Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Book Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Book: Lock Every Door

Author: Riley Sager

Pages: 384

Read on: Kindle

Read in: 4-5 hours

Plot Summary: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen's new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid's disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew's dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building's hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Things I Liked:

1. I find stories based in spooky homes, apartment complexes etc. very, very interesting! I guess it has something to do with the idea that a building absorbs some of the negative energy for the crimes that have been committed within its walls. I used to be fan of this short-lived (one season only) TV series called 666, Park Avenue, which was about a fancy building in New York where spooky, scary things happen. So, yeah, I guess, the premise of this book was similar to the TV show, which made me pick it up. Of course, it helped that I have enjoyed Riley Sager's previous books and was excited to jump into this one. 

2. The offer made to Jules is so ridiculously and obviously fishy and I was glad that the author included a voice of caution in Jules' life in the form of her friend- Chloe. I despise thrillers where there are ginormous red flags, but no one in the protagonist's life calls them out for what they are! So, this was, actually, quite refreshing.

3. The book is very fast-paced. Jules lives for a total of only 5 days in The Bartholomew and things happen at quite a breakneck speed. Always nice in a thriller. Also, this is a very tightly written and sharply edited book and there aren't any chapters or events that function as fillers. 

4. The real 'twist' of what is going on at The Bartholomew is quite interesting. Perhaps you'll see it coming, perhaps you won't, but it is an interesting route to take and I, for one, found it kinda predictable but still nice. 

5. There are elements of horror/ supernatural hinted at in the book and that also made it more dark and intriguing, which is always a good thing be! 

6. The various 'apartment sitters' we meet in the book are likeable. They're all young, hard-on-their-luck people and I, especially, liked Ingrid. Even Jules is a nice enough character- I may not be able to 100% relate to her, but I understand where she is coming from and the decisions that she made. So, that's a good enough space for a crime/thriller character to inhabit. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. The offer made to Jules (and the other apartment sitters) and the explanation behind the apartment sitting itself had some glaring loopholes as a plot device. First of all, the offer was too good to be true. You don't have to be a naturally cautious or sceptical person to see that such an offer always comes with some kind of a catch. It was ridiculous! Also, the explanation behind why the empty apartments needed sitting was beyond ridiculous- to the extent of it being completely irrational and unbelievable. The author was trying for an iron-clad set of circumstances and "rules" within which Jules would have to operate and which would make her situation more and more dire as time went on. However, the author could've done better. I don't see, realistically, anyone taking up such an offer with a relaxed and joyful frame of mind, which is what the author has depicted all the apartment sitters to be in when they first move into their respective apartments! Especially, Jules! I mean, she was couch surfing at Chloe's and was not being kicked out or anything. She didn't have to take up this offer, unlike poor Ingrid, who was practically homeless! So, like I said, as a plot device, this whole offer, terms etc. piece could've been done better. 

Rating: 4/5 (It gets 0.5 stars for its sheer unputdownability!) 

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