Home Before Dark
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?

Home Before Dark Details

TitleHome Before Dark
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 30th, 2020
PublisherDutton Books
ISBN-139781524745172
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Horror, Mystery Thriller, Fiction, Adult, Suspense, Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal

Home Before Dark Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "Every house has a story. Ours is a ghost story. It's also a lie. And now that yet another person has died within these walls, it's finally time to tell the truth."Fellow Riley Sager junkies, you've waited so patiently for me to slip out of my Covid-19 induced anxiety, and I'm here to tell you that I've shaken the funk and am feeling passionately encouraged to word vomit my thoughts about this book. Before I get started, you need to know going in that this book has a slightly altered feel to his "Every house has a story. Ours is a ghost story. It's also a lie. And now that yet another person has died within these walls, it's finally time to tell the truth."Fellow Riley Sager junkies, you've waited so patiently for me to slip out of my Covid-19 induced anxiety, and I'm here to tell you that I've shaken the funk and am feeling passionately encouraged to word vomit my thoughts about this book. Before I get started, you need to know going in that this book has a slightly altered feel to his previous novels, but I feel like this is a given, as each book he writes evolves into a new thrilling sub-genre. If I had to compare Home Before Dark to another one of Sager's books, I'd say that it would mostly align with Final Girls, as it portrays that same growing since of dread while serving a side of mainstream horror. The blurbs calling this a tale for fans of Hill House are spot on, and if you love a good ghost story, whether those ghosts are supernatural or manmade monsters, I think you'll adore this book. If you enjoy books within books, they you're in luck, because that's just what we have here! In the book portions, AKA the past, Maggie and her parents moved into this big scary mansion where some really questionable things happened in the past, but they aren't weenies and decide that the low low asking price is worth the risk of their lives. *cue the scary music* When we alternate to the present tense, we know that something really bad happened that caused Maggie's family to abandon the property in the middle of the night, just a few short weeks after moving in, and that is the large suspenseful build up throughout the book. Obviously, we need to know what happened and who was responsible!The beauty of this story is that there are a million little working parts that come together to form the outcome of the whole book, and even if you guess a few of the twists, I can guarantee there will be a few others that will blow your mind. One of the twists crossed my mind from the moment the curious behavior piqued my interest, and I wasn't disappointed when I ended up being correct in my assumptions, because it showcased one of my favorite plot twists from a movie in recent years (which I won't mention here for fear of spoilers). There are ghosts of various kinds, snakes, hot contractors with washboard abs, snakes, delicious baked goods, snakes, things that go bump in the night... Did I mention the snakes and the guy with the really great bod? Just checking. *In my best Stefan voice* This summer's hottest book is Home Before Dark. It has everything: creepy haunted houses, mysterious people from the past, and an ending that will have you sure to keep on the lights when you sleep for at least a few nights. This one is well worth the pre-order friends!*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
    more
  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    I love an author’s vivid creativity and trying something unexpected to exceed his or her previous writing performances by taking a challenge and trying something brand new.Riley Sager is one of the most brilliant authors raises the bars and waltz between genres and serves us fresh baked from oven kind of delicious, soul crushing, mind numbing, exhilarating, surprising stories with WTF I just read kind of twisty, the rug pulled out from your feet kind of endings.This time he dances between horror I love an author’s vivid creativity and trying something unexpected to exceed his or her previous writing performances by taking a challenge and trying something brand new.Riley Sager is one of the most brilliant authors raises the bars and waltz between genres and serves us fresh baked from oven kind of delicious, soul crushing, mind numbing, exhilarating, surprising stories with WTF I just read kind of twisty, the rug pulled out from your feet kind of endings.This time he dances between horror, supernatural, ghost stories and mix them with true crime, murder, whodunit elements. You sense Amityville Horror, Haunting of Hill House and a little bit “Exorcist”, “Shining” and “Conjuring” vibes. At some parts you sense the author’s tribute to Stephen King novels by using his favorite elements like dysfunctional family dynamics, small town mystery, the thin line between madness and reality.So get ready to freak out because you’re reading two books at the same time:One of them belongs to Megan Holt’s POV, inherited a so called haunted house from her father after his sudden death and advised her not to go there again. Other book belongs to Megan’s father Ewan telling us their 20 days of horrifying experience at the house with his soon to be ex-wife and 5 years old Megan.Ewan’s part of the book published and haunted Megan’s life forever, prevented her forming normal relationships and having a real social life. She only have one close friend and business partner Allie helps her renovating houses and now she decides to move to Baneberry Hall: the haunted family Victorian estate and learn the truth her family is hiding because she never believed that ghostbusters against paranormal activity bullshit. But as soon as she takes her first step in the house, unbelievable and spooky things start to happen! Megan still has no idea about what happened when she was little and she insisted her parents to come clean but they denied her.And Ewan’s book is more entertaining and horrifying than Megan’s POV, making you feel like any time Winchester Brothers appear out of nowhere to help the family pouring salt on the floor and put the ghosts on fire. Especially the creepy song plays at the night time gave me so much creeps and huge desire to scream till my throat burns.I don’t’ want to give more spoils but I may only say the ending is satisfying and some parts are foreseeable but you still want to ask yourself: “What! Why! WTH?” yes, you partly expected some parts but not the whole picture! (I filled like my spidey senses out of juice!)I also have to add: last two books’ covers of the author are fantastic! They give you a brief warning that something terrifying and disturbing is waiting you as soon as you flip the pages.Overall: Pacing is good. However, at some parts I lost my interest for Megan’s POV and I enjoyed Ewan’s book so much more, it is still riveting, heart throbbing, nail, elbow, hand, arm biter, unputdowable, creepy story that I’ve dreamt of! I was so ready to sell my not so precious soul to get an ARC COPY and my wish came true.So I’m giving 3.5 stars rounded up to 4!Special thanks to NetGalley and Dutton Books for ARC of one of the most anticipated thrillers of this year in exchange my honest review and thanks to Riley Sager, I loved this book more than “Lock Every Door”bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
