opportunity that will either make or break the struggling company. Sight unseen his signs the papers to purchase an old estate that looks promising. He pretty much paid more money th
THE FAMILY PLOT is the first I have read from author Cherie Priest, and I was very impressed with this take on the haunted house sub-genre, and the dark humor infused within it. The Music City Salvage Company is in the business of getting the rights to buildings that are about to be torn down. They go in, dismantle everything that could be sold as vintage or good quality, and in turn sell them to buyers looking for just such things to add to their own homes.

The company is in dire straights when
Althea Ann
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
‘The Family Plot’ is a by-the-numbers haunted house story – but I loved every minute of it! I also felt this book is a bit of a return-to-form for Cherie Priest. It will likely appeal most to fans of her Eden Moore series.

Dahlia works for the family business, her dad’s architectural salvage company. Times have been tough, but then, what seems like a potential gold mine falls into their lap. Mrs. Withrow, a lady of a certain age, wants her family estate torn down ASAP. But first, she’s selling th
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: total-audio
This is an amazing book. Fantastic character development, and not just the main character. Including the ghosts. It's not a break-neck speed, gorey, jump-scare book so if you want a fast scare, it's not going to happen. But it is the most delightfully atmospheric, spooky, slow burn haunted house story I've read in a long time. And when the moments DO hit, boy do they hit. I loved every second. ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I put off this book because I kept getting it confused with another book that was definitely not horror and so I didn't realize this one was actually horror. Do not be fooled by this lovely ghostly cover, this book is full of crowbars and plaster dust, and that is part of what makes it so good.

With a haunted house novel you know going in that you will see a lot that you've seen before. You hope for some fun new twists. THE FAMILY PLOT has a great setup: our haunted house is about to be demolishe
Mich Must Read
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ghosts
Fairly predictable, but there were a few good creepy parts. However, there was so much bickering, I felt as if I were watching a reality tv show.
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not really into haunted house stories but I have to admit this one it's good. I had a hard time putting it down at night since I was so eager to know what's going to happen with the house and characters. I never read anything by Cherie Priest and I'm happy I started out with The Family Plot, I don't know if her fans agrees but I enjoyed this one.

I like her writing, very easy to follow and as I read, it had a good flow to it. Since this a haunted house story it didn't scare me although I love
Samara Rowling
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Inspired by an episode of Salvage Dawgs — a reality series about people who make their living salvaging fixtures from old buildings — Cherie Priest’s latest standalone horror novel, The Family Plot, is a unique take on the traditional haunted house story.

In the book’s opening chapter, Dahlia Dutton and her father, Chuck, buy the exclusive rights to pick over the remains of the Withrow estate, a decaying Tennesse mansion slated for demolition in a few weeks’ time. Even they know the offer is too
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2016-release
Reading The Family Plot felt like watching a home renovation show on HGTV. It gave me the same sense of vicarious satisfaction to imagine the old house that is the focus of the story being dismantled piece by piece, with Dahlia Dutton and her crew deciding what can be salvaged and what isn’t worth saving from the wrecking ball. It made me wish I could show up to work in cruddy jeans and boots and root around in a century-old carriage house. I wouldn’t mind switching places with Dahlia for a litt ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I think the blurb killed this one for me. Honestly, the whole book is handed to you right there, on the spot. (For example, it says that a storm hits the old house and shuts the salvage crew inside the property... well, that only happens about 80% into the book).

Overall, I think I would've enjoyed this so much more if it had any surprises left or any plot untouched. Other than that, even though Cherie Priest created some nice enough characters, I didn't really care for their plight or for the ho
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I really wish I had a chance to read this book on a dark and stormy day, because basically, that was all I found missing. I have always enjoyed Priest's writing since I started her Eden Moore series years ago(which I still need to finish BTW) and when she released Maplecroft, my adoration soared. Therefore, I had extremely high expectations for "The Family Plot" and in my opinion the book really delivered and met them.

The book starts as Music City Salvage takes a job salvaging the historical Wit
Rachel Bea
Disappointed by this - was hoping for a creepy story but it was mostly boring until the end.

The four characters have to stay at an old haunted house while they clear it out/break it down. They're on a strict time schedule and of course there's inclement weather. I found that the story got bogged down in mundane activities where the characters talked at length for what they were going to do. And then it got repeated when they actually did the things. Perhaps this wouldn't have bothered me as muc
Ryan Michael
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a truly a creepy and scary read. This was my first read from Priest, but she writes beautifully and really can set an amazing backdrop for a southern gothic tale. I will write more about this once I can sit with it a little longer, but overall, I really liked The Family Plot. Thanks to all the great GR reviews that pushed me towards this one!
Ange H
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
They say a good man is hard to find. Well, I have one of those. So I n my experience, a good ghost story is harder to find.

Oh, they all start off great, making promises and getting your hopes up. But then it starts to go downhill. You recognize the warning signs, and you know you are going to end up disappointed and feeling like a fool.

The Family Plot wasn't the worst offender, it just didn't live up to its potential. If you like haunted house stories, and enjoy "demo day" on those HGTV shows,
Wendi Lee
*4.5 stars*

Wow, Cherie Priest knows how to write tough female protagonists! Dahlia and the Music City Salvage crew travels to a lucrative find: a crumbling mansion with lots to be salvaged. Almost immediately, things get creepy. Dahlia and her three man crew do not scare easily, but soon all of them agree that the Winthrow mansion is NOT your typical property. That said, Dahlia's father owns the faltering Salvage company, and everything balances on this salvaging project. To save money, the cre
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Cherie Priest is the author of two dozen books and novellas, most recently The Toll, The Family Plot, The Agony House, and the Philip K. Dick Award nominee Maplecroft; but she is perhaps best known for the steampunk pulp adventures of the Clockwork Century, beginning with Boneshaker. Her works have been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction, and have won the Locus Award (amo ...more

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