Cover Image: Home Before Dark

Home Before Dark

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Member Reviews

I'm a huge fan of Riley Sager and at this point will read anything he puts out.
Whilst i didnt quite love this as much as i did "Lock Every Door" i found this to be an engrossing and thrilling story.
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Maggie Holt has been haunted by a book her father wrote about paranormal  incidents in her childhood that she can't remember. It was a bestseller. She only has to say her name and the questions begin. Now her Father has died and she needs to go back and face the truth of the past and return to Banebury house where it all happened.
To be fair to this book it is probably a 3.5 star book. There is a lot of cliche about a haunted house with dark figures lurking, strange happenings, a light which keeps turning on etc. Consequently I found the beginning of this book a bit tedious. However it did improve as it progressed. I had worked out a great deal of what really happened but the ending was told well.
I also enjoyed the style of this book. We have the modern day Maggie Holt returning to the haunted house. In parallel we also have sections of the infamous book that her Father wrote about the weeks they lived in Banebury House. I did like this style and felt it enhanced the book making it much more readable than a straight story would have been.
This isn't a great book but nor is it a bad one. 
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.
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*Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a complimentary eARC for review purposes*

In "Home Before Dark", we follow Maddie as she inherits the haunted house her family lived in for a total of 20 days before fleeing never to return. Featuring a book within a book the chapters alternate between Maddie in present-day searching for answers and her father's best-seller detailing the paranormal force that drove them to leave. 

I made the mistake of starting this in the middle of the night, which really enhanced the haunted house atmosphere. I found it quick paced and it did a great job of keeping me interested, 

Note: As I was reading this all I could think about was the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, so if you did not enjoy that you may not enjoy this.
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Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is probably my favourite book of the year. The book within a book format worked great and I absolutely loved the story. Haunting, creepy and twisty, I wasn’t sure what way this book was going to go but I enjoyed every last minute of it. If you’re a fan of The Haunting of Hill House I think you’ll really enjoy this one. Highly recommended. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review.
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Maggie and her family fled their house when she was a child, but why? According to her fathers bestselling book it was because it was terribly haunted. Now Maggie is returning to the house, will she find answers?

I enjoyed reading Home Before Dark, I honestly had no idea how it was going to end, so it was a surprise twist. I enjoyed reading the book her Dad had written alongside Maggies experience of the house. It was an entertaining read.
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I have read two other books by the author and liked the style. I thought the blurb of this looked interesting enough to try. The genre is not something I frequently pick up. My uber active imagination does not need much more to plague my dreams with. This, however, was worth the venture. Only reading it during the day, I limited the possibilities, but it was not as scary as expected. Although the hauntedness of the house is a vital element, the perpetual suspense-filled environment in which our lead protagonist finds herself if the bigger draw here.
The story begins with the introduction of a man who wrote a book. The current day alternates with the pages of the book said to be written about a house from which his family fled in the night. The little girl in the story, now an adult and owner of the same house has always maintained that the book is full of falsehoods because she doesn’t remember anything about the stay. What follows are quite a few unexpected events, the lesser said about it now, the better for the reader. I enjoyed the ending, never expecting such a wrap-up. I might not jump into reading another book in this genre, but I am willing to be more experimental after this read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience of this and previous works by the author.
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Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

Maggie Holt is haunted. She was the central subject of her father's non-fiction account about her family's terrified flight from their home, after a series of unexplained occurrences. However, it is not the spectres he details inside this book that haunt her today, but the unwanted infamy that came along this publication.

This story was delivered from two distinct timelines. The first was through segments of Maggie's father's book, which detailed the haunted occurrences and Maggie's young life. The second was from Maggie's own adult perspective, after she returned to her childhood home and attempted to remember exactly what transpired there.

Initially, the back-and-forth between the two eras was highly appealing but this soon altered. I found much of what occurred for present-day Maggie was a repeat from the contents of her father's book. This originally ensured this delivered the chilling atmosphere and sinister sense of foreboding I longed for but when the events continued to repeat themselves, throughout much of the novel, I soon longed for something new to occur.

