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Publisher's Summary

The Instant New York Times Best Seller

One of...

  • Huffington Post’s “10 Of The Most Anticipated Book Releases Of June 2020” 
  • Good Housekeeping’s “The 35 Best Books of 2020 to Add to Your Reading List” 
  • Travel + Leisure’s “20 Most Anticipated Summer 2020 Books” 
  • PopSugar’s 17 Most Anticipated Summer Thrillers 
  • Working Mother’s “The 20 Most Anticipated Books of 2020” 
  • Newsweek’s 20 most anticipated summer reads 
  • Publishers Weekly's "Summer Reads 2020" 
  • BookPage’s “2020 Most Anticipated Thrillers and Mysteries” 
  • Today.com’s “16 highly anticipated summer reads” 
  • The Star Tribune’s “Great Escapes” summer reads 
  • BookPage's "Private Eye July" 
  • USA Today's “Summer reading guide: 20 new books you won't want to miss”
  • CrimeReads “10 New Books Coming Out This Week”
  • Buzzfeed “17 New Thrillers That Will Keep Your Summer Exciting"
  • The Everygirl “30 Books That Should Be on Your Summer Reading List”

In the latest thriller from New York Times best seller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s best-selling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound - and dangerous - secrets hidden within its walls?

What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity - and skepticism. 

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father's book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father's death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself - a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction. 

Alternating between Maggie’s uneasy homecoming and chapters from her father’s book, Home Before Dark is the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them - even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting.

©2020 Riley Sager (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"What could be better than a haunted house with ghosts aplenty? Home Before Dark is equally superb and terrifying. Buckle up for a wild ride. This book should come with a warning not to be read after dark." (Mary Kubica, New York Times best-selling author of The Other Mrs.)  

"Flawless pacing, a dexterous dual narrative, and character through the roof. But the biggest revelation to be found in Home Before Dark is this: There's nobody writing scarier books than Riley Sager is right now." (Josh Malerman, New York Times best-selling author of Bird Box and Malorie)  

"Houses breathe. Some have a heartbeat. None forget. Grabbing you from the first page, Riley Sager crafts a devilish plot, twisted timelines, and horrors that linger in this haunting thriller that needs to be on your reading list!" (J.D. Barker, international best-selling author of She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be

What listeners say about Home Before Dark

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Meh...Not My Favorite Sager Book

Sager is an automatic order for me, usually. Alas, this one was not my cup of tea. I won't rewrite the same book bio. You can read it on the same page as the book or on Goodreads. There are suggested hints of Haunting of Hill House, The Amityville Horror, or The Shining when you first start reading the book. As the reader goes along, you realize this is LESS of a paranormal thriller and more of a psychological one. It is simply a mystery about an old house and the girl who used to live there finally figuring out why her family fled one night so long ago. As Sager novels go, this ended up as my least favorite. The book is well-written and performed well, but I have a few issues with the story overall. I don't mind the story being told from two points of view (Maggie's now, her father, then). Cady and Jon narrate these respective characters well. However, Maggie is not the most likable character and there are a few inconsistent plot points I had issues with. The book is much longer than necessary, even for a slow-burn mystery. Sadly, you can listen to the first two, two-in-a-half hours and jump to chapter 25 and listen from there and learn everything you need to know. The book is padded with a lot of misleading red herrings and dead ends in between. It was a very very slow burn and reveal. Not as clean of a mystery as I would have hoped, especially since it was marketed as a paranormal one. This is not a horror either. The big reveal twist and the ending, for me, went a little flat. As a Sager fan, I can appreciate what he was trying to do. It just wasn't my thing.

18 people found this helpful

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Save your credit!

I had a few issues with this book: 1) giant snooze. I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later; didn’t miss a beat 2) skipping! This book skipped all over the place!! 3) recycling of “suspense” 4) unlikeable characters Save your credit! If you bought it skip to chapter 25 as recommended in another review!

10 people found this helpful

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shocking

I loved everything about this book. It's a fun and spooky book with a fantastic ending.

6 people found this helpful

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I didn't see it coming!

This is a great story. I didn't want to stop listening. I finished it in 2 days!! The story flows easily and there are so many twists and turns you just don't know what to believe. I don't scare easily so this book did not scare me, however, I can see how someone more sensitive would/could get scared. The story was so well told I felt like I was watching a movie. This book will not disappoint!

5 people found this helpful

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captivating

I've read other books by this author. he creates unusual plots which are engrossing and highly entertaining

5 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected !

The book was great! I was surprised the turn that it took! I have already recommended the book to someone!

4 people found this helpful

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Meh

It was a little predictable and unoriginal. I wasn’t a fan of the female narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Not Sager's Best

Home Before Dark is unsatisfying as a mystery and tepid as a haunted house story. Disappointing.

3 people found this helpful

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Could not stop listening

This is the first Sager book I’ve listened to/ read, and I loved it! A lot of people said they’ve read better from the Author, but now knowing that I am excited to listen to more from the Author. The narration was awesome, keep in mind they were trying to capture a thick Vermont accent ( if ya know, ya know). Thats probably where people have an issue the most. The story has layers and also the writer has a way of deception that is absolutely delicious. The twistiness Was non stop to the very last minute. Overall I think if you’re not familiar with the author definitely listen to the book! And if you are familiar with the author still listen to the book, and leave a review about how great all his other stuff is so as to inspire Sager newbies to keep listening/reading more of his stuff. Deal? Deal.

2 people found this helpful

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Sager's books get worse with each new one

Bland, uninspired, boring, and derivative of far better works, "Home Before Dark" continues Sager's descent from a promising genre writer with his debut to hack with this latest mess. Avoid.

2 people found this helpful