Home Before Dark

In his latest book, Home Before Dark, Riley Sager weaves a story around an old house called Baneberry Hall (awesome name, right?) that provides a wonderfully creepy Gothic setting. From Sager’s descriptions, you’ll easily picture the old house with its strong ghostly vibe, long-held secrets and nasty beasties. You’ll swear you can hear the creeeeeeak of a door opening, the whisper of a breath on your neck and feel the ensuing goosebumps. *shiver*  “Better beware, be canny and careful‘ because you’ll also find yourself suddenly humming an auditory ‘earworm’ that you’ll pick up during this read. You have been warned.

The story alternates between two points of view: Maggie’s part is set in current day as she tries to get to the bottom of what happened twenty years before when she and her parents briefly lived at Baneberry Hall. And then suddenly left. Maggie has no memories of those few weeks but her father definitely does. The second part of the story is told by Ewan, Maggie’s father, who gained notoriety after writing a book about his family’s experiences in the creepy mansion. But is his book fact or fiction? Maggie isn’t sure. But she wants to find out.

This was a good read and I enjoyed the creepy setting Sager has constructed. While I found the story a bit predictable and Maggie and Ewan’s voices a little too similar at times, this was an enjoyable Gothic whodunnit filled with secrets and a sinister story that may have you believing in ghosts before you turn the final pages.

— Laurie P.