    more
  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    I loved every second of this creepy suspenseful story. It had the best Haunting of Hill House vibes that I've ever seen in a book and I was absolutely obsessed with the vibe of this book and I was genuinely scared at times and I might have slept with the lights on. Reading vlog just went up: https://youtu.be/zA0a8Q_lzp8 I loved every second of this creepy suspenseful story. It had the best Haunting of Hill House vibes that I've ever seen in a book and I was absolutely obsessed with the vibe of this book and I was genuinely scared at times and I might have slept with the lights on. Reading vlog just went up: https://youtu.be/zA0a8Q_lzp8
    more
  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    Well I was looking for a book to take my mind off of what is going on in the world right now and this was definitely a great choice! I don’t know if I’m a true lover of ghost stories but I like great fiction with supernatural elements. This author once again has written a book that will be at the top of my list of best books of 2020/thrillers for sure.The author has written a book within a book for this novel and she has done it very well. It does keep you on your toes at first but then the book Well I was looking for a book to take my mind off of what is going on in the world right now and this was definitely a great choice! I don’t know if I’m a true lover of ghost stories but I like great fiction with supernatural elements. This author once again has written a book that will be at the top of my list of best books of 2020/thrillers for sure.The author has written a book within a book for this novel and she has done it very well. It does keep you on your toes at first but then the book just takes off and you’re in for a riveting, who and what do I believe, twisty, turny story. For me I personally prefer a novel with well developed characters and even the “ghosts” are fully described. One point of view is that of Maggie Holt a young woman who has just inherited an old house when her father recently passed away. She had lived in the house when she was 5 years old but she has no memory of that time and her parents still will not tell her why they left that house and all of their things and never went back. Of course Maggie, who has a business with friend Alli, knows how to restore interiors and wants to go back to Baneberry Hall, clear it out and get it ready for sale. She also wanted to find out why her parents would never tell her what went on during that time. She has lived all of her life with the stigma of her father’s book. Some people loved it, others thought he was terrible to write it because it made their town look bad. She does find out the truth, first slowly and then the tension builds and there are so many things happening at the same time!! This part of the story was great, very easy to follow and I loved the characters.The other point of view is the actual writing from Maggie’s father’s book, There are entire pages of the book where we really get a different vibe of what went on during those few weeks when they lived there. I think I always hurried to get back to this part of the book. It was creepier with a bigger ghost vibe and snakes, oh You Will Never Think the Same Way About Snakes . . . . .ever.I really thought the entire novel was wonderfully crafted and the prose was great, the story flowed quickly. The characters were believable if a bit predictable. The ending was Amazing and it just turned into different answers, first one way, then another, I truly was confused about what the truth was. I’m not going to ruin the story but I will leave you with this quote “Oh Maggie, she says. “You really shouldn’t have done that. “ Unease slams onto my shoulders, so forceful that all of Baneberry Hall seems to shake.” Also it’s a wonder why anyone would build an estate and let poisonous berries grow all over your property even though you have a young child, then you name the place after the plant, craziness. You will all love it, just buy it, you won’t be sorry!!!I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through EdelweissHome Before Dark is set to publish on June 30, 2020
    more
  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    Will the fourth one be the best one yet??
  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars! Because this is a mood! I thought it was a man, although I couldn’t be sure. Details were sparse. All I could make out was a distinctly human shape standing in the forest a few feet from the treeline. I highly enjoyed this book! The creepiness of it, the 'what the hell' moments, they were just what I expected from Riley Sager. AND, naturally with his books, I went one way with all of the answers and he went somewhere else totally! On to the next, Mr. Sager, I’m waiting ....... Mel 4.5 stars! Because this is a mood! I thought it was a man, although I couldn’t be sure. Details were sparse. All I could make out was a distinctly human shape standing in the forest a few feet from the treeline. I highly enjoyed this book! The creepiness of it, the 'what the hell' moments, they were just what I expected from Riley Sager. AND, naturally with his books, I went one way with all of the answers and he went somewhere else totally! On to the next, Mr. Sager, I’m waiting ....... Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾BLOG: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....
    more
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite Riley Sager book to date.Creepy maybe haunted house.Unfolding the mystery of said house with splices of the book the main character's dad wrote about the house.At first glance this book sounds like horror but it's definitely a thriller that had me guessing.I really loved it!
