⇒A thrilling illustration of the age-old adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”⇐
Lock Every Door is my third #Julybrary book this month. I’m celebrating libraries by challenging myself to only read books either checked out or purchased from the library for a full month. I appreciate my local libraries, so I want to show a little library love in July by supporting them and reading some really good books while doing it!
Author: Riley Sager
Genre: Fiction / Thriller / Mystery
Published July 2, 2019, by Dutton Books
This place is haunted. By its past. So many bad things have happened there. So much dark history. It fills the place.
When you think of scary stories, one classic image usually comes to mind: a haunted house. Dark, solitary, two elongated windows in the front with eerie candles glowing inside. You know the one.
But in Lock Every Door, Riley Sager introduces us to a building not haunted by spectral malevolence, but by bad memories and living nightmares.
Here’s the synopsis: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.
There’s not a lot that most of us wouldn’t do for $12,000 – especially if it’s something as seemingly benign as apartment-sitting for a few weeks. Sign me up! I mean, it’s better than eating bugs, or hosting a backyard cockfight, or selling a kidney. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Back to my point, the lure of making easy money would have put me in the same vulnerable position as Jules finds herself within the walls of the luxurious Bartholomew.
This place isn’t kind to gentle souls. It chews them up and shoots then out.
So let’s check off all the things that make this book a great mystery/ thriller: 1. A creepy setting – check. The Bart is old and has a lot of bad juju associated with it. It’s also dark and creaky at night. 2. Creepy characters – check. Everyone at the Bart has secrets, and they aren’t telling. Old or young, all the inhabitants have something to hide and secrets make for a truly seductive mystery. 3. Tragic backstory – check. From Jules to the rest of the apartment-sitters, to the Bart itself, there’s enough tragedy to rival Shakespeare. And 4. Monsters! – check. Not kidding. There are gargoyles in this story. Big, scary, winged ones. Oh, and there are some smaller, more sinister monsters too.
It is indeed a strange, alternate universe I’ve stumbled into.
Sager has a knack for taking you to the brink, flipping everything around, and then yanking you back out to the brink all over again. (What exactly is a brick anyway?) Anyway, he takes you all the way there and you’ll be glad you went.
Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer. Now a full-time writer, Riley is the author of FINAL GIRLS, an international bestseller that has been published in 25 languages, and the New York Times bestseller THE LAST TIME I LIED.