This book walked the fine line between horror and thriller and, as the abundance of high star ratings can attest to, it worked very well for many a reader. However, I longed for it to either add a new mystery to focus on or more supernatural sightings, to those detailed early in the book. This did keep me engaged, though: I remained consistently unsure if the record of Maggie's young life was real, and, if not, then I was eager to find our what really occurred in its place. I longed for something a little more from the centre of the book but was very impressed by the early atmosphere and the twisted conclusion.
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Riley Sager is a brilliant author and one of my absolute favourites. Ever since his debut book 'Final Girls' first published in 2017, I look forward to reading his new work every year. 
This year he has released book no. 4 named 'Home Before Dark' - a book within a book, one telling the chilling and horrifying story of Ewan who moved into the Baneberry Hall along with his family with hopes to make it their forever home but unfortunately had to flee in the middle of the night for the sake for their lives vowing to never return to it again. Later Ewan recounted his experience of living in the house for 3 weeks in a nonfiction book called 'House Of Horrors'. 
the other story is of the present-day where Maggie, the daughter of Ewan now inherits the very same haunted house after his death. Despite her father's last words being a warning to her to never return to the house as it's not safe for her, she does the exact opposite in hopes to renovate the place and prepare it for sale. Maggie doesn't recall any of the experiences written in her father's book and also doesn't believe a word of it. But strange incidents begin to occur upon her arrival which makes her question whether her father's book was actually a non-fictional story. 
I highly enjoyed this thrilling mystery novel which kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time. There are so many elements in this book which all come together at the end, wrapping up the story beautifully and blowing away your mind with the twists! 
I don't normally read horror fiction but Riley Sagar books are an exception and this wasn't even that scary honestly!
Overall 5 shining stars for this brilliant book.
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Loved this

Totally creeped me out.

What  a setting and what an atmosphere

Beware of wardrobes and chandeliers haha

Riley Sager hats off to you!
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4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

The Haunting of Hill House TV Series vibes and I’m here for it.

A book is written about the families experience at a ‘Haunted House’. A family member not believing the tales in the book. Freaky things start to happen when returning to the house. Hell yeah. Also slight Bly Manor tv series because of the dark character with the eyes riiiight.

I love Riley’s ability to create an atmosphere that makes you question if it’s paranormal. I have the same feelings for lock every door which I looooved. I also enjoyed the twists and turns and reveals it became such a rollercoaster. I wasn’t looking forward to the split narrative of the story intertwined however it was definitely necessary for the story.

To me I feel like there’s too many characters for my small mind to keep up with. I’m sure it’s actually fine and it’s just me. I did also feel like there was too many convenient things happened to further the plot.

This was highly enjoyable and I recommend it! I recommend Riley Sager as a whole!
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Before reading this book, I was quite intrigued by the hype surrounding the author. And now, I know. Home Before Dark is a very delicately written story. 
I loved the slow build-up of the story and the poignancy that creeps in. There were the usual suspects you'll find in a horror story; the sudden music, lights going on and off on their own. But all those were necessary tools to tell this story. 
Ewan Holt wrote their experience in the Baneberry hall into a memoir named 'House Of Horrors.' And the style of putting that story masked with Maggie's present tale at the house; was clever. 
But, there were times when Maggie didn't seem enough to hold up the story. I would have loved another strong character along the way. A more sinister one, if possible. But, as a reader, you can't have it all.
The ending was great, if not perfect. And that's what completes this tale and makes it one worth remembering. 
Baneberry Hall indeed is a 'House Of Horrors.'
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This book really didn’t need to be this long.  If it had been around 200 pages shorter I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more, because the ending was amazing. It just dragged too much.
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An excellent twist on the classic haunted house story. I thought the mixing of the older and current stories worked really well and the resolution was incredibly satisfying. I'd be very happy to have this on the Hill House section of my bookshelf!
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This is my first Riley Sager book, and the first 40% was very atmospheric, but as I continued to read on it seemed repetitive and the MC one-dimensional. It picked up on the discovery in the ceiling, but my interest wasn't as strong as it was when i initially started the book.

Solid, though a bit disappointing with the main character.
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Absolutely adored this - one of Riley Sager's best books yet. As is usual with his works, I didn't see the ending coming. I was sucked in from the get-go and the effect of the book within the book was spellbinding. 

Easy 5/5 stars!
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Clearly one of the most anticipated book of the year for me. 
All my prayers have been answered, books like these have made the CATASTROPHIC 2020 easier for all of us. 


For an avid and devoted Horror/Thriller fan since the tender young age of five these lines were enough for me to be SOLD. 

