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Home Before Dark

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  115,800 ratings  ·  16,854 reviews
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 ghostl
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by Dutton Books
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Emily
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Anne I think if you liked his earlier works, particularly "Lock Every Door," you'll find this to be a very satisfying read. I feel like some ghost stories …moreI think if you liked his earlier works, particularly "Lock Every Door," you'll find this to be a very satisfying read. I feel like some ghost stories can get lost in the weeds of the haunting (leaving me more confused than scared). Riley Sager does a nice job managing this whole tale. I found it clear cut, highly engaging, and the ending wasn't a let down.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  115,800 ratings  ·  16,854 reviews


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megs_bookrack
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Riley Sager got me again. My favorite book of 2020!!!



In my opinion, Home Before Dark is Sager's best work yet!!!

Also, I do acknowledge that I have now fully exceeded my lifetime use of the exclamation point, but I assure you, in this case it is warranted.



I loved, loved, loved this story with my whole heart and soul.



Upon the death of her father, Maggie Holt, is shocked to discover she has just inherited Baneberry Hall, the allegedly haunted mansion her family abandoned some 25-years earlier.

Quit
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Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Dutton
"Every house has a story. Ours is a ghost story. It's also a lie. And now that yet another person has died within these walls, it's finally time to tell the truth."

Fellow Riley Sager junkies, you've waited so patiently for me to slip out of my Covid-19 induced anxiety, and I'm here to tell you that I've shaken the funk and am feeling passionately encouraged to word vomit my thoughts about this book. Before I get started, you need to know going in that this book has a slightly altered feel to his
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Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love an author’s vivid creativity and trying something unexpected to exceed his or her previous writing performances by taking a challenge and trying something brand new.

Riley Sager is one of the most brilliant authors raises the bars and waltz between genres and serves us fresh baked from oven kind of delicious, soul crushing, mind numbing, exhilarating, surprising stories with WTF I just read kind of twisty, the rug pulled out from your feet kind of endings.
This time he dances between horror
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daph pink ♡
2.25 stars✨

*Checks my watch* yes it's time for history's most unpopular opinions?

Riley Sager (Mr. Riley Sager) Do you hear my screams of anguish?

Yes, I'm displeased. I had high hopes for this book, but it turned out to be a collection of iconic horror sequences from top horror movies and narrative twists from best-selling books like Shirley Jackson and Stephen King's The Shining, with a stupidly idiotic finale!

It was my second most anticipated book of July. And here I am sitting and thinking how
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases, arc
(3.75) Haunted house with a gothic feel are one of my guilty pleasure. This book had a strong start and even though I did figure out "who did it" it was still pretty good.

I did feel like the main female character was the biggest weakness. She didn't ring true to me and I cringed multiple times (any description of Dane, the mansplaining bit, the telling all her secrets after knowing him for 24h which gave me flashbacks of Lock Every Door...).

Not as good as The Last Time I Lied but an enjoyable fa
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Gabby
I loved every second of this creepy suspenseful story. It had the best Haunting of Hill House vibes that I've ever seen in a book and I was absolutely obsessed with the vibe of this book and I was genuinely scared at times and I might have slept with the lights on. Reading vlog just went up: https://youtu.be/zA0a8Q_lzp8 ...more
Cindy
Sep 27, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty standard thriller; a simple read for when I was in a reading slump.
chan ☆
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
this has “thriller of summer 2020” written all over it

i’ll say it, emphatically again, but i really think riley sager has proven that you can do a modern thriller in a way that doesn’t rely on cheating spouses. this book was so much fun.
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
***RUNNER UP FOR BEST MYSTERY/THRILLER, I THINK IT SHOULD HAVE WON! DON'T MISS THIS ONE***


Well I was looking for a book to take my mind off of what is going on in the world right now and this was definitely a great choice! I don’t know if I’m a true lover of ghost stories but I like great fiction with supernatural elements. This author once again has written a book that will be at the top of my list of best books of 2020/thrillers for sure.

The author has written a book within a book for this nov
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $2.99 on Kindle US today 4/2/21

4.5 stars!

Because this is a mood!



