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I’ve been a huge Riley Sager fan ever since I read and loved his last book, Lock Every Door, so I was very excited when I heard that his newest release would be a horror/thriller with some serious The Haunting of Hill House and Amityville Horror vibes.
Well, I’m happy to report that Home Before Dark exceeded my already very high expectations and then some.
For 25 years, Maggie Holt has lived under the shadow of Baneberry Hall, the historic Victorian estate in Vermont that her family moved into when she was just five years old and moved out of only three weeks later. Her father immortalized her family’s story, writing House of Horrors, which quickly became a phenomenon and made the Holt family a household name. Maggie has no memories of her short, albeit significant, time at Baneberry Hall and is convinced that her father made it all up, so when her father dies and leaves her the estate, she sets out to visit, determined to uncover the truth of what really happened all those years ago.
Home Before Dark is thrilling, creepy, and so much fun. I am very rarely creeped out by books (but I’m a huge baby when it comes to scary movies. I love them but I’m scared by everything) and Home Before Dark scared the bejeezus out of me. At one point, I turned to Trenton and showed him my arm because I had legitimate goosebumps. GOOSEBUMPS. I had a physical reaction to this book.
As I noted above, I loved Sager’s previous book, Lock Every Door. I loved that the apartment complex, the Bartholomew, was just as much a character as the actual humans in the story, and Home Before Dark takes this to a whole new level. Baneberry Hall isn’t just a house—it’s a living thing with memory and history and intention. Sager really does atmospheric horror like no other.
It’s also so twisty and unexpected. I’m the type of reader who always tries to guess what’s going to happen as I’m reading (and obnoxiously texts my friends about it, sorry Lizzy), but I did not see the twists coming. I was floored. And I love when that happens.
I’ve read all of Sager’s books and this is, hands down, no question about it, my favorite of his. It is so eerie and addictive, horror and thriller fans alike will be satisfied with Home Before Dark.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted or influenced my opinions.