Lock Every Door by Riley Sager | Book Review

★★★★☆
October 22nd – 23rd

Jules has no one left.

Her parents have both died, and her sister has been missing since she was 19. Jules is living and working in New York City, struggling to stay afloat after losing both her job and her boyfriend (and therefore apartment) in one day. Enter an ad to be an apartment-sitter at one of New York’s oldest, most prestigious, and most secretive buildings: The Bartholomew. The ad is vague, but the rules are extremely strict. No nights away from the building. No bothering the tenants. No visitors. No photos inside. No exceptions.

But if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

This is Riley Sager’s third book, and the third one that I’ve read by him this year. At this point, I feel like I can immediately identify one of his novels. They’re very formulaic. There will always be a female main character, with a dark and twisted past that they don’t want to initially talk about. Their struggle will parallel the horror that they face. They’ll be wrong about something, or have a complete misconception about the events that have transpired in the past to them.

Lock Every Door is no different in this regard. Even though all of Sager’s novels have been standalones, beginning one feels like returning to something. I enjoy the tone that he conveys, his subtle clues at what’s going on towards the beginning, usually as a completely innocuous detail, which makes you go “Oh, that’s what that was about” after the twist is revealed.

I liked Jules’ character. She’s struggling, she’s alone, and she’s desperate. All of those things make her an easy target for the horrors she’s beginning to face. I enjoyed seeing how each of the characters in this book were involved in the mystery, and this book ended up surprising me and taking a sharp turn towards an element I thought was only slightly too far-fetched. My biggest complaint was how grand the scale of this book was compared to Sager’s first two books, and how a few of the elements towards the end were things which could really only happen in fiction. That sort of ending drew me out of the realistic setting, tone, and characters I’m so used to from Riley Sager’s novels.

Riley Sager announced his fourth book, titled Home Before Dark, which comes out in July of next year, and it’s definitely one of my most anticipated books of next year so far.

-Siobhan

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