The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager: A review


Shades of "Rear Window," the classic Hitchcock movie. In this case, instead of looking into a neighboring apartment, a woman spending time at her family's lake house in Vermont passes her days by watching her neighbors in The House Across the Lake. Her neighbors are Tom and Katherine Royce and Casey Fletcher becomes somewhat obsessed with them. Tom is a tech mogul and Katherine is a gorgeous former model.

Casey has retreated to her lake house to escape the bad press she was recently receiving in New York. She is a successful actress who was widowed when her husband drowned in that very lake. She is attempting to assuage her grief with alcohol. Her viewing of - some might say spying on - her neighbors is fueled by a plentiful supply of liquor. 

A fateful change in her relationship with those neighbors comes when Casey saves Katherine from drowning in the lake. It is the beginning of their friendship, but as Casey gets to know her better, she learns that Katherine's marriage to Tom is a fraught affair. 

And then Katherine vanishes after telling Casey that her husband would never let her go. He would kill her first. Casey suspects the worst and she is determined to find out what has happened to her friend. But it becomes apparent that there is a serial killer on the loose. Several young girls have been killed. Was Katherine a victim of the same killer? And is that killer Tom?

The basic plot here was interesting, but there was quite a bit of repetitive "padding" to the story that didn't necessarily move the plot along. The book was almost four hundred pages and I felt that if some of that repetition had been cut, it would have been a better read. In spite of those caveats, the book was still a solid three-star read for me.

Comments

  1. I'm rly curious about this one; I see it everywhere! 3-star is a bit so-so, but I'm still curious!

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    1. Most of the comments and reviews that I've seen on Blogger have been very positive so a lot of people have REALLY liked it. I liked it, too, just probably not as much.

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  2. Thank you for your honest thoughts on this one, Dorothy.

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  3. I feel like good editing has become a lost art. I've read and enjoyed several of Riley Sager's other books, but I'm not sure I want to read this one. The premise isn't as appealing to me as his other books' have been.

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    1. My husband, the retired editor, would agree with you!

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  4. I keep hearing about this author but I haven't tried any of his books. However, the Rear Window movie scared me and it was pretty tame, this would probably scare me even more. Maybe another one of his books.

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    1. This is the only one of his that I have read, but based on this experience, I'd say he is a talented writer.

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  5. I LOVE Sager's work, and this is a three star for me as well. The whole twist was just so from out of nowhere. I still would recommend all his other work though. Final Girls is probably my MOST fave, but I also loved (and five-starred) Home Before Dark, Survive the Night, and Last Time I Lied. Lock Every Door was another three-star for me, but still good.

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    1. This was the first one of his that I've read but I would like to read some of the others.

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    2. Final Girls is my number one favorite, but you really can't go wrong with any of them.

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