Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I knew this book was going to creep me out before I ever started reading it. I’ve had my own haunted house experience years ago when I was a young teen, and wouldn’t you know I started dreaming of that house after starting to read this book?
Maggie is an adult who has just lost her father and has now inherited a house she and her family haven’t lived in for years. A house that her father wrote a notorious book about for being more haunted than the Amityville Horror. His last parting words to her before he left this world: don’t ever go back there. It’s not safe, especially for you. But this book has ruined Maggie’s life. She doesn’t believe a word of it or remember anything the book says happened while she and her family lived there.
As far as creep-factor goes, I think this book was fairly tame compared to other horror books I’ve read, but there were a few parts here and there that raised the hairs on the back of my neck a bit. I think the underlying story rather than the haunting – with the neighbor girls, the house’s true history, and the caretakers and such – those were the really interesting bits of the story and what kept me turning the pages.
It was also interesting to read how the past, the book, and the fame her family received since her father wrote the book – wanted or not – affected who Maggie is now and how it made her almost reclusive and untrusting of others.
If you’re hoping for a nightmare inducing thriller, this one is a bit too tame for that, so might be a good read for those who don’t usually like horror but want to dip their toes in.
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