Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Book Review: "Lock Every Door" by Riley Sager

You know the old saying if it seems too good to be true, it probably is? Well, that's something that Jules Larsen should have thought of when she accepted an assignment as an apartment sitter at one of the oldest and most exclusive NYC apartment buildings, the Bartholomew.

Jules is between jobs and, because her relationship with her boyfriend just ended, between apartments. The Bartholomew was the setting of her favorite book from childhood, so the thought of living in those glamorous, hallowed halls almost seems like a dream. When she sees the enormous, duplex apartment at the top of the building, and learns that she'll receive a salary of $4,000 for each month of her three-month assignment, how could she resist?

Sure, there are a lot of rules. She must sleep in her apartment every night. She can't have anyone over to visit because the residents of the Bartholomew cherish their privacy. No pictures of anything related to the building on social media. She's also not allowed to bother any of the residents.

But even those and other slightly strange rules are enough to dissuade her, given how desperately she needs the money. Even as she starts to learn about the Bartholomew's somewhat-scandalous and creepy past, she feels lucky. When she meets fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, she feels she has found a kindred spirit. As Ingrid shares her feelings about how things about the building frighten her a bit, Jules tries to help assuage her fears (and perhaps calm some of her own).

The next morning, Ingrid is gone. She apparently left the Bartholomew without a word to anyone, and she won't return Jules' texts or phone calls. Little by little, Jules starts to become more worried about Ingrid's safety, and wonders if perhaps there is more to the things Ingrid was afraid of. As Jules tries to dig into Ingrid's disappearance with the help of her handsome neighbor, she starts to discover that things in the Bartholomew aren't as idyllic as they seem—and Ingrid isn't the first one to disappear.

Riley Sager knows how to ratchet up the suspense, and he definitely did so here in Lock Every Door. There is such a pervasive sense of danger permeating through the book from the minute Jules first arrives at the Bartholomew. You know it's too good to be true, you know she shouldn't trust people, but as the reader, you're powerless to shake some sense into her.

The narration shifts between the present and Jules' arrival at the building a few days earlier, so you get glimpses of what will happen but nothing too concrete to fully give it away. Sager's storytelling is taut and reads like a movie, so I could picture what was happening in my mind's eye.

You'll really need to suspend your disbelief here as the book hurtles toward its conclusion. I'll admit I thought things went completely off the rails and I rolled my eyes toward the end. But I know many others loved this book, so perhaps I just thought things got a little too kooky for my own good.

I'm a fan of Sager's writing—his debut novel, Final Girls, was another book that read like a movie I'd totally see. If you like your thrillers on the crazy, slightly gothic side, Lock Every Door is one for you. And don't accept an apartment-sitting gig that seems too good to be true!

NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

This book will be published July 2, 2019.

No comments:

Post a Comment