    more
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    When Maggie was just a child her parents purchased Baneberry Hall. Having left behind a cramped apartment in the city Baneberry Hall seemed like the ideal place to raise a family. However not soon after their purchase it appears that not all is well within the walls of Baneberry Hall. Strange noises fill the night and young Maggie has begun speaking to imaginary friends. Her father, a writer, becomes obsessed in the tragic history of Baneberry Hall and he is convinced that there are restless spi When Maggie was just a child her parents purchased Baneberry Hall. Having left behind a cramped apartment in the city Baneberry Hall seemed like the ideal place to raise a family. However not soon after their purchase it appears that not all is well within the walls of Baneberry Hall. Strange noises fill the night and young Maggie has begun speaking to imaginary friends. Her father, a writer, becomes obsessed in the tragic history of Baneberry Hall and he is convinced that there are restless spirits within their home. Present day, Maggie is now an interior designer and her father has recently passed away. She is informed that her father has left her Baneberry Hall. After all these years she assumed that he had sold it. Her father wrote House of Horrors after they escaped into the night to never return again and the notoriety of that book has turned her life upside down. She doesn't remember her time there. All she has is the book her father wrote and in which she believes is a book of lies. As she returns to Vermont and to Baneberry Hall she convinces herself that she will find out what happened that summer and why they fled.This book started off strong and I was really enjoying the Amityville vibes this was giving off. We have the two timelines running: Maggie in the present day and her father in the past as they moved into Baneberry Hall and it is during these chapters where we learn of their time spent there and what the reason is for the escape. I loved the flashback chapters but I found the Maggie chapters became boring or better yet she was boring so her chapters weren't nearly as compelling. That ending, say WHAT? Now THAT is ridiculously stupid. 2.5 stars! Thank you to Edelweiss and Dutton for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    This book begins with a dedication...”For those who tell ghost stories...and those who believe them...” 👻If this is YOU..read on, as YOU WON’T be disappointed with Riley Sager’s latest, releasing on June 30th 2020! Maggie Holt has just inherited Baneberry Hall, a rambling estate set deep in the Vermont Woods.Twenty Five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, fled this house in the dead of the night, leaving everything behind, after only 19 days in residence. Tap-tap-TapAnd, then THAT son This book begins with a dedication...”For those who tell ghost stories...and those who believe them...” 👻If this is YOU..read on, as YOU WON’T be disappointed with Riley Sager’s latest, releasing on June 30th 2020! Maggie Holt has just inherited Baneberry Hall, a rambling estate set deep in the Vermont Woods.Twenty Five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, fled this house in the dead of the night, leaving everything behind, after only 19 days in residence. Tap-tap-TapAnd, then THAT song...“You are sixteen, going on ...” would begin to play on the old record player left behind...💿The song, cut off by the noise that always arrived at 4:54 AMTHUDA house remembers.....At least that’s what Maggie’s father claimed in his best-selling NON-FICTION book, “House of Horrors”....a book that Maggie doesn’t believe a word of. She was only five, when they lived in the house, and she doesn’t remember the people or events mentioned, or the “ghosts” she was terrified of, “Miss Pennyface” and “Mister Shadow”. In fact, she is downright angry that the book defined her and she feels exploited. 🧸But once she returns to the old Victorian home, to renovate it, in preparation to sell and begins to experience the strange occurrences chronicled in her father’s book, she begins to wonder, if perhaps he really was telling the truth...I loved how the story was a “book within a book”....the chapters from Ewan’s best seller, alternating with Maggie’s current day perspective. AFTER you read the LAST chapter, go ahead and reread the first one......Than You to Edelweiss, Dutton Publishing and Riley Sager for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review!
    more
  • BernLuvsBooks
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Amityville Horror-ish Vibe Stars! Sager is a King of Spook and all I can say is that he seriously comes through with this book! We have a huge, secluded spooky house with lots of eerie noises and unexplained happenings and a woman in search of the truth of what happened there that caused her family to flee the house in the middle of the night and never return. I love a good ghost story and this was GOOD! As Maggie Holt tries to unravel the house's mystery and her past we learn that this hous 4.5 Amityville Horror-ish Vibe Stars! Sager is a King of Spook and all I can say is that he seriously comes through with this book! We have a huge, secluded spooky house with lots of eerie noises and unexplained happenings and a woman in search of the truth of what happened there that caused her family to flee the house in the middle of the night and never return. I love a good ghost story and this was GOOD! As Maggie Holt tries to unravel the house's mystery and her past we learn that this house has and its past inhabitants had some freaky history. I LOVED the background of the house and having it's story come to life. We also get Maggie's Dad's story told via chapters of the book her wrote on the house. Those were some of my favorite parts of the book. I was soooooo hooked!!! It was awesome to see parallels of the family's experience and Maggie's in the present. She grew up believing her Dad was a liar and wrote the book to make money but could the house really be haunted? Could the story really be true? What really happened to them all those years ago? What happened to her??? This is one book you will not want to miss this summer when it releases! Just be sure to read it with the light on!A huge thank you to Riley Sager, Penguin Publishing and Edelweiss for an advance copy of this book to read & review.
    more
  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 63%Really loved his last two novels, BUTThis one is just not working for me and I've tried finishing other books and coming back to it three separate times. Sometimes its better just to move on.....
