Review of ‘The House Across the Lake’ by Riley Sager

This seemed rather a thriller-by-numbers… until three quarters of the way through, when it took a strange turn and was lifted out of the ordinary into something unusual and memorable. After a promisingly creepy beginning, the story didn’t really go anywhere and I struggled to be interested in it. Mostly it was the protagonist describing how many drinks she had and watching the neighbours’ house (conveniently, they don’t seem to have curtains, or if they do then they don’t close them).

The story is narrated by Casey Fletcher, a disgraced alcoholic actress who lives alone by Lake Greene in Vermont. Her husband drowned in the lake and she is drinking to cope. A famous couple, Tom and Katherine Royce, move into the house opposite. When Katherine goes missing and Tom seems to be implicated, Casey investigates and is about to discover the frightening truth about the lake…

I liked the bizarre twists towards the end, although perhaps readers who dislike hints of the supernatural in their thrillers will be disappointed. There were other elements of the book that I enjoyed but the pace was too slow and the narrative style a little repetitive. I thought it was an improvement on the author’s previous book Survive the Night, but not up to the standard of Lock Every Door, Home Before Dark or Final Girls.

Thank you to the publisher Hodder and Stoughton for the advance copy via NetGalley. The book will be published on 7th July.

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