You’ve been offered a luxury apartment, rent free. The catch: you may not live long enough to enjoy it…
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents.
These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous.
Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her. Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story – but the next day, her new friend has vanished.
And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…
Page count: 368 (Kindle Edition), 384 (Paperback Edition)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.45/5)
I would like to thank NetGalley and Ebury Press (Fiction) for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review!
me: *has the constant anxiety of unlocked doors*
this book: “Lock Every Door”
me: :’) that’s my type of book :’)
My first experience with Riley Sager’s books and I’m already a fan. As I’ve already said, I have the weird Romanian fear of unlocked doors. Simply every single door that has direct contact with the outer world has to be locked. Simple as that.
About this book. Yeah, well, it’s great. I have a very good overall opinion about it and I am very happy that I had the opportunity to read it earlier as planned.
Why did I like this book so? Well, let’s unlock (
HA, I’m funny) some general ideas about it and develop them a bit to see.
🔓 I loved the general idea of the book. I find it quite unique to think of a main character that finds such an unusual job, as an apartment sitter. I am so unfamiliar with this kind of job that I am simply impressed with the author coming up with the idea.
Jules, a broke girl (on so many levels, poor heart) is hit by the unbelievable opportunity of being an apartment sitter in one of the most lavish buildings in New York City, the famous (and infamous) Bartholomew. She’s so happy about everything happening to her that just chooses to ignore every warning sign and go for it. Why do I say warning signs? Well, because that very building is haunted by its dark past. But, oh, it is so lavish and dreamlike to live there that it really doesn’t matter, doesn’t it? This is what Jules thought, but, apartment sitter or not, that building had some serious issues that it just couldn’t work with. You could actually say that the building was frustrated if you’d allow me to humanise it so.
🔓 MC’s (main character’s) life is messed up (no surprise here), but it is something about her way of dealing with it that seems way cooler than other characters with her very same issues.
Jules has suffered a lot. She lost her job and found her boyfriend cheating on her on the same day. She became penniless and homeless in only a couple of hours. And this is not even the worst. She’s lost both of her parents and also her sister, so she was also alone. The only good things happening in her life were Chloe, her good friend who helped her with her life, and this unexpected job at the Bartholomew.
The impressive thing about Jules’ construction as a character is that, unlike another orphan, poor and sad characters in various books, Jules chooses not to make a victim out of herself, but instead she tries to fix her life as good as she can. This is a good character type. She used to be a simple girl who got through complicated things but still didn’t want that to bother her.
“I’m a girl who read on her lunch break (…)“
🔓 The author keeps coming with fresh ideas about his MC.
It is not unusual for an MC to lose parents or siblings, but to be honest, I’ve never read about a character that has actually lost a sibling. This is another good detail put into action by the author that I, again, appreciate dearly.
I also feel the need to add that I love Jules. She’s my girl. Even though you expect her to be a poor little girl you might feel pity for, well, you don’t know that from me, but she’s not. She’s a boss girl and we all love an MC who’s a bit of a badass. She’s driven by her strong personality and I love that about her. Keep it up, girl, hang in there!
“I am the type of girl you don’t want to fuck with.“
🔓 The thriller-factor is alive as hell and I am here for it.
Throughout the whole book, there is this low-key suspense that keeps lingering and gives the reader the uncomfortable idea that he or she might be consequently watched by someone. You know that unnerving feeling when you mind your own business and someone keeps staring at you from across the room? Okay, if yes, then this is the perspicuous feeling, undercover in the book.
I am going to be honest and say that I hate this kind of feeling and it makes me feel so uncomfortable and so not okay, but I keep reading and actually enjoying this kind of novels, like what is wrong with me? Even better, I start being paranoid, especially when there is a certain passage that literally makes me get up and check the lock on my own door and I am not kidding.
🔓 The twists, guys. The twists.
Plot twists are an ordinary part of thrillers. They coexist as we expect them to. They’ve been happily married since the beginning of mystery novels in history. But even though we expect some kind of twists throughout this book, those bloody twists are just…pfff, I don’t know. Something I probably never expected to happen. I don’t really read about stuff like that in every thriller I pick up.
So, sure. The twists are heavy. Root for them to impress your brains even a little. Because they do.
Apparently, yeah, I liked this book. And by the sound of it I liked it quite a lot. And that is true, I won’t deny it. I loved this book, I really enjoyed reading it, even though it stressed the shit out of me sometimes, but all in all, I would totally recommend it to every single suspense lover out there!
“The place is haunted. By its past. So many bad things have happened there. So much dark history. It fills the place (…) Like smoke. And I’ve breathed it in.“
And also, I would like to make this review sound like an open question to you or as a mind homework.
The book goes big even in symbolism so, if everyone is interested, the motif of the serpent eating its own tail, the Ouroboros, is present as a symbol full of meaning in the novel. Do you want to know what that actually means? Well, as advice, you could do some symbolic digging yourself and find out. Symbols are part of our life, even if we realise it or not, so the best part to see them is to learn them.