Home Before Dark by Riley Sager Review

Maggie Holt was five when her parents bought the sprawling Victorian estate called Baneberry Hall. The young family spent just three weeks in the house before they fled in fear, abandoning their belongs, never to return. The nonfiction account of the horrors and hauntings of Baneberry Hall, written by her father, was an international bestseller. While Maggie has no memory of the events that are outlined in the book, the story itself has haunted her for 25 years. She has never believed that the book was true, but she has never managed get her divorced parents to reveal to her what really happened in that house. When her father passes away she is shocked to learn that she has inherited Baneberry Hall. Why did her father still own the house? Maggie returns to a house she doesn’t remember with the intention of restoring it and selling, putting the nightmare forever in her past. Her arrival in town is not a welcome one. People that she knows a characters in the book are real people and they have stories of their own to tell. Maggie is interested in learning the truth, but as events outlined in the book begin to occur again in the house, Maggie is forced to consider that her father’s account may be more fact than fiction after all.

I went in to this book blind. I have read and enjoyed other books by Riley Sager, so I assumed I would also enjoy this one, despite my terror of haunted houses. Thanks, dad, for letting 5 year old me watch Amityville Horror. Totally scarred for life. But I digress…Anyway, we have a haunted house with a nonbeliever living in it. I want to be a nonbeliever, so I was onboard with Maggie’s goal to disprove the validity of her father’s book. Also, side note, I love a book within a book. But dang it, if that house isn’t creepy and probably haunted and it turns out a lot of the things in the book ARE true. Will Maggie finally learn why they fled in the middle of the night? You bet she does. Did I see the answer coming? NOT. AT. ALL. This is a perfect spooky season (aka, October) read that left me questioning everything to the very surprising end.

If you are into spooky, haunted houses, you should join us for Novel Scares, a horror book club. This month we are talking about another cursed how, The Good House by Tananarive Due. Register now to receive the Zoom link.

Happy Spooky Reading!

~Megan

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here some of the new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week!

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda – Rendered famous in childhood for her miraculous survival of a dangerous storm, a young woman changes her name and struggles to hide from the media before waking up one evening to find a corpse at her feet.

The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor – A series debut set in Dublin and New York introduces homicide detective and divorced mom Maggie D’Arcy, who in the wake of a disappearance and new clues reopens the investigation into her cousin’s disappearance 23 years earlier.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory – Going against her better judgement, LA lawyer Olivia Monroe secretly starts dating a hotshot junior senator until their romance is made public and her life falls under intense media scrutiny, jeopardizing everything.

Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri – Haunting the park near Tokyo’s Uneo Station, the ghost of a man whose life eerily paralleled the Emperor’s reflects on the milestones that impacted his existence, from his homelessness and the 2011 tsunami to the 1964 and 2020 Olympics.

Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldberg – In a tale inspired by true events, the author of The Doll Factory explores the high-suspense aftermath of a college student’s baffling murder and its reverberations through a chorus of interconnected lives.

The Mist by Ragnar Jonasson – In this gripping conclusion of the critically acclaimed Hidden Iceland series, Detective Hulda is haunted forever by the events that occurred in an isolated farmhouse in the east of Iceland that opened its doors to a killer.

Eliza Starts a Rumor by Jane L. Rosen – Clinging to the community bulletin board she created 15 years earlier, a suburban housewife struggling with agoraphobia engages in fabricated gossip to keep the site more interesting before community member lives are upended by personal setbacks.

People of the Canyons by Kathleen O’Neal & W. Michael Gear – A healer allies himself with a witch hunter to prevent a tyrant from claiming an artifact of power, while his adopted granddaughter uncovers terrifying truths about her parents. By the best-selling authors of People of the Raven.

Everyone Knows How Much I Love You by Kyle McCarthy – Moving in with a childhood friend she betrayed years earlier, Rose becomes increasingly drawn to her roommate’s boyfriend and exerts unconscious influence that threatens to reignite the worst moments of each woman’s life.

Love by Roddy Doyle – Attending his father’s deathbed in hospice, a man reconnects with a drinking buddy from his Dublin youth while reflecting on a long-ago love, his wife’s role in upending his life and the truth about his departure from Ireland.

 

~Semanur