Family Plot by Tina Kaleal

ImageKelly had no idea that she had any living relatives let alone relatives with a huge estate. When she receives the news that she has been named in their will she drops everything and goes to Salem Massachusetts to hear the reading. Little does she know that what she is about to inherit is much more than an estate and her life may hang in the balance because there is a serial killer who wants the inheritance all to himself. Will she be able to stop him and prove what he has done or will she become his next victim?

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Posted December 16, 2012

I bought and read this book in 4 days.   Loved it.    I mostly r

I bought and read this book in 4 days.   Loved it.    I mostly read Mary Higgins Clark and this book was very much like a
 Mary Higgins Clark book.    Easy to read but with a lot of suspense.   Can’t wait for Tina’s next book.   5 star rating.   Very good book.





Posted January 18, 2013

I’m a big fan of classic mysteries (Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Ch

I’m a big fan of classic mysteries (Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, "Dick Tracy") because it kicks the analytical part of my brain into overdrive. That being said, most modern mysteries try to be so convoluted and throw you off the scent that the climax seems like it comes out of nowhere. That wasn’t the case with the classics. Sure, they’d throw you a few red herrings, but for the most part, your gut feeling was usually correct. And although there’s rarely some kind of Shyamalan-esque twist, it’s still satisfying to see how the hero catches the bad guy.

Which brings me to the story in Family Plot, the first book written by Tina Kaleal. Early in the story we are introduced to the villain of the piece, Wallace Stevenson. Immediately you realize that this guy is an evil bastard, and if he isn’t the antagonist, he certainly is in cahoots with whoever is. As the story progresses and his background is fleshed out, it’s no longer a matter of IF he’s the culprit, but HOW the protagonist Kelly is going to prove him guilty. In that regard, the story has elements of a modern legal thriller. In fact, Kelly’s love interest Michael is a lawyer, and while dispensing the usual caution and advice a lawyer would give, he goes along with whatever crazy scheme Kelly has to get the dirt on Wallace. I won’t give any spoilers, but Kelly’s spunkiness ultimately resolves the story, once again proving the legal system doesn’t work.

Just kidding.

For a first outing, Family Plot is a well-written story. The characters have personality, the dialogue is realistic and funny in parts, and Wallace is such a fleshed-out bad guy you almost wish he was real so you could punch him in the face. There are some editing issues, but to be fair, I’ve read Stephen King books with editing issues, and he’s been writing since the Seventies. Some may complain about the love story feeling rushed, especially considering that the whole of the narrative takes place over the course of a few weeks, but I challenge those people to watch ANY romantic movie made in the past twenty years, and tell me how "realistic" those love stories are. There’s a reason we call it fiction – anything is possible. The book is a quick read, and a refreshing change from the exposition-heavy mysteries put out by other modern authors.

I recommend this book, and look forward to her next one.



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