  • ELLIAS (elliasreads)
    January 1, 1970
    SCREAMS IN THRILLER
  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    If you inherited a haunted house would you live there? The house where you saw ghosts? Where, as a child, you were haunted by nightmares of Mr. Shadow and Miss Pennyface? The house that inspired the bestseller your father wrote after your family fled, leaving all your possessions behind, never to return? The book that brought you unwelcome attention and notoriety, the book that negatively defined your life? Nope, not me. But Maggie does just that, despite warnings and a promise to her father to If you inherited a haunted house would you live there? The house where you saw ghosts? Where, as a child, you were haunted by nightmares of Mr. Shadow and Miss Pennyface? The house that inspired the bestseller your father wrote after your family fled, leaving all your possessions behind, never to return? The book that brought you unwelcome attention and notoriety, the book that negatively defined your life? Nope, not me. But Maggie does just that, despite warnings and a promise to her father to never go back. She was only 5 when their family fled in terror, but she knows the book was a giant hoax full of lies. Her plans now are to refurbish the property and sell it for a tidy profit. From here, the book alternates chapters from the bestseller book her father wrote, to the current day events. Strange, creepy things are happening and despite her initial disbelief, Maggie increasingly begins to think the events her father recounted are true after all. Or is it possible that this is all Maggie’s imagination? This is a fast-paced riveting tale that gave off strong gothic Amityville Horror vibes. It kept me flipping the pages anxious to find out what would happen next. But then, the ending. The ending that was unnecessarily convoluted and disappointing. Although the ending requires some suspension of disbelief, it’s still a fun read that was a nice distraction during these trying times. I could see it playing out as a spooky movie in my mind as I read. • I received a digital copy of the book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review• This was a buddy read with my friend Marialyce, one we enjoyed, but we both were a bit disappointed with the ending. For our duo review of this book, and others, please visit https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
    more
  • Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Riley Sager quickly became one of my favorite authors, and is an "auto-buy" author for me, meaning I'll read anything he writes. I LOVE books about haunted houses, so after reading the description for Home Before Dark, I COULD NOT wait to get my hands on this one! I loved that the book was told in present day chapters as our main character Maggie prepared to fix up and sell the house her family fled in the middle of the night several years prior, interspersed with chapters from "The Book" that w Riley Sager quickly became one of my favorite authors, and is an "auto-buy" author for me, meaning I'll read anything he writes. I LOVE books about haunted houses, so after reading the description for Home Before Dark, I COULD NOT wait to get my hands on this one! I loved that the book was told in present day chapters as our main character Maggie prepared to fix up and sell the house her family fled in the middle of the night several years prior, interspersed with chapters from "The Book" that was written by Maggie's father detailing the events that caused them to flee in the middle of the night. His haunted house story made headlines, and Maggie resents bring dragged into the narrative. She doesn't remember the events detailed in the book, and doesn't believe in ghosts...or does she? When odd things start happening in the house again, she can't help but wonder if maybe she's been wrong all along. I wasn't sure which way the book was going to go - if it would turn out to be supernatural, or if it would ultimately have a rational ending, and I won't give that away for you here - you'll have to read to find out - but I loved the story and trying to decide one way or the other! Home Before Dark is right up there with Final Girls as my favorite Sager book to date! If you're a fan of the book/show, The Haunting of Hill House,  I think this will appeal to you! The creepy victorian mansion and unexplained happenings were reminiscent of Hill House, and I loved every second of it! I rated this one 5 stars, and am already dying to read whatever Sager writes next! I'd like to thank Dutton Publishing for my copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review. 
    more
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    ((sees cover))ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?It is the most beautiful creation of all time. My heart is filled with pure joy just by looking at it!And the synopsis!? Don't even get me started. SO. ON. BRAND.The countdown officially begins... ((sees cover))ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?It is the most beautiful creation of all time. My heart is filled with pure joy just by looking at it!And the synopsis!? Don't even get me started. SO. ON. BRAND.The countdown officially begins...
    more
  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Riley Sager is one of my favorite authors- he just has such a talent at crafting bingeworthy suspense novels and I can't wait to see one of them as a TV show or movie. I'm waiting, Hollywood! Sager solidified a fan in me after reading 2019's Lock Every Door so I knew that his upcoming 2020 release Home Before Dark wouldn't disappoint. Growing up in a nearby town of the Amityville Horror story, I knew that this book would be enticing for me. Home Before Dark is reminiscent of The Haunting Riley Sager is one of my favorite authors- he just has such a talent at crafting bingeworthy suspense novels and I can't wait to see one of them as a TV show or movie. I'm waiting, Hollywood! Sager solidified a fan in me after reading 2019's Lock Every Door so I knew that his upcoming 2020 release Home Before Dark wouldn't disappoint. Growing up in a nearby town of the Amityville Horror story, I knew that this book would be enticing for me. Home Before Dark is reminiscent of The Haunting of Hill House, in a town based on The Amityville Horror. I got serious gothic vibes from this title, more so then Sager’s previous work, and the pacing of the story is unique to anything he’s ever written. The two point of views are current day and then it jumps you into excerpts of a book written about Maggie’s family’s time at Baneberry Hall. I found this writing style very unique and it’s no wonder that the rights to this book were already optioned for film.
