Home Before Dark
By: Riley Sager
Father on Deathbed: Don’t go back to that house. It’s not safe for you.
Mother: Promise me you won’t go to the house. I’ll buy it off you as is for full price just don’t go…
Maggie: (A chapter later.) Hey mom! Guess where I am???
25 years ago 5 year old Maggie and her parents fled their new home after less than a month claiming it was so haunted they could never return not even to get their things. Her father wrote a best-selling book about it (as you do even then) which changed Maggie’s life as much as anything though she has no memories of the house and her parents never talk to her about it.
Now after her father’s death she’s returned to fix it up for sale (because for some reason he never got rid of it) and try to figure out what really happened. Especially what happened to the young girl that went missing the same night her family left.
Maggie’s current timeline is interspersed with chapters from her father’s book about the families time in the house.
Home Before Dark was one of my most anticipated books of the year and overall I got to say- I really enjoyed it. The story was suitably creepy good atmosphere in the house the characters were a little lacking but hey, I was there for the hauntings anyway. Maggie’s quest for the truth and the way it played out with her beginning to realize there was truth to what her father wrote so maybe it was possible made for a fun read.
Could have done without the snakes though.
The only thing that really holds me up is the ending and at that only half of the ending. One part worked completely and actually freaked me out more than anything else in the book the other part was like, wait… what? Why?
But overall Home Before Dark was what I wanted a fun summer mystery/ghost story which is basically Sager’s whole thing at this point and I’ll look forward to whatever he’s offering next summer!