Home Before Dark by Riley Sager review

For his latest novel Riley Sager delves in the world of haunted houses for the riveting Home Before Dark.

Twenty-five years ago, Maggie 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.

Here we recall that book plus Maggie’s return to the house, looking for answers for incidents that tore her family apart all those years ago.

Using the dual format, Sager creates a tale full of twists and turns, with some accounts trumping the other and keeping us, the reader in suspense for what is becoming Sager’s signature reveal.

Ultimately, this is a story about family, which has slight comparisons to the reimagining of The Haunting of Hill House, whilst able to craft its own unique narrative and characters.

Sager’s strength really does lie in characterisation as he always manages to create compelling central figures for us to follow. The fact they may be unreliable narrator only adds to its charm.

Home Before Dark is a triumph, and easily one of the best thrillers released this year. Every house has a story and this is one you need to read.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is available now on Amazon Kindle and paperback.

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