Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is a very eerie tale filled with twists and turns that centers around a mansion with a dark history. This is a haunted house story that you won’t want to miss!
As soon as the newest book was available for pre-order, I placed my order through one of my favorite bookshops, Gibson’s Bookstore. When it arrived in the mail it had a lovely note from the amazing Kelso!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
This tale is about a woman named Maggie Holt who inherits a house that she thought her family had long since sold. When she was last at the house when she was five, something horrible occurred that made the family flee the house, never to return.
After they left, her father wrote a book and claimed that it was the true story of what happened to their family while they lived there. But Maggie can’t remember anything and she isn’t convinced that anything in the book actually happened.
When she moves back in while she renovates the house, planning to sell it, she begins making discoveries that align with what her father had written… and that makes her question everything.
The story is told as a duel narrative; one that was from the novel written by the father after they lived in the home for twenty days, and the other, the daughters’ return to the house decades later. I absolutely loved the way each of these key focuses built off of one another. I had such a hard time putting this down because each bit left off in a way that made me want to know what happened next as soon as possible.
I really enjoyed the main character, Maggie. It was very clear that she was fighting with a number of things inside her own head. I thought her determination to overcome her fears and set the story straight, all mixed with a fair dose of stubbornness, was a very powerful element for her character.
Then of course we have the ghosts. My goodness were these written in a spooky way! I didn’t know what to think about them. Just when I thought one thing, something would happen to make me second guess it. Needless to say, I thought that the ghosts were written very well.
Overall, the pacing was definitely quick and it was written in a way that totally captivated me. There was also a great sense of unease throughout, which grew more and more intense as the story went on and new things from the past were brought up, or odd things happened in the present day.
My Favorite Passages from Home Before Dark
Houses are always changing. Coats of paint. Rows of laminate. Rolls of carpet. They cover up the home’s stories and secrets, rendering them silent until someone comes along to reveal them.
Jess pokes her head out of the master bathroom, toothbrush in hand and mouth foaming like Cujo.
The kitchen is silent save for the sound of my heart — an audible drumroll coming from deep in my chest.
My Final Thoughts on Home Before Dark
Not only was the haunted house and ghost element right up my alley, but this tale also had a great main character and intriguing side characters that popped in and out. I also loved the underlying murder mystery element. This was another hit for me!
If you enjoy haunted house stories that will keep you guessing, I highly recommend this one to you.
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Thanks for reading!
I’ve said before that it feels like Riley Sager’s work gets a bit darker with each new release, and that was certainly the case here! I cannot wait to see what he does next!
And one last note, the cover of this book GLOWS IN THE DARK! How cool is that?! Have you ever seen a glow in the dark cover before?