For many, many days I was the envy of all book bloggers, because I was granted an early e-galley of the new Riley Sager book on Netgalley! It wasn’t even published yet, and it was already being optioned for film. I was a big fan of his first three books, so I was excited for this one, but I didn’t get a chance to get to this book until la coronavirus took away my purpose in life–and this book ended up being the perfect way to start at least two weeks of social distancing at home.
Maggie Holt has always lived under the shadow of Baneberry Hall, the house that her family fled when she was only five years old. Her father, Ewan, wrote a best-selling novel called House of Horrors about the supernatural experience they had there–ghosts, hauntings, chandeliers that kept turning on, and a near death experience for Maggie. That book has shaped Maggie’s entire life for a quarter of a century. The only problem is that Maggie doesn’t remember a shred of it–she’s lived her whole life believing her father was a con who lied the entire book. But when her father dies, she’s shocked to learn that he never sold the haunted house, and Baneberry Hall is hers. She decides to go back under the guise of renovating it (she’s a designer) and get some answers about what really happened. As the story unfolds, we get the House of Horrors book by Ewan as well as Maggie’s own experience in the house as she meets the players from her father’s book that she does and doesn’t remember, as she unfolds the secrets of the house and the deaths that occurred in it beforehand, and learns that something wicked is going on in this house, and maybe her father wasn’t lying the whole time.
I really enjoyed this book! I love placed-based mysteries, and this was a fun take on a ghost story. I also really enjoyed the dual POV–getting to see, I suppose, the whole book as well as Maggie’s whole story, and it didn’t feel too long. I also liked that I didn’t suspect the ending, and it also wasn’t what I worried it would be (hence becoming a Sager-trope). There’s ghostly stuff, small town mysteries, a big creepy house, SNAKES SO MANY SNAKES, and a satisfying ending. It’s a pretty good read. Pick it up when it goes on sale this June.
Home Before Dark is on sale wherever books are sold beginning June 30, 2020.