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Review: The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

Title: The House Across the Lake
Author: Riley Sager
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult fiction (thriller)
Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2022 Google Reading map)USA (VT)

SummaryBe careful what you watch for . . .

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is powerful; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.

One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey immediately suspects Tom of foul play. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye—and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces.

Review:  Oh Riley Sager, you've done it again. I really enjoyed Lock Every Door (link to my review) and this new thriller did not disappoint. I actually listened to the audio book with my daughter and we both agreed that at first we didn't like the narrator. However, part way through we remembered that we were listening to it at 1.25 speed so it distorted her voice a bit. By the end we were okay with her.

It is going to be difficult to write this review without spoilers, but here we go. The main character is unreliable due to her excessive drinking, but all is revealed and by the end I didn't judge her like I was in the beginning. I actually like her and the supporting characters, each of whom plays a vital role in the plot. There really aren't any extra characters since all the action takes place within the 5 houses surrounding a small lake.

The setting is really great since everything is contained in a small area, the lake becoming one of the characters. Sager is really good at describing people, events, and their surroundings without being flowery and over doing it.

If you enjoyed Lock Every Door, you'll like this one, too (and there is a reference to the Bartholomew Building in this story). I looked up the reviews on Goodreads and there are a slew of people who did not like this book, complaining that it used the basic idea of Hitchcock's Rear Window and other thriller references. I liked that aspect of the novel.

Challenges for which this counts:
  • Literary Escapes--Vermont

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