Riley Sager's third novel brings to mind the classic intrigues of the Gilded Age, but with a distinctly modern twist. I loved this one, folks!
Pacing: ★★★ 1/2
Lock Every Door was not exactly what I expected when I assumed I was reading a Riley Sager novel. His 2018 hit, The Last Time I Lied, was a creepy, somewhat spooky, dialogue-driven narrative with barely-there descriptions that evoked vivid senses of atmosphere culminating in a pulse-pounding conclusion. Lock Every Door, by contrast, is a study in description, Hitchcockian-level creeping senses of unease, occasional action, and a reflection on modern times.
I loved it anyway, but it was different.
The Bartholomew is a stately apartment building with an exclusive list of New York's richest living within its historic gilded halls. The apartments are sumptuous, the clientele discrete. No press, no guests, and no prying allowed.
Jules is a recently single, recently fired 20-something girl scraping her way through life in New York City. Her family is dead/out of the picture, and she's essentially on her own in the world (excluding her good friend Chloe, who allows her to crash on her couch). When the advertisement for an apartment sitter finds Jules, she can't believe her luck. It's at the Bartholomew, and they want to pay her to apartment sit in one of New York's richest zip codes.
It's the deal of Jules' lifetime. But is it too good to be true?
The rules for apartment sitters seem strict, but Jules needs the money and figures she can ignore the odd parts of the job. That is, until one of her fellow apartment sitters goes missing. Jules quickly finds herself in a cat-and-mouse game with a villain that she can't find and the results are not what she expects.
Like Riley Sager's previous works, I had a fantastic time reading this. The writing is irresistible, and Lock Every Door is an unputdownable mystery. My only problem was its tough introduction--it takes a while for the plot to get going, and the descriptions of the apartment building are a bit much right on the offset. But, once you're invested in the narrative, all of the descriptions become part of the atmosphere so all is forgiven. The ending wasn't exactly shocking for me, but it was moderately surprising and still enjoyable. I confess, I wanted a similarly creepy ending to The Last Time I Lied, where the narrative spools out with an intriguing last call. The ending to Lock Every Door felt much more finite.
Thank you so much to Dutton via NetGalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.