Book Review: Home Before Dark

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Home Before Dark

By: Riley Sager

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.


Genre: More mystery than thriller

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐💫

Bookish tip: Read with a light on. And if you just so happen to have a creepy chandelier in your home, you may want to keep an eye on it…..

Special thanks to Dutton Books for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is the first book I have ever read written by him. The hype behind the author’s work does not disappoint. I love how Sager’s writing is smooth. Home Before Dark captivated my mind effortlessly with its creepy and haunting characteristics.

I love how the plot is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. There is such an eerie, spooky undertone to the entire book that I, a huge fan of Hill House, was delighted. Sager keeps the suspense alive by adding so many twists and turns. His ability to write in so many creepy and haunting characteristics/situations will keep readers thoroughly entertained like the lantern that glows for no reason, the record player plays the same song at the same spot over and over again, the random graveyard in the back of the house, the fact that every one will forever be checking their coffee mug before they sip.

However, the ending falls a bit flat. It feels as if there are too many questions left open. A few (possibly too many) details need to be hammered out a bit but instead certain conversations are glossed over.

Recommendation: I definitely recommend this book to other readers. It will be perfect for the month of October. Now, excuse me as I go through Sager’s back list.

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1 comments on “Book Review: Home Before Dark”

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