Review: Lock Every Door

2020-07-24 19.21.20

Rating: 3 Stars

Riley Sager is an author whose books are a must-buy for me. I enjoyed his first two books so much that even the weak links in the books didn’t really matter. To say that I was looking forward to reading Lock Every Door, is an understatement; which is why I was so very disappointed with it! Even though I have read some stellar reviews and people have gushed about this book, it was just a big letdown for me.

The book starts off spectacularly with Jules Larsen, recently unemployed and unceremoniously dumped, finding an apartment sitting job that  seems too good to be true. The address is the prestigious Bartholomew, a New York landmark, known for its exclusivity and secrecy. The apartment is everything that she has ever dreamed of, and more, except that it gives her the creeps and she can feel something sinister within its walls. Shrugging off the feeling as a residue of her past experiences, and ignoring the warnings of her best friend, Jules decides to spend the next 3 months living in luxury and earning the easiest money ever.

The rules are very strict: Jules cannot disturb any other residents, she cannot spend any nights away from the apartment, and she can not have any visitors, no matter what. For Jules, these are just an evidence of the eccentricities of the rich and famous, and not something to be worried about.

There are also other apartment sitters in the building, and Jules soon finds herself befriending Ingrid who lives in the apartment right beaneath Jules’s. Ingrid tells Jules that she is scared and feels like something is not right in their building. Jules laughs off her fears and doesn’t think much of them until that night she hears a scream from Ingrid’s apartment, and finds out that Ingrid has disappeared without trace. As Jules can feel history repeating itself, she is determined to find Ingrid and lay her own demons to rest.

The suspense and tension till here is absolutely fantastic; you can feel the sinister presence of evil within the Bartholomew. However, as the book rushes towards the climax, everything starts spinning out of control. Jules suddenly becomes a dumb girl making poor choices, yet being smart enough or lucky enough to get away with them. Then comes the last part of the book that is one of the most unbelievable sequences that I have ever read. I understand that it is not easy to find a balance between the sinister and the real world, and sometimes writers find it hard to come up with a resolution that is good enough to justify the whole spooky scenario while being realistic at the same time. Still, this was a bit much for me, and a big let down after such an excellent rest of the book!

This brings me to the fact that in all three of Riley Sager’s books the climax has left a lot to be desired. The perpetrator is a surprise for sure, but once you look back, the whole plot starts to look shaky. This time around, more than shaky, it seems downright ridiculous and full of plot holes. If it seems like I’m being too harsh, then it’s only because I had such high hopes from this book, and I didn’t like being disappointed.

Still, that doesn’t stop me from looking forward to Sager’s next book. I have bought it already and can’t wait to read it.


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