Mystery · Thriller

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

One of my favorite books this year first here! The perfect modern thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat from page one.

This is the book for all the fans of a good haunted house story, full of plot twists and unexpected turns.

Twenty-five years ago, Maggie Holt moved to Baneberry Hall with her parents Ewan and Jess. Thy spend three weeks in this Victorian estate in the Vermont woods before feeling in the middle of the night, a story Ewan later recollects in a book called House of Horrors. His tale retells the ghostly happenings and encounters, unexpected sounds in the night, footsteps in the dark hallways. Years later, Maggie is restorer of old houses and has no memory of what happened during those three weeks, until she inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death. But her stay is plagued by people from the past and a house that holds both dark secrets and answers to questions she didn’t know she needed. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

This novel was the first I’ve ever read from Riley Sager and I absolutely loved it. The authors writes a book inside a book as I navigated from the present to Ewan’s House of Horrors. It’s masterfully done and the transition between the two stories is easy to follow.

Maggie is a great main character and it was natural to empathise with her. She has lived her whole life with the stigma of her father’s book, living with the opinions both positive and negative, and the endless questions about those three weeks. The tension starts building from the moment she sets foot in the house and her actions reflex her rational and practical side.

On the other side, I follow Ewan’s side of the story, which only grows creepier and more haunting as the chapters go by. The whole haunted house with a serious ghost vibe kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing if there was some truth to the events or not. The truth is unexpected and complex, and the plot twist is very well placed.

It’s beautifully crafted book that I will re-read many times over and that I highly recommend to the fans of contemporary thrillers. I’ll definitely read other books from this author in the future.

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