Song Pairing: “The Suburbs” by Mr. Little Jeans Listen Here / 2019 HELLO YELLOW REVIEWS PLAYLIST (Spotify) – Listen Here / 2019 HELLO YELLOW REVIEWS Playlist (Apple)
Ah, Riley Sager thrillers. He is a literary fad that I welcome wholeheartedly.
He came in like a 1990’s scream queen, hitting all the high notes with his first novel, Final Girl. He was taking all my favorite horror movie cliches and throwing them back at me, “Here, you nostalgic trash beast! You’ll love this cheesy teen slasher!” He was right–I did, and I do.
But then Sager just wouldn’t get off the stage for last year’s snooze, The Last Time I Lied. The sophomore slump bit this one, hard. Lots of meandering plot holes and not enough suspense.
Not to be dissuaded, his fans rallied around his latest thriller like a moth to a flame. Our loyalty has been rewarded–our queen is back, and he’s better than ever.
In Lock Every Door, Jules is a broke orphan down on her luck. She responds to an obviously-too-good-to-be-true job ad for an apartment-sitter at the old and imperious Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most renowned gargoyle-laden buildings. The rules include: no visitors, no spending nights away from the apartment, and no questions asked.
Of course Jules can’t pass up this opportunity, and who would? I know I freakin’ wouldn’t. She’s going to make thousands of dollars lounging around in luxury! Who cares if the neighbors are a little off, and the whole prospect of babysitting an empty apartment sounds suspicious? What does it matter that the previous apartment-sitter left in a rush in the middle of the night and seems to have disappeared without a trace?
Even as the deception began to unravel, I kept thinking, “What if we just ignored that bump in the night for a little bit longer…Think of the hardwood floors! Ignore the warnings from your well-meaning friends. Think of that view of Central Park from the twelfth floor! The thousands of dollars you’ll earn!” Yeah, I’d be super dead by the end of this book. Fortunately, Jules is an iconic, well-developed, strong character who picks up on hints. Hopefully you will too, so you’ll figure out the twisty ending long before I did.
I loved Lock Every Door more than I ever loved Final Girls, and more than I hated The Last Time I Lied. Sager succeeds where his other novels have failed—providing me with legit thrills. Campiness is usually great on its own, but when backed by the potentiality of genuine fright, I’m all yours. A few chapters deep into the Bartholomew had me pulling my sheets tighter over myself to ward off the dangers emanating from my dark hall late at night. There’s creepy dumbwaiters, ominous ghosts, literal plague, midnight visions, hot doctors, secret societies, cults, elitism, and much much more! Don’t sleep on this one!
Thanks to NetGalley for a pre-pub copy in exchange for an honest review.