Fiction, Horror


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Guess who just finished her scary read of the year? That’s right, Kayla did it, and she will never read another scary book ever again.

I’ll also quit referring to myself in 3rd person because that’s annoying. I saw this book all over bookstagram and elsewhere and thought it would be the perfect book to get me into the spooky Fall season. I was absolutely right, but now I’m officially spooked. Let’s get to the review so I can get it out and stop dreaming of snakes coming through my ceiling at night.


After growing up in the shadow of her dad’s super famous “nonfiction” novel, House of Horrors, Maggie Holt wants nothing to do with the supernatural. When her father dies and leaves her Baneberry Manor, the house upon which her father’s book was based, she can’t help but let curiosity lead back to the house of her childhood. She is, after all, a home-renovator and the manor is in need of renovation. Moreover, staying at the house might help her answer some questions about her childhood, which she has totally forgotten.

The truth Maggie finds in Baneberry Manor is as unexpected as it is terrifying.

My Take

Riley Sager definitely wrote a terrifying story worthy of any good campfire. I even read parts of this out-loud to the guy I share an office with (poor choir teacher) because I honestly did not want to experience this story alone.

What makes this stand out from other stories, however, is that it is grounded in themes that every parent can relate to–how far would you go to protect your child? That’s what makes this far more than just a ghost story or even your typical thriller. Is it scary, sure, but in the end it’s just a story about a girl trying to find out who her father was so she can learn who she needs to be.

The characters are complex and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. My suggestion: don’t let the ghosts scare you away from this one. The ending is worth all the scares.


6 thoughts on “Freaky Friday: HOME BEFORE DARK”

    1. It took me a while to give scary stuff a try, and Becky won’t read them either. I have to be very careful about which scary books I choose and make sure to read something more light-hearted between the suspense, so I totally understand!

      Liked by 1 person

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