Reviews tagging Car accident

Home Before Dark, by Riley Sager

3 reviews

shelfofunread's review against another edition

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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.


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chellbear's review against another edition

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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


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house_of_hannah's review against another edition

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

4.0

I ended up reading all but the first 50 pages in two days, so I have to say that the story sucked me in, and I did not want to stop reading. This book has alternating chapters between the MC's perspective (Maggie), and a book her father wrote about their experiences in the house when Maggie was 5. This style really complemented the two perspectives, and made for a very enjoyable read. 

The book Maggie's father wrote is very much a traditional ghost story, and I was even enjoying it more than Maggie's perspective for a good chunk of the book. It does cross the line into just being silly, so it did start to lose me. The experiences of adult Maggie right away reminded me of a few movies I have seen before, so I was wondering if the book was going to go down that route of horror, which it did in the end. I also ended up guessing another key piece of the plot, so I'd say this is a predictable story if you've seen these sort of twists and turns before. However, I really enjoyed that it felt like I got two stories for the price of one; I'm a sucker for ghost stories. 

The ending felt rushed compared to the rest of the book. It was also quite ridiculous, and I just could not believe how many fakeouts there were. It made the end laughable, which is disappointing considering how much I enjoyed the journey to get there. 

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