4.5 star

Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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.

Another one that I just picked off the Libby shelf. I have been lucky once again though, because this one was truly a riveting ride. So sinister, I was honestly a little bit scared reading it but just good enough to enjoy it without actually being too scared to read. Overall, a great thriller! I wasn’t surprised to see that many people put a hold on this one. I’d recommend the same.

Lock Every Door has an interesting premise. Our main character, Jules, is invited to be paid to live at a luxury apartment in Manhattan, just to “apartment sit.” Sounds too good to be true. And of course it is. Slowly she realizes something is amiss, when more and more suspicious things begin to build up, until they are too many to be ignored. However, leaving is not so easy, when you have no family to turn to and no money to speak of. Just what is going on at Bartholomew?

The characters in this book were great. All of them suspicious or too good to be true. Essentially the setting takes place almost exclusively in the apartment building, so it really works as a sort of closed room scenario. All the pieces were important, and woven into the story in an appropriate manner. Kudos to the author for that one. They weren’t all particularly deep (not character-driven), but it was enough to create the whole setting of suspense with the partial omniscience of the reader.

The strongest part of this book was really the pacing and all the plot elements. A lot of little hints dropped here and there were revisited later, and appropriately so, not just for the sake of it. This all really helped bring a sense of cohesion to the book, and to create the sense of a complete story. The pacing was also amazing. It felt like a slow creeping dread as more and more things came to light and just couldn’t be ignored. It was slow, but not too slow. And it ramped up in an excellent fashion. I cannot say enough about how great the pacing was to build up the dread and horror.

All that being said, the ending wasn’t totally unpredictable or out there. The signs were all there and they weren’t hidden away completely inconspicuously, so nothing will be too surprising. I admit that I didn’t really see the ultimate way the ending all wrapped up coming, but in terms of who the prime suspects were and what I basically expected to happen, happened. That did not take away from the suspense and thrill of it all. I still wanted to know how it would all turn out and that really kept me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end!

Overall Recommendations

Lock Every Door is an exciting thriller that takes place in a luxury apartment in Manhattan. The building is perfect in every way, and there is a 10-year waiting list to get in. When Jules gets an offer to “apartment sit” for 3 months, it seems almost too good to be true. And it probably is. As more and more things come to light about the sinister events that occur at Bartholomew, with all its strict rules, just what will happen to Jules? Is she in danger at this idyllic apartment? Find out in this exciting thriller where the the dread and horror of what is about to transpire will keep you at the edge of your seat!


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