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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Home Before Dark, Riley Sager: A Review

Man, there's something so exciting about getting a new Riley Sager book. I've had this one on my TBR for a while and I FINALLY got the chance to sink my teeth into it.

Maggie Holt's reputation precedes her. As the daughter of the best-selling author of House of Horrors, Maggie tries to escape her past and the family's notoriety, desperate to forget the night her family fled from the supposedly haunted home. When her father dies, she must return to her childhood home and confront the question she's been burning to ask: Was it real? What is the truth behind the House of Horrors?

I know haunted houses are a dime a dozen, but I will never not read a haunted house, and Sager is quickly proving he's a master of the genre. Lock Every Door was superb in its portrayal of a hotel with a notorious reputation cloaked in secrecy. Home Before Dark holds that same candle, but the mysteries surrounding the house are layered and generational. With lights turning on, bells ringing of their own accord, some seriously creepy history, and a remote location, this has all the makings of a classic haunting.

Until it doesn't.

What I like about Sager's work is his ability to weave legend and truth into a delightful morsel of mystery. Things are never as they appear, and one twist will surely lead to another. At its core, Home Before Dark is a story about forgiveness and growth. While I did find the second half of the book predictable and figured out the path early on, I really enjoyed Maggie's voice and the way the story was structured.

Overall, Home Before Dark is an entertaining, twisty haunted house telling, perfect for fans of The Haunting of Hill House, The Boy, or The Siren and the Specter. What a fun summer read.


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