    more
  • Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
    January 1, 1970
    Well hmmm 🤔 I need to think about this... probably a 3.5. I know!!! I am as shocked as you 🤷‍♀️ I loved the whole ghost vibe but the last couple chapters... yeah no. Was hoping for 5 stars. Oh well I still love this author. The ending just fell flat for me personally. Loved the first part of the book!Full review to come
    more
  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    Hang on to your hat, your Ouija board, and stop thinking too much and you will be in for a spooky, twisty ride. Maggie Holt's father wrote a book about a house that the family lived in for twenty days, when Maggie was five years old. The experience was a horrible one and the family ran from the house, with just the clothes on their backs, leaving everything else behind, when they abandoned it. Her father than wrote a nonfiction book about the house and what happened during those twenty days but Hang on to your hat, your Ouija board, and stop thinking too much and you will be in for a spooky, twisty ride. Maggie Holt's father wrote a book about a house that the family lived in for twenty days, when Maggie was five years old. The experience was a horrible one and the family ran from the house, with just the clothes on their backs, leaving everything else behind, when they abandoned it. Her father than wrote a nonfiction book about the house and what happened during those twenty days but Maggie has no memory of what was in the book and thinks that her dad invented the story. Now, twenty five years after they left the house, Maggie's father has died and she finds out that he never sold the house after they left. Since her mom and dad wouldn't answer any of her questions about the book and their time in the house, just saying that the book is true, Maggie is going back to the house to find answers, despite her father telling her not to ever go back to the house. Maggie's time spent in the house, in the present, is every bit as crazy as what was related in the book. Home Before Dark alternates between the story that Maggie's father wrote and present day Maggie living in the house, with the intent to refurbish it and sale it. It's a great way to compare what her father wrote to what Maggie finds out as she researches the house and it's history. Lots goes on, almost too much to keep up with at times. Did Maggie's parents lie about the past or is something wrong with Maggie, that she can't remember any of what is written in the book?Thank you to Dutton/Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for this ARC. 
    more
  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 creepy haunted house starsThis was my first Riley Sager read and I know he has scores of fans. This one was definitely a page turner and had so many twists and turns that I didn’t know what to believe most of the time!Front and center in this one is THE house – Baneberry Hall – is it haunted as the bestselling book “House of Horrors” claims or did the author make it all up? Maggie was just a child when her parents bought Baneberry Hall in Vermont and they fled from the house just a few weeks 4.5 creepy haunted house starsThis was my first Riley Sager read and I know he has scores of fans. This one was definitely a page turner and had so many twists and turns that I didn’t know what to believe most of the time!Front and center in this one is THE house – Baneberry Hall – is it haunted as the bestselling book “House of Horrors” claims or did the author make it all up? Maggie was just a child when her parents bought Baneberry Hall in Vermont and they fled from the house just a few weeks later, never to return. Maggie’s father wrote the book and it became a big hit. Maggie never believed it was true. Now the house is her inheritance and she plans to fix it up. Upon arrival, strange events start happening and Maggie starts to doubt her beliefs, maybe what her father wrote is all true. Will the ghosts drive her away as well? Or will Maggie determine the truth?This one was a fast-paced tale, with present-day events alternating with chapters from the “House of Horrors” book. The end had quite a few head-spinning twists at the end and was cleverly plotted. Fans of ghost stories will definitely like this one.Thank you to Riley Sager, Edelweiss, and Dutton for an early copy of this one to read and review. This one releases 6.30.2020. I predict it will be a big summer hit!
    more
  • Julie (JuJu)
    January 1, 1970
    To quote the book: “Ho. Ly. Shit.” I was hooked from the very beginning! Strange noises during the night, imaginary ghost friends and family secrets that should stay buried.The cover didn’t blow me away, so I was hesitating on this one. Then some of the women in my GR’s group, No Rules - Just Thrills, decided to read it and I trust their taste! The fact that Riley Sager was the author, also helped sway my decision.The narration is told in alternating timelines. Ewan’s POV, which is taken from To quote the book: “Ho. Ly. Shit.” I was hooked from the very beginning! Strange noises during the night, imaginary ghost friends and family secrets that should stay buried.The cover didn’t blow me away, so I was hesitating on this one. Then some of the women in my GR’s group, No Rules - Just Thrills, decided to read it and I trust their taste! The fact that Riley Sager was the author, also helped sway my decision.The narration is told in alternating timelines. Ewan’s POV, which is taken from his book, and Maggie’s POV in the present. They describe the short time Maggie’s family lived in Baneberry Hall, the infamous haunted house. NO....this house isn’t just haunted, it has a long and very tragic history...which I totally devoured! Although there was some repetition, I really enjoyed the comparison of events through different POV’s.Maggie inherits the infamous house that tore her family apart. The house her father wrote a bestselling book about. The house, and book, that have defined her life....AND the house that she’s promised never to return to. She’s been very clear about the fact that she thinks her father’s book is lies and she wants the truth. She’s certain both parents have lied to her about the events written in the book and their reason for fleeing the house and never returning. And now she’s going to dig until she unearths every secret. “Few things in life are more disappointing than knowing your parents aren’t being honest with you.”But once she’s home, strange things begin to happen. Memories start floating to the surface. Then the local newspaper owner points out that he believes the disappearance of a young girl, on the same night Maggie’s family fled the house, is not a coincidence.There are a ton of twists and a lot going on, but I enjoyed every minute of it!! And I hear a movie is coming soon! One thing I focused on, which annoyed me, was the layout of the house. I never quite figured it out!!This was another fantastic group read for No Rules - Just Thrills. Thank you Jayme, DeAnn, Marilyn, Kim and everyone else that joined our buddy read and discussion! 💕 @riley_sager @DuttonBooks#HomeBeforeDark #MustReadThrillerMy Rating: 4.5 ⭐️’s (rounding up)Published: June 30th 2020 by Dutton BooksPages: 384Recommend: Yes! Mark your calendar!Thank you to Edelweiss, Dutton Books and Riley Sager for this digital ARC, in exchange for my honest opinion!
