Saturday, July 11, 2020

Review: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Author: Riley Sager
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: June 2020

What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. 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.

Home Before Dark is the third book that I have read by this author.  So far it's the best one that I have read.  It's kind of a take on Amityville Horror.  Maggie inherits the house that she and her family fled when she was little.  Her father wrote a tell-all book about their experience in the haunted house.  Despite warnings, she decides to move in and get the house ready for sale.

That is all you really should know before going into the book. I really enjoyed this book.  There are a lot of surprises.  I did call one of them, but for the most part I was surprised   I loved the creepy atmosphere and the sense of not knowing if the house is really haunted. I think this would make a good spooky movie.  Maggie was a great character.  I always enjoy strong female characters who aren't afraid to get to the truth. We also get excerpts of the book that her father wrote. That would be a fun book to read on its own.  I highly recommend this one. 


Ethan said...

I'm listening to this one now and absolutely loving it. I've read all of his others except for Final Girls. I've got that one on my kindle to get to soon!

Kari Boardman said...

I liked Final Girls, but wasn't a fan of Lock Every Door.