Have I been plagiarized? Am I overreacting?

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Blackwell

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Hello friends,

I apologize if this isn't the right forum for this post. I'm not sure where to post this question.

I'm the author of Stolen Tongues, a popular horror novel.

The back cover summary has a sentence that reads:

"...But soon, a chorus of ghastly noises erupts from the nearby woods: the screams of animals, the cries of children, and the mad babble of a hundred mournful voices."


I was recently made aware of a new horror novel whose back cover summary has this sentence:

"...Peter goes through a really challenging phase where grief mixes with strange manifestations and hideous nightmares to the point where he starts having doubts about his state of mind: the buzz of flies, the smell of rot, and the excruciating babble of a thousand mournful voices."


The author insists that this is entirely coincidental. However, he said he has read my novel, and I find it extraordinarily unlikely that he independently came up with the "[adjective] babble of a [number] mournful voices" line by himself - and also that it just happened to be in a paragraph with the exact same structure as mine:

[announcing sentence] [colon] [scary clause 1], [scary clause 2], [scary clause 3].

The title of his work also appears to be a reference to the name of the monster in my work, and both novels are about a monster of Native American legend that is attracted to grieving people.

I've never had this experience before. Is this plagiarism? Is this a coincidence? Would you seek legal council over something like this?
 
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Chris P

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Consult a lawyer skilled in IP issues, particularly one in entertainment. We can't make this determination for you.
 

Maryn

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I'm afraid I have to lock this, as we cannot allow any member (including attorneys) to offer legal advice, including whether to hire a lawyer at all.
 
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