Reviews tagging Mental illness

Home Before Dark, by Riley Sager

7 reviews

shelfofunread's review against another edition

Go to review page

mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

Having previously read and enjoyed The Last Time I Lied, I was excited to see that Riley Sager’s latest thriller came with some additional spooky stylings. The former novel was packed with growing tension and page-turning plot beats so I was keen to see what the addition of some trademark horror tropes would do to that mix. The answer, it turns out, is to make it even more page-turning – and to provide more than a few ‘sleeping with the lights on’ moments!

Maggie Holt’s life has been defined by The Book – the tell-all memoir that her father Ewan wrote after her family’s fateful stay at Baneberry Hall. According to The Book, the vengeful ghosts of Baneberry Hall drove Ewan, Jess, and five-year-old Maggie away from their dream home, never to return. But after her father’s death, Maggie discovers that her parents never sold Baneberry Hall. Despite being warned to never go back there, Maggie is determined to make the most of her unexpected inheritance – she’s going to renovate and sell her family’s cursed legacy; but not before she gets to the bottom of why her family really fled all those years ago.

When the body of a missing teenager falls out of her kitchen ceiling, however, Maggie gets far more than she bargained for at Baneberry Hall. Could her parents really have been involved in a murder? Or are the strange noises and fleeting shadows of Baneberry Hall really signs of the supernatural? As Maggie starts to delve into the history of her father’s House of Horrors, she finds herself wondering if he was telling the truth about Baneberry Hall all along.

Whilst Home Before Dark continues to showcase Sager’s command of pacing and plotting, it serves up some genuinely spooky and atmospheric moments alongside the more familiar mystery-thriller territory of its main storyline. If you love ghost stories and ‘true life’ tales of the paranormal, you’re sure to love Home Before Dark which alternates between excerpts from Ewan’s Amityville Horror-style memoir and Maggie’s own investigations in the present day.


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

davidrb's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous challenging dark mysterious sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5

Oy vey. Just...not my favorite. Twists weren't fun, story didn't go anywhere...it had some interesting things to say about the lengths that men will go to justify their actions, and then it just didn't use them for anything. But, despite all that, a fun and easy read. Definitely good fodder for this time of year just to get into the mood.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

librariangeorgia's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

chellbear's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

ruruxxi's review

Go to review page

dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5

Much like the Baneberry Hall where the novel is set in, Home Before Dark is built on a strong foundation, but once you look closely the cracks start showing. It begins and unfolds much like a horror novel: creeping and taking ahold of you after every chapter. However, as soon as it rushes to its endpoint, it collapses under its own weight; with one contrived twist after another, it ruins the atmosphere it set and stretches plausability until it snapped. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

booksandtea997's review

Go to review page

dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

3.25

 I did guess where the story was going before I reached the halfway point (and later on figured it out), but, I really loved the chapters the father wrote (except for the last one - let's not talk about that one) and the atmosphere. 
Still, even though I suspected what is going on I still really liked how creepy the writing is - it gave me chills.
I liked this book a lot more than Lock Every Door.
But let's be honest it does not deserve more than three stars. Just like the one in Lock Every Door, the main heroine is absolutely annoying and I'm starting to believe that all Sager's main characters are like that (it's been two books after all xD). 
So basically it is a decent mystery/thriller/suspense novel perfect for a foggy autumnal day and a cup of tea, at least that's how I read it.


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

lovelydemons's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

I couldn’t put this book down. I seriously finished this in one sitting because it was incredibly entertaining and attention grabbing. I think it's fair to say that Riley Sager is my favourite contemporary author. I still think that Final Girls is a stronger book however this one is still great.
If you are a fan of the horror genre, especially horror movies, I'm sure you would like it. Even though this book could be considered more of a thriller than a horror, Sager is a master in making you feel the creepy and disturbing setting through imagery. I wouldn't say it is the most terrifying thing I've read but it definitely gave me the creeps. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings
More...