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The House Across The Lake – Riley Sager


The House Across The Lake

Riley Sager

Synopsis: It looks like a familiar story: A woman reeling from a great loss with too much time on her hands and too much booze in her glass watches her neighbors, sees things she shouldn’t see, and starts to suspect the worst. But looks can be deceiving…

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake.

Everything about the Royces seems perfect. Their marriage. Their house. The bucolic lake it sits beside. But when Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she discovers the darker truths lurking just beneath the surface of the Royces’ picture-perfect marriage. Truths no suspicious voyeur could begin to imagine–even with a few drinks under her belt.

Like Casey, you’ll think you know where this story is headed.

Think again.

Because once you open the door to obsession, you never know what you might find on the other side.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars – rounded up to 5

cover 4; characters 4; plot 4; pace 5; writing 4; enjoyment 4

My Review: Spoiler section will be marked!

Welp, THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE really took me for a loop today. I cannot with that last 1/4 plot twist. Excuse me sir?

Sager’s books for me are typically either hit or miss and this one was just so so good. The characters felt well constructed and the scenery was on point. I liked the multi-time line and how the jumping between timelines gave you juuuuust enough of what was happening to keep you on your toes.

The things about Sager’s plot twists are that they’re usually so far out of left field that you don’t expect them. Afterwards I usually sit and think “did he give me enough information to this to feel real?” and here, the answer was yes. HOWEVER there was one glaringly obvious thing that kept me just on this side of making this a perfect book. I plan to talk spoilers below so if you want to know more of the plot (or like me, like to check the spoilers for books you’re not sure on), see me there.

Overall I felt like if you’ve enjoyed most of Sager’s books (The Last Time I Lied and Home Before Dark in particular) I think you’ll enjoy this one as well.

Spoilers Below – until the next page break

 

From the synopsis you know that Casey’s husband is dead (he drown in the lake the year prior). She believes that her new neighbors Tom and Katherine (the latter, Casey saved from drowning) are fighting and that Tom is trying to poison/kill her. There’s also a neighbor guy, Boone (a widower) and three women who have been murdered in nearby towns over the past few years. Casey and Boone begin to believe that Tom may be behind the three murders and now he’s killed his wife as well. Turns out, Tom has Katherine tied up in the neighbors basement. Except it isn’t Katherine. Tom has captured her because he doesn’t know what to do. It’s her body, but she’s possessed by the spirit of Casey’s dead husband Len that had been trapped in the lake. Yeah talk about throwing me for a fucking loop. But wait. There’s more.

More? Yeah, those three dead women? Len had killed them. And Len’s drowning? Not an accident. Casey drugged him with antihistamines and threw him overboard in the lake so he couldn’t kill anyone else. The only way to get rid of Len now is to kill Katherine too and Casey WILL NOT have it. She makes a plan to take Katherine/Len out on the lake, get him to confess to where the women are buried and then she convinces his spirit to leave Katherine’s body and enter hers instead. She then, throws herself overboard with an anchor. Expecting to die and take Len along with her. But Katherine saves her from the bottom of the lake. Luckily, Len fearing being stuck dead inside Casey’s body, he’d left and put himself back into the lake. But wait. There’s More.

More? Yeah, Tom and Katherine? He definitely WAS trying to kill her. He was slowly poisoning her, trying to get rid of her so he could have her money. Only since Casey put suspicion on him during Katherine’s disappearance, there wasn’t much he could do. And now, he’s pissed. Len, while in Katherine’s body, had told Tom how he’d gotten away with the murders and now, Tom was going to kill Casey for payback. Tom and Casey fight, they fall into the lake. Casey kills Tom and tries to get out of the lake, but Tom wakes back up. It’s Len again, while he tries to gain his bearings of Tom’s body, Casey drags him to shore and kills him again, outside of the water, so his soul can’t use the water to transfer to another body. Thanks to Casey the police now have evidence that Len had killed the missing women, and that Tom was trying to kill his wife. Only a few people know about the possession and Casey plans to keep it that way.

My largest issue being that we’re in Casey’s head the whole time and for about 70% of the book, she’s just acting like Len was this perfect man that she lost. But no, he was a serial killer and she knew it. I feel like part of that may have been in her denial/lack of wanting to think about it, and the other part being that she was drunk off her ass most of the time, but it just sits a bit sideways to me.

 

Spoilers over!

It was a fucking trip y’all. I had a great time.

To see more reviews & purchase links, check this book out on Goodreads.

To see more of my reviews, head over to the reviews page on my website.

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