    more
  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    January 1, 1970
    4.0 StarsSpoiler Free Video Review: https://youtu.be/yuKk1ppr-mgOnce again, Riley Sager delivers a rock solid thriller in his newest book, Home Before Dark. The story is told in both the present day as well as excerpts from the father's book. This setup naturally leads the reader to question the reliability of the father as narrator because he is not alive to vouch for himself and his daughter has always considered him to be a liar. I sometimes struggle with reading "books within books", but thi 4.0 StarsSpoiler Free Video Review: https://youtu.be/yuKk1ppr-mgOnce again, Riley Sager delivers a rock solid thriller in his newest book, Home Before Dark. The story is told in both the present day as well as excerpts from the father's book. This setup naturally leads the reader to question the reliability of the father as narrator because he is not alive to vouch for himself and his daughter has always considered him to be a liar. I sometimes struggle with reading "books within books", but this one worked really well. I honestly felt like I was reading a haunted house account and I was engrossed by those sections. I am not always a fan of the haunted horror subgenre, but this thriller hit all the beats of the classic haunting stories while still managing to feel fresh.Sager is clearly aware that his audience includes seasoned thriller readers and so he goes out of his way to create multiple red herrings. I pride myself in being very good at guessing endings, but he managed to surprise me here. Several times, I was certain that I had uncovered the finale resolution, but all my guesses turned out to be wrong. I didn't think this was his strongest ending, but it was still quite good. I just think he missed some opportunities to make the ending brilliant. Readers should know that, while this story plays off of horror tropes, it is decidedly a thriller.  This story is clearly inspired by the classic Amityville Horror story, but you don't need to read it in order to understand and enjoy this one. Previously, I had no interest in reading that piece of "non fiction", but I am now very interested to see Sager's inspiration and plan to read The Amityville Horror very soon.Riley Sager has certainly earned a place among my all time favourite authors. He is easily one of the best authors writing in the thriller genre today. If you are already a fan of Riley Sager, then you should definitely read his newest release. It has all the benchmarks of one of his books. If you have not read him before, this is a great place to start. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a well plotted thriller full of exciting twists, especially if you love a haunted house narrativeDisclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher.
    more
  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    I did enjoy this ghost/haunted house story that had shades of both The Amityville Horror, (which I lived only twenty minute away from!) and The Haunting of Hill House. It kept you guessing and for the first ninety percent I was glued to the story. The ending did let me down a tad but overall this was a riveting story that had much going for it.Imagine having to leave your home because you knew that your child was in danger. Imagine living in a home that had many deaths occurring within its wall I did enjoy this ghost/haunted house story that had shades of both The Amityville Horror, (which I lived only twenty minute away from!) and The Haunting of Hill House. It kept you guessing and for the first ninety percent I was glued to the story. The ending did let me down a tad but overall this was a riveting story that had much going for it.Imagine having to leave your home because you knew that your child was in danger. Imagine living in a home that had many deaths occurring within its walls. Imagine owning a home thatyou thought you could never afford and yet, you can never truly live there for the secrets that lie there might be the end of all you know and cherish. Such was the dilemma and ultimate choice Ewan and Jess Holt with their young daughter Maggie faced, after moving into Baneberry Hall, a secluded mansion in Vermont.They were overjoyed and first, being able to have a home such as this. However, it became pretty clear after a while that they had gotten more, much more, than they bargained for as their daughter, Maggie began to see apparitions one of which was Mr Shadows who seemed to emanate from a wardrobe in her room and tell her she was going to die. Other spirits seemed to lurk in the night terrifying Maggie and leaving her parents wondering what exactly they had gotten themselves into. There were other otherworldly occurrences and soon it became apparent they family could no longer stay there. They fled in the middle of the night, leaving everything behind, never to return. Later Ewan Holt wrote a best selling story of their experiences bringing to light the unbelievable happenings.Now, years later, after the divorce of her parents and Ewan's death, Maggie has inherited the house. She is determined to go back and face which she considers the lies perpetrated in her father's book, fix up the house, and sell it. However, soon Maggie realizes that perhaps this book was not packed with lies and mistruths. Perhaps it is indeed an evil place populated by evil spirits that are intent to seeing her dead.Told with an eerie aura, this story will have you glued to its pages and for me it was a sure five star book, but then that ending.....Thank you to Riley Sager, Dutton, and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book due out on June 30th, 2020. Jan and I were definitely ready to climb on board the creepy train so when we were able to receive a copy of Riley Sager's new book Home Before Dark, we were overjoyed. Having read a number of this author's former books, we knew we were in for a chilling ride and once again Mr Sager did not disappoint us with his eerie, spooky, and spine tinkling novel. To see our duo reviews: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...
