Lock Every Door 🗝️ Book Review


Written by Thelonia

Jules is between jobs, between boyfriends, with a nearly empty bank account. Which is when she gets an offer she can scarcely refuse - an offer that almost sounds too good to be true: baby-sitting an apartment at prestigious (and fictional) New York apartment building "The Bartholomew."

Unfortunately, things begin to fall apart almost immediately, with mysterious sounds in the night, disappearing tenants, and messages too strange to ignore. But will Jules be able to make it out in one piece?

Riley Sager, the author, clearly has a knack for crafting mysteries, with insecure female protagonists who unravel clues as the plot moves on around them. Whether it's the structure (which parallels author Ruth Ware's In the Dark, Dark Wood) or the mystery itself, there is not much new here.

The plot itself (spoilers ahead here) is very similar to films that tackled similar mysteries, to the point that nothing, but in particular not any of the "twists" (ostensibly the main attraction to the thriller genre) were particularly surprising.

I kept hearing Thoroughly Modern Millie's Mrs. Meers every time someone started opining about how they had no family or friends, in concerto with Rosemary's Baby's "All Them Witches."

Telegraphing your plot isn't always a bad thing, but you have to make up for it in execution of the other elements, and Sager's plot falls flat here. It seems like he's trying too hard to get those final "gasp" lines at the end of each chapter, in a move which brings more to mind the calculation behind famed asshole and best-selling author A. J. Finn, whose debut novel The Woman in the Window is basically just a half-hearted mashup of better and more original pieces. Sager seems to be less of a conniving bastard (that would be a feat in and of itself) but the comparison does worry me.

Sager's third and latest may not thrill the way his first two books do, but if you're a diehard fan or someone looking for a quick and easy read, Lock Every Door may be just what you're looking for.

Lock Every Door is available everywhere books are sold.

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