Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is a must read

Home Before Dark was a whirlwind. I mean that in the best possible way. The emotions this book made me feel were unexpected and all over the place. This entire book was a ride and I loved every minute of it. I’ve read quite a few of Riley Sager’s books recently, actually that’s putting it lightly, I’m on a bit of a marathon with his work but this one is hands down, without a doubt my favourite. I’ve really enjoyed all of his books so far, but this one just took it to the next level and wow, I don’t know how it’s going to be topped.

Possibly the most compelling aspect to this novel for me is the fact that it’s told in dual perspectives, but in a much different way than this usually occurs. One point of view is that of Maggie, infamous because of her fathers story House of Horrors that was published when she was just a child, detailing the haunting of Baneberry Hall, which many people are skeptical of. Maggie’s story involves returning to the house that her family very briefly lived in when she was 5, as she tries to discover what really happened to cause her family to run from the place and never return after less than a month of living there.

What makes the other side of the story so interesting, is that it’s actual chapters from her fathers book, telling the story – whether real or not – of what happened in Baneberry Hall from his perspective. Throughout the book you’re left wondering just how reliable of a narrator her father is.  I absolutely adored getting these snippets from the book intertwined with Maggie’s investigation into what actually happened, having grown up not believing a word her father wrote, but remembering nothing of the actual events due to her age.

The thing about the back and forth perspectives between chapters was that just when I thought I wanted the current POV to continue to see what was going on, the other POV sucked me in just the same and I found myself in a back and forth cycle wanting each perspective but then becoming entirely enraptured by the story going on in whatever perspective I was currently reading. It was so hard to put this book down.

Another thing about Home Before Dark that completely sucked me in was the atmosphere of it. Despite Maggie’s skepticism over the haunting her father relates in his book being real, there were actually frequent moments throughout reading his novel excerpts that I found myself straight spooked. It’s not often a book effects me so much that I actually end up on edge by what’s happening in the story and feeling that fear the characters are experiencing creeping into my own emotions. But this book managed that to the point that when my dog jumped up and started barking thinking he had heard something I jumped so hard I’m surprised I didn’t fall out of my bed.

I probably read upwards of 80% the one day. I would have read the entire book in one sitting if it weren’t for trying to be a responsible adult and go to bed at a decent time to go to work the next day. As it turns out, I should have just let myself finish it because I couldn’t get to sleep for a while just thinking about it. So much for being a grown up.

To sum it up, Home Before Dark had so much going for it and I ended up loving it so much. I’m very much looking forward to reading more books by Riley Sager, though I don’t know how this one could possibly be topped


By Danielle Plant

An avid reader and runner. I like to spend my spare time with my dogs Reese and Orion.

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