You’ve been offered a luxury apartment, rent free. The catch: you may not live long enough to enjoy it…
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents.
These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous.
Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But 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 – but the next day, her new friend has vanished. And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…
Sometimes it’s not only an author’s reputation and his previous books that create high expectations, sometimes it’s the book itself that raises the bar high from the opening chapter, which is exactly what happened when I started reading Lock Every Door. This novel is bound to convince his loyal fans and new-time readers.
I loved Riley Sager’s two previous novels, they were both very atmospheric (one includes a dark and frightening forest, the other a summer camp on the grounds of an old asylum) so I already started this novel – given the rather scary title Lock Every Door – with some trepidation. It didn’t help either that as soon as I opened the novel I was introduced to Jules who was brought into the hospital. She had blood on her and scratches on her arms and body which already raised questions but above all that she BEGS the doctor not to send her back to the Bartholomew. He hooked me right from the start with this! I had to know what had happened to her to make her feel so scared of that building since she set foot in it, which was – hold on cos you’re not going to believe this – only 6 DAYS EARLIER.
What can happen in 6 days, right? Jules Larsden is a very likeable character who had her share of hardships in life even if she’s in her early twenties. She’s quite down to earth and even laughs away all those creepy stories about the building being cursed. The gargoyles even have a charm for her that escapes me entirely. They don’t look like gothic protectors to me at all but little horrifying monsters. If she’s definitely not the type to get scared easily then what on earth unnerved her so much that it made her run out on the street and make her forfait the first paycheck as an apartment sitter?
It’s a slow burn at first but as the days progress, the tension mounts. You know that something is going to happen and the Bartholew felt off all right but I really couldn’t put my finger on it what it was. I could feel the danger around Jules but didn’t know where it was going to come from and I wrecked my brain to explain the disappearances, I came up with a few theories even, but the truth was a real shocker! If you want a novel to surprise you, then you’re always safe reading a Riley Sager novel. There are a number of twists in this novel of course but two that are quite sensational, and I loved that there was much much more to discover after what you think is ‘the big reveal’, I even think I liked the second big twist more than the first!
Now even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, it was atmospheric, eerie and daintily unsettling, I think I still prefer the woodsy areas of his first two novels a tiny bit more :-). I was also a teensy bit disappointed that a small subplot in the novel involving Jules’ family which intrigued me quite a bit, didn’t really give me all I wanted. I can’t help it that I always like everything neatly tied up and solved. This is only a minor detail though so certainly don’t pass up the opportunity to read this very engaging novel!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.