- Author: Riley Sager
- Genre: Suspense & Thriller, Horror
- Format(s): 400 pages, Available in/on: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, Kindle, Audio CD
- On Sale: June 30, 2020
- Publisher: Penguin Random House
Let me just preface this review with the fact that this was one of my very few highly anticipated books of 2020. I signed up to be a participant in virtual author visits just to hear him discuss this book, I read articles depicting it as “a book you cannot miss this summer!”. Yet, I sit before you now after finishing Home Before Dark, a curious look on my face, keyboard clicking, wondering how I’m going to break the news to you all…
THE MOST OVER-HYPED AND OVERRATED BOOK OF 2020
I’ve honestly tried to soak this one in and allow myself to *try* to like it. But I can’t. While Riley Sager is an author hoping to entertain readers, giving them something to distract from all the despicable and horrific things happening in our world presently, this one just didn’t do it. The unnecessary details that added absolutely nothing to the story, being too explicit with unimportant details, and the song..SERIOUSLY? The Sound of Music has officially been ruined for me. If I ever hear that song again, I’ll probably throw a chair.
I don’t rate books using systems on my site but I do in places where it allows me to or forces me to. For that reason, you may see it on my other accounts such as GoodReads, Reedsy, and Amazon with two stars. I read the book from cover to cover and tried, really TRIED to like it but there were just too many pieces that ruined what could’ve been an entertaining read.
A fellow book blogger and reviewer I follow on Instagram said it best:
What was it like? Living in that house.
Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she 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. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.
Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.
Alternating between Maggie’s uneasy homecoming and chapters from her father’s book, HOME BEFORE DARK is the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them—even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting.
Other Books by Riley Sager
Synopsis courtesy of rileysagerbook.com. This review and its contents are not affiliated with any third party. All words and opinions herein are unpaid and my own.