July is upon us and with it a good new amount of books to read! Last month was abysmal in terms of the number of books I read.. around 7. What’s worse was the fact that almost 5 were 2 stars. And this month am beginning by reviewing another book that is more smoke than fire.
Riley Sager is one of the most popular thriller writers in today’s time. His debut Final Girls was hugely appreciated and I personally loved The Last Time I Lied. So naturally I was excited about Lock Every Door. Here’s the plot.
Jules Larson is homeless, jobless, almost broke and just out of an year old relationship. She is staying with her best friend Chloe when she stumbles upon a too good to be true ad – apartment sitter required. A quick interview ensues and she ends up getting the job. Except there are quiet a few weird but strict rules – no visitors, no night away from the apartment. No disturbing other apartment residents. With nothing to lose and everything to seemingly gain, she starts her new life at the most mysterious but fascinating apartment in New York – The Bartholomew.
Just like the ad, the book is also too good to be true. While Final Girls had a horror movie kind of trope going for it, The Last Time I Lied blend the psychological and creepy efficiently. Yet for all its potential Lock Every Door is not sure what it wants to be. A murder mystery? A ghost story? Psychological thriller? It tries to be all and doesn’t exactly do a good job of it. While the author writes every scene masterfully, The plot stretches to no end. Jules as a character evokes sympathy but something about the plot was annoying. It’s amazing how when writers discover how to keep your reader hooked takes you for granted and expect to take us on a joyless ride. Especially when really good and noticeable reviewers give it a humongous thumbs up.
Once Jules is inside the apartment the story focuses on all the previous missing apartment sitters. Her budding friendship with Ingrid and her disappearance is what causes her to be paranoid about the apartment. But there were signs long before for her to scoot. Yet her desperation for money kept her rooted. With so much potential, The climax just wretched away everything and expects us to make do with it. While I definitely empathised with Jules, I did feel a bit cheated by the author. Suspense in the book was mostly sporadic. Thoughts and scenes were mostly repetitive and the end was thrust upon the reader with no seamless connection. Though I didn’t hate the book, I couldn’t wait to finish it.
Pros: writing, settings, atmospheric
Cons: pace, repetitive, length, suspense
Bibliogyan Verdict: Starts of great, drags in the middle and ends off with an ‘either you like it or not’ ending.