Thursday, December 19, 2019


Title: Lock Every Door
Author: Riley Sager
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 381
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐

Lock Every Door begins with an excerpt from the fictitious The Heart of a Dreamer by Greta Manville, a book about a young girl called Ginny who has just secured a home in the Bartholomew, a building that spells the residential address of the city’s elite.

The book is written in the first person present tense PoV of Jules Larsen, and alternates between the present tense, now, and six days ago. As the chapters go on, the flashbacks count down from Six Days Earlier.

Aged 25, Jules is, as the book begins, hit by a car on the busy road outside the Bartholomew. Thereafter she tells us from a secret location about her misadventures in the Bartholomew.

Days earlier, Jules answers an ad advertising a job as an apartment sitter. Recently laid off, cheated in love, broke and homeless, it was the job of a lifetime. All Jules would have to do in return was to stay in the most luxurious and spacious apartment she had ever seen, on the topmost floor of the Bartholomew for three months and be paid $4000 per month.

The catch is that she is not permitted visitors or socialising with the other residents. Despite the restrictions, Jules makes a new friend, Ingrid, another apartment sitter, who shares with Jules her fears regarding the Bartholomew. The very next day, she leaves all of a sudden.

Jules is determined to find out what happened to Ingrid, as a way of getting closure with regard to Jane, her older sister who had suddenly disappeared without a trace at age 17.  But in the Bartholomew, it seems, everyone keeps their minds firmly fixed on their own business.

Jules meets some of the other residents of the building, including the handsome Dr Nick who is her neighbour, and literally the boy next door. She also meets Greta Manville, the bestselling author of The Heart of a Dreamer, a book that had been a favourite with both Jules and Jane. The other residents she meets are former soap opera actress Marianne and her dog.

Jules’ best friend, Chloe, sends her a link to more information about the curse of the Bartholomew, a fact that unnerves Jules. Even though everyone is friendly, Jules quickly learns that nothing is as it appears in the Bartholomew.

The danger mounts before she can safeguard herself. As she looks into the history of the building, she becomes aware of others like her, apartment sitters, people who checked in but were never heard of again. Jules will be able to get out of the Bartholomew alive. That we know at the beginning of the book. But at what cost?

I’ve read Riley Sager’s book, The Last Time I Lied before, and I knew I was in for a racy read with this one too. I was not disappointed.

Jules’ attempts to learn more about the building and its nefarious intentions quickly become our own, and her efforts to plan her escape become heartrendingly real.

It’s all very intense, and that dumbwaiter in the room, I thought it was really cool, and used to such suspenseful effect too.

Between the gargoyles and the spacious décor, the descriptions are intense, and remind you that not all prisons are of the barred type.

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