It has the perfect elements of the old school horror movie/story and sets of on a gothic backdrop. 

Are you still dubious whether to buy this or not? I SAY, TRUST THIS GREEN BOOK and this STRANGER and go for it! 

Thankyou NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton, Riley Sager for this old school, smoky e-book in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an e-copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I don’t tend to read thrillers and I don’t really know why because I do tend to like them. Like this one. 

I really liked the layout of this book, flipping between present day with Maggie after her fathers death finding out more about Baneberry Hall and the truth related to her fathers book. Alongside this, we also get snippets from her fathers book that relate to the present day chapters. I found this really clever and intriguing and had me hooked. 

As I don’t read thrillers often, I didn’t see the end coming or the twists that came along. This meant that each time something new was revealed I was hooked and wanting to know more. Even when I thought we finally knew the truth as to why Maggie and her family left the house after 20 days, another twist came and shocked me. 

I am definitely going to pick up more thrillers and try to read more of this authors work!
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This book was very disappointing after reading and loving Riley Sager's Lock Every Door. 
It was a pain to read, the main character was insufferable and SO self-righteous, I literally wanted to tear my hair out when reading her thoughts! I love the haunted house vibe and I thought that part of the book was pretty well done. I also enjoyed the 'interludes' from the dad's book, I liked those much more than reading from the main characters perspective.
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This was an interesting novel. Not least because I’d read and enjoyed some of the author’s work in the past (particularly his debut, ‘Final Girls’), but because I’d already seen a lot of good things from other reviewers. Riley Sager clearly has a love for the horror genre, so when I heard he was writing a haunted house tale, inspired by ‘The Amityville Horror’, I was keen to see his take on the theme.

Our primary narrator is Maggie, whose author father has recently died as the story opens. He wrote what she refers to as ‘The Book’ – and we soon begin to see excerpts from it, and to see why she is both affected and haunted by that overarching work.

Because Maggie is a grown-up version of the little girl from The Book itself, a ‘based on true events’ story of a family escaping from a lethal haunted house. She’s travelled through life with what became a best-seller hanging over her; it’s hard to meet anyone who doesn’t know her own story better than she does.

When she learns that she’s inherited that very house, she resolves to put her past demons to rest – and we’re off and running.

This was an enthralling read. We see Maggie exploring the house as an adult, seeing its effect – and that of The Book – on the nearby town, as well as the constant thread of basically trying to figure out if her father was telling the truth or not. Is the house haunted? What about the multiple deaths there over the years, the mysterious staff members and their daughters, and the previous living residents of the house itself?

Maggie’s explorations in the present day are interspersed with chapters from The Book, letting us ‘see’ what actually happened. Except her father may be an unreliable narrator. Or is that Maggie’s memory playing tricks?

Before I knew it, I had sped through the majority of the book (this one, not The Book) and was entering the end zone. Which is sadly where it lost me.

I felt very let down by ‘Home Before Dark’. The twisting plot-threads were excellent, but the multiple fake-outs were not. Everything is tied in a neat bow as the story closes, but that actually felt disappointing after so many mysteries; almost as if I’d have preferred the final door remained closed.

I’m actually reminded of the debate over ‘The Blair Witch Project’ original movie. Would you rather see the monster, or leave that to your own imagination?

Ultimately, for me, trying to figure the puzzle out was far more fun than what happened when the Scooby Doo villain’s mask was pulled off. I know some people will be happy with that, but after a kind of supernatural whodunnit, it was frustrating to be told that the reader had been mislead (in a manner of speaking) as much as the characters.

I doubt I’ll be rereading The Book again soon. But I bet it’ll make a great movie.
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"You are sixteen, going on seventeen-" 🎶🎵🎶
I was singing this line in a childlike Chuckie voice to my staff the whole day! Needless to say, they were freaked out like hell and I had a lot of fun! Never will this be just another innocent song to me. 

I absolutely loved this book and I'm so glad I've discovered this author. I will try to get my grubby paws on all his other books. 

This is an old fashioned ghost story......or is it? Nothing is as straight forward as you think. You have all the elements of a great ghost story. An old creepy house, chandeliers that unexplainably go on by itself, a graveyard and young girls who all died in the presence of their dads. 

"Every house has a story to tell and a secret to share......." 

I loved every creepy moment of this atmospheric mystery thriller and it's up there with the best I've read this year. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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