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Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Home Before Dark

4peat author
This is Riley Sager's 4th book with BOTM — an impressive feat!
Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Riley Sager

Quick take

A woman inherits her creepy childhood home to find it's haunted by more than memories. Cue the Ouija board game chills.

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Why I love it

Ruth Ware
Author, The Turn of the Key

Every house has a story to tell and a secret to share.

So begins Riley Sager's clever, twisty, and altogether spine-chilling Home Before Dark, the story of a family, a childhood, but most of all, the story of a house—and a brilliantly spooky one at that.

When interior designer Maggie Holt inherits her childhood home, the ominously named Baneberry Hall, her feelings are mixed. She has a complicated relationship with the house her parents fled decades ago, a house her father claimed was haunted in a best-selling book that inadvertently turned Maggie into a minor celebrity. For her part, Maggie has never believed her father's account, and her uncertainty over the truth has poisoned their relationship. Inheriting Baneberry Hall threatens to revive the notoriety she has long sought to escape—but it also gives her the chance to find out the truth about what really happened there all those years ago.

What follows is a deliciously terrifying story. As the narrative flicks back and forth from Maggie's father's account to Maggie's own present day investigation, we gradually learn the truth about what went on at Baneberry Hall, taking in some very satisfying twists and turns along the way. You'll want to read this one after dark, ideally with the wind whistling in the eaves and a window banging somewhere just out of reach. But keep the light switch handy. You just might need it.

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What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Home Before Dark.

Member thoughts

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All (35483)
Love (24100)
Like (10519)
Dislike (864)
35712 ratings
  • 67% Love
  • 29% Like
  • 2% Dislike
  • Nampa, ID

    Riley Sager does it again!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. he keeps you guessing until it happens. You think you know but you don’t. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ wonderfully written characters. I couldn’t put it down!

  • Agawam, MA

    Who-dun-it • several climaxes • layered • suspenseful • creepy • eerie • second guessing • semi-unreliable narrator • past vs present • ambiguity of memories • book about books • architectural books

  • Lorena, TX

    This scared me...and I loved it. It’s amazing how different all of Sager’s books are, but there are 2 things they’ll have in common: 1) there’ll be a twist you don’t see coming 2) it’s gonna be good!

  • Alexandria, VA

    Another book I loved by this author. When I thought I was catching on to his writing style, it hit me like a massive twister. Love that I can never guess his endings! I will be looking forward to his

  • Hinesburg, VT

    First novel I’ve read by him & I’ve found a new favorite author! The ins & outs of the story was clever & left you feeling that there was more to the story than just “it’s a haunted house.” Loved it!

  • San Ramon, CA

    Just enough twists and turns that I didn’t want to put it down! I loved that the chapters switched from “The Book” to Maggie’s story. Made it more suspensful and had me questioning who or what did it!

  • Brooklyn, NY

    WOW this one was great! Riley Sager’s storytelling totally floored me. I didn’t see ANYTHING coming throughout the whole book… which is normally not the case! Can’t wait to read another book by Sager!

  • Madison , WI

    What starts out as a “I’ve heard this story before,” type of novel-turns into an intensely creepy, spooky & original work that I could not put down & read in 1 sitting. Don’t recommend reading @ night

  • Austin, TX

    This book satisfied my deep love for old, spooky estates. If you liked the ‘Haunting of Hill House’ (the show or book) you’ll love this. The plot twists were so much fun, I couldn’t put it down! ????

  • Washington, DC

    My whole family read this book in 4 days. Wonderful twists & turns—delicious tension throughout—such a fun build through the first 300 pages—a truly wild end. We’re still wondering about the title...

  • Ormond Beach, FL

    Everything about this book is amazing, and I typically don’t like “scary” books, but after this one I will be branching out because I took a chance on this one and it was phenomenal! Edge of my seat!!

  • Tuscaloosa, AL

    Im OBSESSED with Sager’s book & this one didn’t disappoint. I finished the whole book in one sitting, trying to figure out the end I STILL didnt see coming. Even if you don’t like suspense, great book

  • Columbia City, IN

    I don’t typically gravitate toward this genre, but i am glad I did!! So many unexpected twists and turns...did not see the ending coming! Not your typical “haunted house” story!! Definitely recommend!

  • Asheville, NC

    It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up all night to finish a book, but this one had me hooked from page 1. I’m not really one for ghost stories, but this was the right amount of ghost and mystery.

  • Dallas, TX

    I always love Sager books & this might be my favorite. He does a great job at building suspense & I love that I couldn’t tell which direction he would take the story, especially after the “big reveal”

  • Ringwood, NJ

    Couldn’t put this one down! Loved the back & forth from present to the HoH chapters. I was scared through the end and though I picked up on some of the ‘secrets’ before their reveal it was satisfying!

  • Shelby Twp, MI

    Riley Sager had me on the edge of my seat yet again. This is the type of book that you stay up reading until 1AM because it’s just that phenomenal. I totally got some “Haunting of Hill House” vibes.

  • Meshoppen, PA

    I looove a good haunted house story. Sager definitely delivers. I won’t ever hear “16 Going On 17” the same way again! Interesting characters, delicious scares, end is a bit rushed but a solid novel.

  • Cincinnati , OH

    ✅ Haunted House ✅ Family Drama ✅ Dual POV/then&now ft her fathers book A nice toe dip into spooky and good thriller. I enjoyed following Maggie the end got a little CLUE like but was still enjoyable

  • Grosse Pointe, MI

    I’ve read a few of Sager’s books and this is the best one yet. Maggie’s search for truth turns into a crazy sequence of events that had me hooked the entire time. Love the spilt between two narrators

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