A twisting, tense thriller, this is a great read with a nod to Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. I hadn’t read any Riley Sager before, but after enjoying this book I’m certain to investigate his others.
The story is focused on a very exclusive apartment block, the Bartholomew, in Manhattan. Jules, a girl who has no family, no job and no home, is thrilled to be given a temporary job there. All she has to do is occupy one of the apartments for three months and she’ll get twelve thousand dollars. Surely there must be a catch? Of course there is.
Narrated from Jules’ perspective, the story switches between her admission to hospital after apparently being hit by a car, and the events of days earlier when she moved into the Bartholomew. Jules is a credible character and essentially a decent one. You really root for her and hope that her life turns out OK. I liked the scene setting a lot, especially the creepy atmosphere of the building – the gargoyles, the old-fashioned elevator, the unexplained noises. Some very good twists too, particularly near the end. I thought one of the details was too convenient – how likely is it that someone has their own face as wallpaper on their phone, thus allowing the phone to be identified as theirs? Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s common enough.
If you’re looking for a dark, unsettling thriller, I recommend Lock Every Door. First published in 2019.