I thought it was a man, although I couldn’t be sure. Details were sparse. All I could make out was a distinctly human shape standing in the forest a few feet from the treeline.




I highly enjoyed this book! The creepiness of it, the 'what the hell' moments, they were just what I expected from Riley Sager. AND, naturally with his books, I went one way with all of the answers and he went somewhere else totally!

On to the ne
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Larry
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Unapologetic cover of Hill House until the very end, but in my opinion, not on same level as that classic.
MarilynW
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hang on to your hat, your Ouija board, and stop thinking too much and you will be in for a spooky, twisty ride. Maggie Holt's father wrote a book about a house that the family lived in for twenty days, when Maggie was five years old. The experience was a horrible one and the family ran from the house, with just the clothes on their backs, leaving everything else behind, when they abandoned it. Her father than wrote a nonfiction book about the house and what happened during those twenty days but ...more
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
.......what the fuck just happened??!

Full RTC.

The hell.
jessica
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
okay, i know my mom has always said i have an overactive imagination, but this book legitimately freaked me out. i shouldnt have read this at night. 😱

this is definitely RSs best book so far. its not exactly fast paced, but the content is just sooo gripping. i love the back and forth between the events maggie is experiencing in the present and the narrative of her fathers book describing the events of 25 years ago. the writing feeds off of the readers imagination, so if you mentally imagine scene
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Debra
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love it......

I did enjoy it, but I felt this book wasn't as good as his previous books. I do love a good haunted house/ghost story but found nothing scary about this book at all. So I am in the minority on this, but it failed to wow or shall I say scare me.

But it did entertain me. I just felt that some elements of the book fell flat. The Amityville Horror this is not. I did enjoy the book within a book concept and I thought he did pull that off nicely. Plus, there is a nice li
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Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Okay Riley you did it...you have made it to my all time favorite thrillers list! I am sure he is so pleased..🤣🤣...You are now up on the ledge with Peter, Liz and Samantha...no last names needed, they are like Madonna.....No but really...this book just flew to the top of my must read books. I loved every single thing about this book...literally everything.

What made this book so special? The atmosphere. If you haven't read a Riley Sager book, he is the master of creating such an atmospheric feel
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Heather
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Riley Sager book to date.
Creepy maybe haunted house.
Unfolding the mystery of said house with splices of the book the main character's dad wrote about the house.

At first glance this book sounds like horror but it's definitely a thriller that had me guessing.
I really loved it!
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Jayme
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book begins with a dedication...”For those who tell ghost stories...and those who believe them...” 👻

If this is YOU..read on, as YOU WON’T be disappointed with Riley Sager’s latest-AVAILABLE NOW!

Maggie Holt has just inherited Baneberry Hall, a rambling estate set deep in the Vermont Woods.

Twenty Five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, fled this house in the dead of the night, leaving everything behind, after only 19 days in residence.

Tap-tap-Tap

And, then THAT song...

“You are si
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Michelle
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
When Maggie was just a child her parents purchased Baneberry Hall. Having left behind a cramped apartment in the city Baneberry Hall seemed like the ideal place to raise a family. However not soon after their purchase it appears that not all is well within the walls of Baneberry Hall. Strange noises fill the night and young Maggie has begun speaking to imaginary friends. Her father, a writer, becomes obsessed in the tragic history of Baneberry Hall and he is convinced that there are restless spi ...more
Matthew
This is another book that I listened to with my wife during our “couch time” in the evenings. Nothing like curling up with someone you love and listening to a creepy story!

With Riley Sager, I have come to be able to count on a pretty decent thriller. Home Before Dark is no exception.

Chills, thrills, mystery, and mayhem are all included here. I enjoyed the format of going back and forth between a book written by one character about a mysterious and likely haunted house and another character’s ex
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Lisa of Troy
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Best Thriller of 2020!

Check out my video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uFHH...

Maggie is devastated to learn that her father has passed away and learns that she has inherited a certain property. Her father wrote a book 20 years ago about a time when her family stayed for 20 days at Baneberry Hall until they fled for their lives. The book become a sensation, a best seller. However, why did Maggie's father hold onto the property for all of these years? Is the book true?