    more
  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    more Riley Sager!!also, this cover is super creepy. i don't know why, it just reminds me of a nightmare i used to have| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | Reddit | LinkedIn | YouTube | more Riley Sager!!also, this cover is super creepy. i don't know why, it just reminds me of a nightmare i used to have| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | Reddit | LinkedIn | YouTube |
    more
  • Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    5 STARS. Thank you so much to Dutton Books for the gifted ARC of HOME BEFORE DARK 🖤 Say hello to my new favorite Sager book 😍🙌🏼 You guys... this book was AMAZING and Riley Sager really knocked it out of the park with this one! I’m so obsessed with haunted house books and this one was everything that I could have possibly wanted and more 👻⁣⁣Easily my favorite aspect of this book was how terrifying it was. You guys already know how hard it is to scare me and this book was truly so frightening 😱 Th 5 STARS. Thank you so much to Dutton Books for the gifted ARC of HOME BEFORE DARK 🖤 Say hello to my new favorite Sager book 😍🙌🏼 You guys... this book was AMAZING and Riley Sager really knocked it out of the park with this one! I’m so obsessed with haunted house books and this one was everything that I could have possibly wanted and more 👻⁣⁣Easily my favorite aspect of this book was how terrifying it was. You guys already know how hard it is to scare me and this book was truly so frightening 😱 There were so many creepy and spine-tingling scenes in this book, which I loved so much! I also was obsessed with the format of this book and found it to be so unique. I loved the story inside of a story aspect and I really enjoyed how it flipped back and forth between the two so flawlessly. This book was so incredibly complex and everything tied together so perfectly, which made me love this book that much more!⁣⁣While the beginning was quite slow, the rest of the book was SO fast-paced and there was always something going on. Usually haunted house books are slower-paced and subtly eerie, but this book was in your face scary and I loved every second of it 🙌🏼 I also really loved how I never had a clue as to what was going to happen. There were so many moving parts to this story so I didn’t have a clear idea where the story was going to go, so I was shocked by the ending for sure! I am so beyond happy that this book has already been optioned for film because it will make such an incredible movie 👻🖤⁣⁣TRIGGERS: Suicide⁣⁣Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this book to you guys! It was such a fantastic haunted house book with so many layers and it’s now my favorite Sager book of all time, which is saying a lot 🙌🏼 HOME BEFORE DARK is out JUNE 30th and trust me, you’ll want to pre-order this one! 🖤⁣
    more
  • Janelle Janson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Dutton Books for my review copy. Riley Sager does it again with another stellar and compulsive psychological thriller. The inspiration behind HOME BEFORE DARK is the Amityville Horror, but let’s not stop there. The supernatural element of the house, which has a jaded past, is a prominent character in the story. And finally, the “book within a book” style, all adds up to a bookish girl’s dream come true.Maggie Holt just lost her father and is trying to come to terms with her grief. Psyc Thank you Dutton Books for my review copy. Riley Sager does it again with another stellar and compulsive psychological thriller. The inspiration behind HOME BEFORE DARK is the Amityville Horror, but let’s not stop there. The supernatural element of the house, which has a jaded past, is a prominent character in the story. And finally, the “book within a book” style, all adds up to a bookish girl’s dream come true.Maggie Holt just lost her father and is trying to come to terms with her grief. Psychologically scarred from growing up in the shadow of her father’s horror memoir, she has a rocky relationship with her divorced parents. Maggie doesn’t believe the house she grew up in is actually haunted and is confident her father made up the story to sell a book, giving no thought to how the unwanted attention twenty-five years earlier would affect her life. Now through her father’s passing, she learns he still owned this Victorian estate. And not only did he never sell it, but he has also now willed it to her. Wanting nothing to do with the house, she plans to renovate it and put it on the market. Of course, nothing is that easy, and unfortunately, Maggie must confront the ghosts of her past.As I have come to expect, Sager writes accessible characters with a plot that goes down nice and smooth. He is a writer I tend to recommend to every type of reader because his stories are entertaining, captivating, and well-executed. One of my favorite aspects of Sager’s writing style is the horror inspiration behind his books. By no means does he write horror but his thrillers often capture some of my favorite horror movies, and that my friends is solid gold. Oh, and did I mention the hardcover glows in the dark?! You bet your sweet butt I preordered my copy, and I can’t wait until its arrival in June. Bravo to another standout from one of my favorite authors!
