Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The twists and turns that this book took me on were insane! I had absolutely NO idea what was going on, no guesses as to what the truth was. It was an amazing ride, and I loved it!!

My Synopsis:

Maggie’s father wrote a book that has haunted her every day of her life. As a young girl, her family bought Baneberry Hall, a secluded estate with a tragic history. Maggie doesn’t remember anything about their less-than-a-month stay in the home. All of her memories are from the non-fiction book, House of Horrors, written by her father. Maggie knows that everything in the book is a lie, but her parents will never discuss it.

When her father passes away, Maggie is shocked to learn that her father still owned the house, and she is now the owner of Baneberry Hall. Determined to understand what really happened during their stay in the home, Maggie moves in.

She is adamant that the ghost stories, snakes, and gruesome history were all a figment of her father’s imagination to create a best-selling book. When she arrives though, the things from her father’s book begin to seem less like a story and more like a foretelling of things to come.

How I Felt:

This is my first Riley Sager book! I know, I know. I’m so behind the times! But – I am with you all now, he is an amazing author, and I now need to read everything he has written!

The plot was so interesting. It definitely reminded me of Verity by Colleen Hoover. There’s a book within the story and the plot unfolds between the book and the present-day story. So, I would HIGHLY recommend this for fans of Verity! So, on to the plot…it was fabulous! It is told through Maggie’s point-of-view and from the POV of her father through his book. I loved the dual perspectives as Maggie’s timeline in the home aligns with her family’s from 25 years ago as the story unfolds. It created such a spooky story that I could not put down!

This was a spooky story for me, but not so scary that I couldn’t read it. I definitely needed to have my back against a wall at times, though! Sager does an excellent job of creating the heart-racing anticipation as he leads up to the next event. There’s something that happens consistently on the third floor and every time a character headed up those stairs, I had to cover the words so I wouldn’t look ahead because I was so nervous!

I found the characters to be a perfect mix for the story. There are people that were still around from when her family moved into the house the first time, helping Maggie to fill in the blanks as she explores her true history. I liked that everyone had a part to play in the story, and Sager kept it all a secret until just the right moment for a reveal.

Overall, I loved Home Before Dark. I could not put this book down. The story was expertly written with characters that drew you in. I highly, highly recommend this book!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Home Before Dark for readers that enjoy a spooky ghost story with a lot of mystery.

Where to Find This Book:

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is available at these sites.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads


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.

In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

Just the Facts:

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 400 pages
Pub Date: June 30, 2020


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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