I was first introduced to Riley Sager after I read Final Girls last year. Final Girls was my favorite book I read in 2020 partly because it felt like I was reading a slasher movie. Sager seems to have found his niche in writing psychological thrillers with some horror or supernatural elements thrown in. Lock Every Door was on my TBR (to be read) for a long time as I was saving it for Fall/Spooky season. Lock Every Door was another captivating and eerie read.
Jules Larsen is down on her luck. She’s lost her job, found out her boyfriend was cheating on her, and she’s homeless. Jules finds an ad in the paper about an apartment sitter at a notorious New York ritzy apartment building called the Bartholomew. Jules is interviewed by the luxurious Leslie Evelyn who decides Jules is the perfect pick. As Jules moves in, she starts to notice strange occurrences at the mansion. After one of the other tenants moves out unexpectedly does Jules decides to do her investigation which leads her down a dark path.
This book took some sharp turns where I wasn’t sure what Jule’s fate would be. Jules was a protagonist I was genuinely rooting for. She has been through so much trauma at a young age and knows what it’s like to be close to giving up. I read some negative reviews of Lock Every Door and they stated that Jules is naive and a bit reckless for moving into an apartment building she doesn’t know anything about. However, I think it’s made clear that Jules needs the money. She is living paycheck to paycheck and she needs money fast.
Lock Every Door wasn’t a supernatural thriller like I had originally anticipated. It’s more showing how evil humanity can be and how some in society view others as less than due to income level. Each villain in this story was someone I hated, so kudos to Sager for making me hate everyone who had a hand in hurting Jules. While reading Lock Every Door, I kept thinking this reminded me of American Horror Story: Hotel. All I pictured was the rich aura of the Hotel in American Horror Story and how Leslie Evelyn could be a Lady Gaga Esque type woman.
I have now read two of Sager’s books and I’m starting to notice a pattern. Earlier in this post, I mentioned how Sager has a niche. Each book stars a female protagonist who has been hit with some kind of personal tragedy or trauma. The female protagonist is put in danger and has to fight her way out using her trauma to provide fuel to fight back. I have liked Sager’s books, however, I can understand why some readers don’t. I find it’s worth mentioning because while I liked this book, I do find that once you read one Riley Sager book, you have the formula for the rest.
Lock Every Door was such an engrossing read. I’m a bit skeptical to read more Riley Sager books as I’m finding they are becoming a bit formulaic.