    more
  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    Riley Sager is one of my favorite authors. I have read many of Riley Sager's books and loved all of them.Of course, I was ecstatic to get my hands on his hottest new book. Unfortunately, this one missed the mark for me.Home Before Dark is very similar to the Haunting on Hill House. But, I'm not sure if Sager was purposely writing a story similar to the series? I was a bit bummed out and felt that the story wasn't very original. Additionally, I was wanting to be left creeped out and scared and I Riley Sager is one of my favorite authors. I have read many of Riley Sager's books and loved all of them.Of course, I was ecstatic to get my hands on his hottest new book. Unfortunately, this one missed the mark for me.Home Before Dark is very similar to the Haunting on Hill House. But, I'm not sure if Sager was purposely writing a story similar to the series? I was a bit bummed out and felt that the story wasn't very original. Additionally, I was wanting to be left creeped out and scared and I was a bit bored in the first half of the book. There wasn't enough Gothic and ghost story vibes for me. And.. the last two chapters?! For real Sager haha? I was completely disappointed in the final reveal of the story and it really didn't make sense to me. I was wishing for more of a ghost story type of novel and this just fell really flat for me.Overall, 3 stars for me.Huge thank you to Netgalley and Dutton for the arc in exchange for an honest review.Pub date: 6/30/20Published to GR: 5/25/20
    more
  • Nursebookie
    January 1, 1970
    TerrifyingHaunting ChillingI loved this book! I felt like I read two books in one, with the most creative dual time line story I have ever read. Riley Sager wrote a brilliant ghostly poltergeist haunted house story about Baneberry Hall that scared me, and I enjoyed this terrifying ride. The story was centered around Maggie Holt who inherited an estate that was made famous by her father’s bestselling memoir, ‘House of Horrors’ about their time at Baneberry Hall, a lavish Victorian Mansion, and wh TerrifyingHaunting ChillingI loved this book! I felt like I read two books in one, with the most creative dual time line story I have ever read. Riley Sager wrote a brilliant ghostly poltergeist haunted house story about Baneberry Hall that scared me, and I enjoyed this terrifying ride. The story was centered around Maggie Holt who inherited an estate that was made famous by her father’s bestselling memoir, ‘House of Horrors’ about their time at Baneberry Hall, a lavish Victorian Mansion, and why they left so suddenly one night, never looking back. Baneberry Hall was an amazing estate and her father Ewan’s dream home. But the house had an eerie past and a mystery that followed the new owners. Maggie Holt against the advise of her family and friends insisted on renovating the estate prior to the sale. In her time there, her homecoming was anything but welcoming as she unravelled long buried secrets within the mansions’ walls.Alternating chapters from her father’s book to her account as she moved back in to Baneberry Hall will uncover terrifying truths about their mysterious twenty days there, and the reason they fled in the middle of the night twenty five years ago.This was just an absolutely brilliant storytelling with flawless pacing, a horrifying plot and terrifying scenes that will linger to haunt you. For days, you could never leave me home alone or sleep in the dark. It was that good!!
    more
  • Jordy’s Book Club
    January 1, 1970
    QUICK TAKE: Sager fans rejoice. If you enjoyed his previous novels, you'll enjoy this one. A multi-generational haunted house story that gave me "Haunting of Hill House" vibes is very much it's own thing. A few good scares, an engaging mystery with unreliable narrators, and SNAKES!! You've still got a few months until this one is officially released, but for many of you, it will be worth the wait.
    more
  • J.D. Barker
    January 1, 1970
    Houses breathe. Some have a heartbeat. None forget. Grabbing you from the first page, Riley Sager crafts a devilish plot, twisted timelines, and horrors that linger in this haunting thriller that needs to be on your reading list! HOME BEFORE DARK releases July 2020.
    more
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    I look forward to a new Riley Sager thriller every summer!  His books always deliver a page turning mystery with just the right formula for his familiar characters: the survivors (Final Girls) of a horror movie-esque massacre and settings:  creepy summer camps (The Last Time I Lied) and big city apartment buildings with a sinister history (Lock Every Door).This time around, Sager is giving us a haunted house that has gained infamy thanks to a bestselling horror memoir and a woman determined to u I look forward to a new Riley Sager thriller every summer!  His books always deliver a page turning mystery with just the right formula for his familiar characters: the survivors (Final Girls) of a horror movie-esque massacre and settings:  creepy summer camps (The Last Time I Lied) and big city apartment buildings with a sinister history (Lock Every Door).This time around, Sager is giving us a haunted house that has gained infamy thanks to a bestselling horror memoir and a woman determined to uncover the truth.Baneberry Hall has set vacant in the Vermont woods for 25 years.  Ewan and Jess Holt fled in the middle of the night with their five-year-old daughter Maggie less than a month after purchasing the estate.Ewan eventually wrote a bestselling book about the family's experience which brought them a great deal of money but also led to the end of Ewan and Jess's marriage.Maggie was too young to remember much of her time at Baneberry Hall.  She's read the book, but as an adult she has a healthy skepticism of the events her father recounted featuring evil spirits and paranormal activity.When Ewan dies, Maggie is shocked to learn she has inherited the estate --- she didn't know her father still owned the property.Maggie tells herself she is returning to renovate the house and sale as quickly as possible but she has always wondered if there was even a shred of truth in her father's book.  As she meets the people chronicled in the book and learns more about the history of Baneberry Hall, Maggie experiences some strange occurences of her own. I freaking loved this thriller!  It's atmospheric and creepy and Sager has the haunted house formula down to a science with some definite Amityville Horror vibes.  I've never been a fan of The Sound of Music but the song "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" will now send a chill up my spine instead of inducing an eye roll.  Also, I will never sleep with a closet or armoire open ever again.I loved the twisty ending and I honestly didn't figure it out beforehand.A little campy (in a fun way!) and immensely entertaining, Home Before Dark is another perfect summer thriller from Riley Sager.Thanks to NetGalley and Dutton Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  Home Before Dark is scheduled for release on June 30, 2020.For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
    more
Write a review