#ThrillerThursday Featuring Riley Sager

Riley Sager Thriller & Mystery Books

It’s Thriller Thursday Ya’ll

It’s no secret that I LOVE thrillers, the more twisted – the better.  I haven’t been reading many this year due to mental health reasons but today I thought I would share one of my favourite authors with you.  Riley Sager. I read my first Sager novel, Final Girls, in the summer of 2019. For a debut novel, it was good. The idea of “final girls” is nothing new, but Sager kept my attention and I liked his writing enough to check out the rest of his catalogue. Check out the synopsis & cover art for Final Girls below:

Riley Sager Final Girls New York Times Best Seller

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
 
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
 
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Published July 2017 ♥ Hardcover 342 pages

I ended up giving Final Girls 4★ on Goodreads. There was nothing overly exciting or revolutionary about this novel. It’s a trope that has been done time and time again on screen and in literature. Final Girls became an International & National Best Seller for Sager.

Riley Sager pseudonym for Todd Ritter

Riley Sager is a pseudonym.

The man behind the pseudonym is former journalist, editor & graphic designer Todd Ritter.

The Last Time I Lied – Riley Sager Synopsis and Book Cover Art

In the fall of 2019 I got around to reading The Last Time I Lied. I liked this one better than Final Girls, but according to my Goodreads account, I gave it 4★ as well. When it comes to thrillers, there needs to be some epic twist that blows my freaking mind before I give it a 5★. Check out the Synopsis and Book Cover below.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Book Cover & Synopsis

Fifteen years ago, summer camper Emma Davis watched sleepily as her three cabin mates snuck out of their cabin in the dead of night. The last she–and anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the NYC art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings.. They catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of the very same Camp Nightingale–and when Francesca implores Emma to return to the camp as a painting counselor, Emma sees an opportunity to find closure and move on.

Yet, it is immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by surfacing memories, Emma is suddenly plagued by a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca, and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian apparently left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. And as history begins to repeat itself and three girls go missing again, Emma must face threats from both man and nature in order to uncover all the buried secrets–including what really happened all those years ago. 

Published July 2018 ♥ Hardcover 371 pages

Good News : All four published books are stand-alone.

Sager’s books can be read in whatever order you see fit. You can pick and choose, or read them all. Personally, I ended up reading them in order of publication date. My favourite has been Lock Every Door (5★) Check out the Book Cover & Synopsis below.

Lock Every Door New York Times Best Selling Author riley Sager

Lock Every Door Riley Sager
Book Cover & Synopsis

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent. 

Published July 2019 ♥ Hardcover 371 pages

Just like Final Girls, The Last Time I Lied & Lock Every Door went on to become NY Times bestsellers. Sager’s 2020 release, Home Before Dark was my most anticipated summer release last year. I devoured it in an afternoon lounging outside in the sun.

Riley Sager Home before Dark Book Synopsis

Home Before Dark by Best Selling Author Riley Sager Book Cover & Synopsis

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 ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

Published June 2020 ♥ Hardcover 384 pages

Home Before Dark received 4★ from me. Here’s the thing, I don’t spook easily. I’m that girl that laughs during horror movies. I find them hilarious. Home Before Dark reminded me a lot of the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. Which can I just say, I read as well & it was dumb as fuck. I honestly liked the television adaptation more than Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House novel.

I just know every single release by Riley Sager is worth reading. 

It seems Sager and his publisher, Dutton Books, are fans of Summer releases. With summer 2021 fast approaching we have new release coming our way. Survive The Night might be my most anticipated read of Sager’s yet.

Survive the Night by riley Sager New 2021 Thriller

Survive the Night by Best Selling Author Riley Sager Book Cover & Synopsis

It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing—survive the night. 

Publication July 2021 ♥ Hardcover 336 pages

I can not wait to go back to 1991 ! Although, I suppose I was only eight at the time. Nonetheless this is one car ride I want to read about. My favorite True Crime novels tend to be about Serial Killers, I love them. So I am stoked to read this in July.

The weather is getting nicer here in Cape Breton. First hot day after the release of Survive the Night, I know what I will be doing ! Although, I wonder if Halloween wouldn’t be a better season for Sager’s books. Survive the Night is giving me major 80s campy horror movie vibes.

That’s it for today friends !

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