Title: Home Before Dark
Author: Riley Sager
Edition/Pages: BOTM Hardcover, 384 pages
I received an ARC copy of this from Dutton via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
25 years ago Maggie and her family fled Baneberry manor in the middle of the night, never to return. Her father recounted their 20 days in the house telling the world the “true” story of the horrors, spirits, and encounters they experienced. The Book went on to be a national phenomenon that has haunted Maggie her entire life.
Because Maggie doesn’t believe a word of it.
After her father passes away, Maggie inherits the manor and returns to renovate and sell it. But while she’s there, she’s also determined to learn what really happened the night her family fled. But the more time she spends there, the more she starts to believe her father’s tale might actually be more fact than fiction.
➸ POV: 1st Person from Maggie’s POV + Chapters from “House of Horrors”
➸ Maggie Holt: Father wrote the infamous “nonfiction” House of Horrors, Interior designer, Hate the Book, Strained relationship with parents, Doesn’t remember her time as Baneberry Manor, Inherited the house, Desperate to discover the truth
➸ Content Warnings: Death of a Parent, Cancer, Horror/Supernatural elements, Murder, Suicide
WOW!! This book was absolutely terrified me from page 1. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading – and I read the last 300 pages in one sitting because putting this down wasn’t an option.
This book contains one of my favorite elements – a book inside a book. Chapters from the infamous House of Horrors are sprinkled throughout the book to connect Maggie’s past to what is currently happening at Baneberry manor. It added so much atmosphere and personality to the house that I really started to question whether this place and book were real.
Riley Sager’s level of detail in settings is one of the things I love most about his books. I got completely swept away into this creepy AF manor. I spent the entire book trying to decide if this house was actually haunted (and I’m still convinced it is!!)
This was another thriller that I was too caught up in to sit back and theorize about. Every single character in here was flawed and complex and seemed like could have been guilty. This final reveal was so climactic and action packed – everything fit together perfectly. Even if you see bits and pieces of the twist coming, this book has more up it’s sleeve!
Each of Riley Sager’s books is better than the last! This book had me scared and captivated the entire way through. I loved the flawed/unlikeable characters, the setting and atmosphere, the perfectly paced plot, and stylistic choices. Easily a new all time favorite thriller!! I am already anxiously awaiting their next release!