Well we are about to
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Tina
This is a thriller/Horror. There is two point of view in this book the father's after they just moved into the Baneberry Hall and Maggie's right after her father's death. I really enjoyed this book, but I would not say this book was super scary. I loved the characters, and they kept you guessing. I did not see the twists coming.

I picked this book for My book of the Month book. https://www.mybotm.com/zr12wnytgc8?sh...
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karen
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
oooh, goodreads choice awards finalist for best mystery & thriller 2020! what will happen?



DON'T GO, SPOOKTOBER!!

*************************************

i mean…okay.

this is a rounded-up four because it has a whole bunch of problems, but for every iffy part, there’s a horrific and memorable scene that makes up for it. many of which involve snakes. to be honest, i’m happy enough just being entertained these days—i don’t need to be enriched or educated, i crave diversion, and this book absolutely fits
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Joey R.
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.0 stars— After reading all the great reviews of Riley Sager’s “ Home Before Dark” and realizing it was an old fashioned haunted house/ghost story I knew I had to read it. This was my first Sager book and after completing the novel in about a week, I have to say I was very impressed. The book is written from the perspective of Maggie Holt, who decides to return to live in and to renovate a famous haunted house she lived in when she was 5 years old. Her father had written a best selling book abo ...more
Danielle
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Alright... this was a pretty darn good thriller/mystery/ghost story 😱 I listened to the audiobook, which is pretty good. I would not suggest listening to it at night though! 😳 It freaked me out one night and I had to turn it off and watch some wholesome TV to get it off my mind. 😜 I feel like there were a few loose ends, but otherwise it’s worth the read! 👍
Holly  B
DNF at 63%

Really loved his last two novels, BUT

This one is just not working for me and I've tried finishing other books and coming back to it three separate times.

Sometimes its better just to move on.....
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Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4+ gothic and atmospheric stars for my first book by Riley Sager!

Maggie Holt returns to the home her family abandoned twenty-five years earlier when she was five-years-old. Her father wrote a book that made her family famous. The book revealed the eerie and haunting experiences her family faced while living in the house. Maggie has no personal recollection of the happenings in the house that caused them to flee one night and never return. After inheriting the house, she wants to renovate and sel
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Ceecee
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Maggie Holt is five years old her parents, Ewan and Jess buy Baneberry Hall in Vermont. It’s neglected, has quite a history from its construction in 1875 by William Garson but it’s cheap! Twenty days later they flee the house never to return. Ewan writes a book, ‘House of Horrors’, about their brief time there which becomes a best seller but it blights Maggie’s life especially as her recollections are not the same as her fathers. So whose memories are the accurate ones? Is the book a lie? H ...more
BernLuvsBooks
4.5 Amityville Horror-ish Vibe Stars!

Sager is a King of Spook and all I can say is that he seriously comes through with this book! We have a huge, secluded spooky house with lots of eerie noises and unexplained happenings and a woman in search of the truth of what happened there that caused her family to flee the house in the middle of the night and never return.

I love a good ghost story and this was GOOD! As Maggie Holt tries to unravel the house's mystery and her past we learn that this hous
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Paromjit
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Riley Sager's latest is a spine chiller of a gothic haunted house mystery set on a sprawling Victorian estate in Vermont called Baneberry Hall, with a dual time line narrative, set in the past and the present. 25 years ago, Maggie Holt was five years old when her family fled Baneberry Hall in the dead of the night after three weeks of living there, but she has no memories of this time. Her father, Owen, later wrote the notorious bestseller, House of Horrors, in which he documented the trauma and ...more
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16,990 followers
Riley Sager is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, most recently SURVIVE THE NIGHT and HOME BEFORE DARK. His first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel and has been published in more than thirty countries. His latest novel, THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE, will be published in June.

A native of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Whe
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Articles featuring this book

The concept of “the page-turner” has always been a little slippery. Typically, the term refers to books with gripping, plot-heavy narratives....
215 likes · 52 comments
“Grief is tricky like that. It can lie low for hours, long enough for magical thinking to take hold. Then, when you’re good and vulnerable, it will leap out at you like a fun-house skeleton, and all the pain you thought was gone comes roaring back.” 35 likes
“Every house has a story to tell.” 19 likes
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