Book Review: The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

  The House Across the Lake  by Riley Sager Genre:  Psychological thriller Synopsis:   Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress tryi...


The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

Genre: Psychological thriller

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.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Alcoholism, Death of a spouse, Domestic abuse Drug use, Abduction,

Overall rating:  ★★★★☆

I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I really love Riley Sager books. Sometimes they’re not the best fit for me, but I will never not pick one up to read. I will auto buy whatever he releases and I will read it as soon as I receive it. I’m usually a total bitch about male authors writing from the female perspective, and even Sager writing as a woman irks me, but I still love his stories.

The House Across the Lake seemed so predictable at first, and it some ways it kind of was, but he does such a good twist. Sager’s no M. Night Shyamalan, but his twists always give me a good shock (I’ll never stop talking about The Last Time I Lied). Never in a million years did I see this twist coming, but going back through pieces of the book, there was so much foreshadowing to lead in the direction that the book goes. It reminded me of a very good book that I loved when it came out years ago and more recently gained some buzz after being adapted for tv. Hopefully that doesn’t give too much away, but I can’t outright say it or it will literally spoil the big twist of the book.

"Maybe I’m not looking for trouble. Maybe I am the trouble."

Something very interesting that I’ve found when I read Sager’s stories is that I tend to like the male characters more than the female characters. This rang very true for The House Across the Lake. I found Casey to be pretty unbearable. I wouldn’t describe her as an unreliable narrator, but she is incredibly difficult to empathize with. And when you don’t like the main character, it’s hard to love the story. That made the book harder for me than anything else. I actually really like the plot of the story, but as an MC, she kind of sucks.

I will say that, as a nosy neighbor myself, I did enjoy trying to “solve the mystery” alongside the protagonist, and I was seriously just way off. But I enjoyed the ride, and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

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